Thai Curry Pineapple and Shrimp “Fried” Quinoa

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I always want to take something that I love and know is not the healthiest, and transform it into something that is guilt free. This recipe fuses different flavors together of red curry and coconut milk with pineapple, shrimp, and quinoa. The result is a delicious, healthy, and satisfying meal that you will want to make time and time again. The best part is you can change out different ingredients to make different meals. Change out the shrimp for chicken, the quinoa for brown rice, and the curry sauce for ponzu and you have another great meal using the same methodology.

Thai Curry Pineapple and Shrimp “Fried” Quinoa

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Serves 8-10 (This is a huge recipe, I made it to eat over several meals)

2 cups Tricolor Quinoa

4 cups, vegetable stock, shrimp stock, or water

2 pounds, peeled and devained, 16/20 Shrimp

1 onion, small diced

8 cloves garlic, minced

1 red bell pepper, small dice

1/2 in piece, fresh ginger, minced or grated

1/2 large pineapple, medium dice

1 container crimini mushrooms, sliced thinly

2 T sesame oil

2 T soy sauce

4 T red curry paste

1 can coconut milk

1/2 t fish sauce

1/2 bu chopped mint

1/2 bu chopped cilantro

3 limes, juiced

3 T coconut oil

Optional: If you want it a bit sweeter add some honey or palm sugar

  • Cook the quinoa first, bring 1 T of coconut oil to heat in a large covered pot, add the quinoa stirring to slightly toast. Pour over stock or water and cook covered for 15-20 minutes until soft, stirring every 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Turn heat off and set aside.

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  • Prepare all your vegetables and measure out the rest of your ingredients.
  • In a large saute pan add 1T of coconut oil, bring to heat and add your onions.
  • Sauté onions for 2-3 minutes until softened, add your garlic.
  • Next add your bell pepper and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Next add your mushrooms and cook on high heat until softened.
  • Add your pineapple next and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Season vegetables with salt and pepper. Remove contents of pan to a bowl and place pan back on burner.

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  • Add your final amount of coconut oil, and bring to high heat.
  • Season shrimp with salt pepper and a touch of sesame oil.
  • Add shrimp to pan and cook on high heat for 2 minutes to achieve so color and browning.
  • Add your red curry paste and coat the shrimp.
  • Add the soy sauce and sesame oil.
  • Cook for 2 minutes and then add the coconut milk.
  • Stir and scrape the pan to get all flavorings up.
  • Turn heat down and simmer for 3-4 minutes until shrimp are nice and tender and sauce has thickened.
  • Add your mint and cilantro as well as lime juice.
  • Add 2 T of sriracha to the sauce and stir to combine.
  • Taste for seasoning, can sweeten here if you desire or keep as is.

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Now you have three components. You can mix them all together or if you want to achieve the “fried” rice aspect of the dish.

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  • Place a sauté on high heat, add a scoop of quinoa and start to crisp up.
  • On the quinoa is crispy, add a scoop of vegetable mixture.
  • Cook for 1 minute, then add a scoop of shrimp curry.
  • Cook for an additional 1 minute and serve hot, top with more lime, sriracha and chopped cilantro.

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This dish is absolutely delicious and although there are steps involved it is well worth i!

Remember healthy doesn’t have to mean bland.

Cheers!

Chef Sean Gallagher

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Carnitas

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Carnitas - braised pork tacos with white onion, tomato, cilantro, avocado, lime, hot sauce

Carnitas – braised pork tacos with white onion, tomato, cilantro, avocado, lime, hot sauce

I bought a 5 pound pork shoulder last week and have trying to think what to make. I love pork because of its versatility, you can give it any kind of flavoring, and cook it multiple ways.

In the kitchen, I would make 50-100 pounds of roast pork in a day. I would cover the pork shoulders in a dry rub of brown sugar, cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne, onion powder, a ton of salt and pepper. Then cover it with mustard and ketchup (Weird I know, but a delish tip from Daryl – Thanks Daryl!). Cover the whole lot of them in chicken stock and let them braise for 6 hours. The result, the most delicious, decadent.. salty, fatty pulled pork.

Today I am trying something different, I’m cutting the cooking time by 1/2 by cutting the meat smaller, and boiling, then roasting it.

