Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cashew Shrimp Curry

I like Twitter. I don't really know how to do much on Twitter other than subscribe to tweeters and read postings (if any of you readers would be willing to give me a brief tutorial on how to actually post something and/or directly contact other tweeters, I would be greatly appreciative, maybe even enough to make you a pie), but I've found that it's a handy tool for monitoring goings-on in the foodie world. Many famous chefs (and some not-so-famous ones) are using it to post restaurant news, menus, recipes, gossip, etc. A few weeks ago, I attempted to make my first-ever recipe gleaned from a Twitter posting: a cashew shrimp curry, courtesy of Chef Marnely Rodriguez (who specializes in Caribbean dishes) via Chef Marcus Samuelsson's website/Twitter account (you know, Marcus Samuelsson....the Ethiopian/Swedish cook who won Top Chef Masters #2). This recipe stood out to me from others I've seen on Twitter because 1) it looked relatively good, 2) it looked relatively easy, and 3) I had most of the ingredients on hand (come to think of it, that's pretty much the criteria I use to pick just about every recipe regardless of origin), including an eggplant from the farmbox.

One ingredient I didn't have was cashew butter. After scouring the local grocery stores and coming up empty (even at Trader Joe's, which I erroneously thought was just quirky enough to carry it), I figured out that it's actually not hard to make on your own (thanks, Emeril) - cashew butter recipe. You basically just throw cashews, oil, and a little salt into a food processor and Voila! Once that mountain was scaled, the rest was easy. My local ethnic grocery had two versions of coconut oil, which I learned is solid and congealed at room temperature (hopefully not like my arteries) - I opted for the cheaper version ($3.99) as opposed to the fancy-pants all-organic one (which clocked in at $11.99). Instead of raw shrimp, I used cooked, tail-off shrimp from the freezer section. The only other substitution was brown basmati rice in place of jasmine rice listed in the recipe.

How'd it turn out? Not bad, but a little underwhelming and in need of some pizazz. You'd think that a curry dish would be in danger of being overspiced, but not this one, apparently. In fact, the best part was the homemade cashew butter, the leftovers of which I enjoyed on English muffins for a couple of weeks after the fact. Mrs. Hackknife noted that I'd made better curries before, so I might just have to put this recipe at the bottom of the pile.

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