You never know where a terrific spice blend might be hiding.
We spied this combination of spices in a recipe for slow-cooked greens topped with curried onions. Intrigued, we instead tried the same spice treatment with shrimp. The resulting flavor -- rich yet not overwhelmingly hot -- also works wonders with white fish fillets, sea scallops and chicken breasts.
- 1 cup long-grain rice
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, halved and cut into thin wedges
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon mustard seed (yellow or brown)
- Pinch cayenne or chipotle chili powder
- 1 1/2 pounds shrimp
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) chopped cashews
- Freshly ground black pepper
Prepare the rice according to package directions.
In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and beginning to crisp at the edges, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the curry powder, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, mustard seeds and cayenne or chili powder; set aside.
Peel and devein the shrimp. Rinse the shrimp and pat them completely dry; set aside.
Add the cashews to the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until the nuts are slightly golden, about 3 minutes. Add about 1 1/2 teaspoons of the spice mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove from the heat; scrape into a bowl and cover to keep warm.
Wipe out the skillet and return to medium-high heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and as much of the remaining spice mix as desired and heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the shrimp and salt and pepper to taste and cook, turning occasionally to coat, until pink and cooked through, about 5 minutes, depending on the size.
To serve, divide the rice and shrimp among individual plates and spoon the onion-cashew mixture over the rice. Serve immediately.
Adapted from a recipe in the January 2001 issue of Gourmet magazine.
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