Carnitas - braised pork tacos with white onion, tomato, cilantro, avocado, lime, hot sauce

Carnitas – braised pork tacos with white onion, tomato, cilantro, avocado, lime, hot sauce

Carnitas

Prep: 15-20 minutes

Cook time: 2.5 hours

5 pound Boneless pork shoulder, cut into 3 inch cubes

2 cups chopped vegetables: I say use whatever you have on its way out in the crisper, I had some celery, onion, carrots, and bell pepper scraps.

8 cloves garlic

2 limes, cut in half

1 jalapeño, cut in half

1 cup orange juice

1 bottle light beer, I used corona

1 T Mexican oregano

1 T ground cumin

2 T kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 cups water

Pork ready to go!

Pork ready to go!

  • Cut your pork shoulder into 3 inch cubes, you can cut off some of the fat if you would like or leave it for more flavor.
  • In a large pot add your vegetables, pork, spices, limes, garlic, and pour in your orange juice and beer.
  • Fill the rest of the pot with water just to cover the pork.
  • Bring to  boil and then reduce to a simmer, cook in a covered pot for 2 hours.
  • When the meat is tender, turn off the heat and let it sit for 10-15 minutes so its can rest inside the liquid.
Pork braising, an hour in.

Pork braising, an hour in.

  • Remove the meat and cut off any large fat chunks, smash the meat into large pieces.
  • Strain the braising liquid, removing all the veggie remnants.
  • Put the strained liquid back on the burner, reduce down to a syrup. Should take 10-15 minutes.
  • Remove your syrup and pour it over the shredded pork. Put the pork on a sheet pan in an even layer and place in your broiler.
Pork just removed and pulled

Pork just removed and pulled

  • The pork will become crispy and brown in the broiler after 5-10 minutes. If you want some char leave it in longer.
Crispy pork, after the broiler. You can leave it in longer if you want more of a char

Crispy pork, after the broiler. You can leave it in longer if you want more of a char

  • It is now ready to serve. Eat it in corn or flour tortillas with raw white onion, chopped tomatoes, sliced avocado, cilantro, hot sauce, and cotija cheese. Delish!

 

Carnitas - Pork tacos

Carnitas – Pork tacos

 

This meal was really easy to prepare and a hit! The texture of the meat is different than pulled pork, its more sticky and chewy, and after broiling, crispy. I love it, and its definitely a meal I will make time and time again.

 

 

Thank you.

 

Sean Patrick Gallagher

Not-so-Scary Nopales

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Not-so-Scary Nopales

Nopales can appear scary, (as a rule, I pretty much wouldn’t eat anything with thorns on it!) but they are a versatile and delicious ingredient that can be added to stews, sautés, or made into a salad.

Once you get through the thorns it’s an easy process!

Remove the thorns of the nopale (Cactus petal) with a small paring knife, or if you are really comfortable, carefully use your chefs knife to remove many at once. I like to boil the nopales to remove some of the viscous liquid inside them. After that I sauté and chill them to add to salads, or keep the nopales in the sauté pan and add in some julienne zucchini, summer squash, snap peas, also caramelized onions, and fennel. Cook until tender, add a squeeze of lime, a dash of ground cumin, and top with chopped cilantro and cotija cheese. DELISH!

I hope you pick up Nopales next time you’re at the grocery and are feeling adventurous! 🙂

Cheers

Sean Patrick Gallagher

Two Dishes, One Chicken

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Roasted Chicken has got to be my all time favorite meal. It is so simple and yet, so complex. I have roasted a chicken many different ways; with truffle butter under the skin, stuffed with sausage, or simply dressed with herbs. There are a ton of ways to roast a chicken, but this is how I do it.

1: Clean your bird in cold water, check the skin for any leftover feathers or abnormalities and remove them.

2: Remove the innards of the bird; you can keep them and roast them along side the bird or toss them.

3: Dry your bird completely dry. Moisture on the skin of the bird will prevent a nice crisp finished product.

4: Using your fingers, gently slide underneath the skin of the breast of the bird and loosen it, creating a cavity between the breast and the skin. Here you can place butter, herbs, any kind of flavorings you wish to impart on the chicken.

5: Cover the bird in freshly ground black pepper, a liberal amount of kosher salt, and drizzle olive oil all over it. Massage the seasoning into the bird.

