Mommy Cafe

Vegetarian home cooking, kid tested and approved

Curried Shrimp Kabobs

Every year for Will’s birthday, we have a huge celebration with the whole family. We usually have a potluck meal where we provide the entree and everyone else brings a side. In the past we’ve done bbq chicken or grilled burgers. Well, that wasn’t happening this year. So the question was what to prepare that would satisfy the masses but still fit into Will’s brand of vegetarianism? The answer: shrimp kabobs. Of course, I couldn’t just skewer the typical shrimp, bell peppers, mushrooms, and onions. That just wouldn’t be me! So I decided on a curry marinade and an unusual vegetable for a kabob– cauliflower!

Cauliflower goes great with curry. And it’s such a unique choice for a kabob. Just be sure not to overcook it. Steam it just enough to stick a skewer in it. Anything more and it will crumble when you skewer it!

I found a nice chunky curry marinade from Bobbie Flay. The flavor of the curry was outstanding, and it stuck well to the kabob pieces even through grilling. Bonus: the leftovers took two minutes to pan fry and were fantastic served over rice!

Kabobs are not a meal for a rushed dinner. They take a considerable amount of time to prepare, so I’m not even going to venture an estimate on prep time here. They can be prepped ahead of time, as long as they’re kept covered and chilled. This is an unusual enough kabob to be a big hit for dinner parties. Or they’re a fun way to get the kids involved in putting together a family-night meal.

Cook time: 10 minutes      Approximate cost: $14 for 20-30 skewers

Curried Shrimp Kabobs

Kabobs

  • 1/2 head cauliflower, cut into large florets
  • 2 zucchini, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
  • 3 onions, sliced into thick wedge
  • 1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 30 skewers

Curry Marinade

  • 1 (14-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 1/2 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Steam the cauliflower in until it just starts to become tender. Drain and rinse with cold water immediately to stop the cooking.

Meanwhile, whisk together all ingredients for the marinade until well-blended.

Place vegetables and shrimp in a large bowl. Pour marinade over the mixture and gently stir to coat. Cover and let sit for at least 20 minutes.

To assemble kabobs, soak wooden skewers in cold water for 20 minutes to prevent splintering or scorching. Alternate vegetables and shrimp on the skewer (for example: onion, shrimp, zucchini, shrimp, cauliflower, shrimp, onion). Grill for 4-5 minutes per side.

Serves 6 to 8

July 30, 2010 Posted by | Recipes | , , , | Leave a comment

Garlic Shrimp with Pasta

Once upon a time, when I was working at Audubon’s (a local restaurant that serves much yumminess), there was a shrimp pasta that was far too short-lived on the menu.  It never occurred to me to try replicating the recipe until this past weekend when I had a shrimp and carb craving.  With a little help from Rachael Ray’s Shrimp with Garlic, my very first try at this dish was as close to the original as I needed to be!

I was serving at Audubon’s through my vegetarian trial period.  At that time, the menu only contained one vegetarian item.  However, I was good friends with one of the chefs, and he helped me experiment with many different types of vegetables.  I learned so much about food with his help, and a lot about navigating restaurant menus that don’t cater to vegetarians.  My best piece of advice about restaurant dining as a vegetarian is don’t be afraid to ask for a substitution.  The worst that can happen is your server will say no and you’ll order a grilled cheese sandwich.  Not such a bad outcome, really!

Anyway, back to the recipe.  This is a quick fix, but tastes like it took real effort.  And other than the shrimp, it’s quite economical as well!  With a loaf of Italian bread and a side salad, this could be meal enough for 4… but don’t count on it!

Prep and cook time: 15 minutes     Approx cost: $3 per serving

Garlic Shrimp with Pasta

  • Angel hair pasta
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 14 oz can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 T butter
  • 2 T white wine
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • Handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • Lemon

Boil pasta according to package directions.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 2 minutes.  Raise the heat to high and add the shrimp, tomatoes, butter, wine and paprika. Cook, stirring, until shrimp are pink, about 3 minutes.  Season with salt, pepper, parsley, and lemon juice to taste.

Drain pasta well and stir into shrimp mixture.  Serve with grated Parmesan.

Serves 4.

May 19, 2010 Posted by | Recipes | , , | 1 Comment

Smoked Salmon Pasta with Scotch Cream Sauce

Today I’m going to depart from my blog goals in every way possible. This dinner is not vegetarian (we do still eat fish), is not cheap, and is unmodified from the original recipe other than substituting vegetable broth for fish broth. All the same, it’s delicious and people enjoy it!

I’ve found that the scotch doesn’t flame, much to my disappointment, but it does add a lot of flavor. Normally I’m not a fan of smoked anything, so the first time I made this dish I bought fresh salmon, unsmoked. The depth of flavor was lacking. This time I splurged on a small package of smoked salmon and it made a huge difference.

While this is by no means a cheap dinner, it is still reasonable for a special occasion. I cut the recipe in half and used a cheap wine and a generic scotch. The total probably came in around $10 (the scotch and wine were already in-house, but I roughly factored these costs in).

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/smoked-salmon-pasta-with-scotch/detail.aspx

February 28, 2010 Posted by | Recipes | , | 1 Comment