6: Place the bird on a roasting rack or sheet pan. I like to make a bed of aromatics; carrots, onions, garlic, celery, thyme.. and place the chicken on top so the chicken is not directly touching the metal and the aromatics cook along with it.

7: Place the bird in a 400° oven for 20 minutes.

8: After 20 minutes, rotate the pan, lower the heat to 375°, and place the time for 1 hour. (This will be perfect for a 3 pound chicken, add an additional 20 minutes per pound for large birds)

9: Remove the chicken and let it rest for 10 minutes.

10: I like to remove the breasts and slice them, then cut the chicken into pieces: thighs, legs, and wings.

11: Use the drippings from the chicken to create a flavorful sauce.

With this roast chicken, I caramelized one onion, a few sliced mushrooms, and chopped up the aromatics that roasted with the chicken. I then adds the drippings from the roast chicken to create a sauce. Served over a bed of whole wheat couscous and some delicious fresh pea shoots, this is a fantastic, healthy, easy, and delicious meal.

 

Every time you roast a chicken there is leftovers. With that leftover chicken I usually make soup or shred the chicken for many different dishes.. salads, enchiladas, tacos.. and so on.

In NYC I once ate a chicken salad that used avocado instead of mayonnaise, which for me was heaven because nothing in the world disturbs me more than that god-forsaken product! Here is a quick and delicious recipe to utilize left over chicken.

Avocado Chicken Salad

2 cups leftover roasted chicken, shredded or chopped

2 large avocados

1 lime juiced

2 T chopped fresh cilantro

2 T sour cream

1 t kosher salt

fresh ground black pepper

Corn or wheat tortillas

dash of hot sauce

1: Shred your leftover chicken, make sure there is no cartilage or bones. If you want to make this and don’t have leftover roasted chicken you can use a rotisserie chicken from the grocery, or roast chicken thighs and pull the meat.

2: Mash the avocados separately with lime juice, sour cream, and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper and mix well. Mix in chicken and stir well to combine.

3: Toast whole wheat tortillas, serve the chicken salad cold on the tortillas with a squeeze of fresh lime and a dash of hot sauce.

This dish couldn’t be easier and is delicious, a much healthier alternative to traditional chicken salad.

Cheers,

Sean Patrick Gallagher

Greek Chicken, orzo salad, and fried chickpeas

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Since I have been sick for the last week, I have been cooking all 3 meals everyday. I made this chicken last night, and it was so flavorful and delicious; I had to share. Simple preparation and simple flavors make way for a spectacular meal.

 

Greek Chicken – Serves 2

 

Greek chicken, orzo salad, fried chickpeas

4 Chicken thighs

1 lemon, zested and juiced

2 T olive oil

1 T dried oregano

1/2 t hot chili flake

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 T kosher salt

1/8 t ground black pepper

  • Mix together your marinade, place your thighs in the marinade and rub the flavorings into them.
  • Let sit for 15 minutes in marinade, place into a 400 degree oven for 40 minutes
  • The chicken will be moist and the skin with crispy and delicious.

Greek Chicken

 

Orzo Salad

Orzo salad

1 cup orzo

1 handful spinach leaves, chiffonade

1/2 english cucumber, diced

1 roma tomato, diced

1 lemon, juiced

1 T olive oil

2 oz goat cheese

1/2 cup Green Sauce

[Green Sauce: I like to keep this sauce on hand to use for many different dishes]

1 bunch parsley

1 bunch cilantro

4 cloves garlic

1 white onion

2 limes or lemons juiced

1.5 T kosher salt

1/8 t black pepper

 

  • Place everything in the blender, blend smooth. Add water if needed to thin out to puree smooth.

Orzo continued:

 

  • Boil your orzo, once cooked through, rinse under cold water. Hold in a bowl.
  • Add your diced vegetables, green sauce, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Mix thoroughly until combined.
  • Break your goat cheese into small chunks, mix in gently to keep integrity.

 

Fried Chickpeas

Fried Chickpeas

1 can chickpeas

dash cumin

dash hot pepper flake

1 t kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • In a saute pan, add the chicken drippings.
  • Heat for several minutes until extremely hot.
  • Add chickpeas and fry in fat until golden brown.

 

This meal is effortless, affordable, and delicious.
Try it out!

 

Cheers,
Chef Sean