Strangely enough, the sweetness and texture of warm grapes and properly sauteed shrimp are darn close. That's just one of the ways this odd-sounding combination works in this dish, which is also darn close to a stir-fry.
The level of spiciness is not so great as to disturb young palates; it's better to use a little of the chili sauce for flavor than omit it entirely.
Serve with vegetable pot stickers or steamed brown rice.
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 3/4 cup nonfat low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 to 2 teaspoons Asian- or Indian-style red chili sauce
- 1 2-inch piece peeled ginger root
- 2 to 3 medium cloves garlic
- 4 ounces broccoli crowns
- 2 to 3 scallions
- Leaves from 3 to 4 sprigs cilantro
- 10 ounces seedless green grapes
- 1 pound shelled and deveined (any size, uncooked) shrimp, preferably wild Gulf shrimp (may substitute 1 pound scallops, patted dry)
Combine the cornstarch, 1/4 cup of the broth, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar and chili sauce to taste in a small bowl. Stir until the cornstarch has dissolved.
Keep these ingredients in separate piles as you prep them: Mince the ginger, chop the garlic and cut the broccoli into florets to yield 2 cups (discarding the stems or saving for another use). Trim off the root ends of the scallions, then cut the white and light-green parts crosswise into thin slices (3/4 cup). Coarsely chop the cilantro leaves (about 2 tablespoons). Stem and wash the grapes (about 1 1/2 cups).
Spray a large nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking oil spray. Heat over medium-high heat, then add the shrimp, ginger and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 4 to 6 minutes, until the shrimp is just cooked through. Transfer just the shrimp to a plate and cover loosely to keep warm.
Add the broccoli and the remaining 1/2 cup broth to the skillet and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes, until just tender. The broccoli should be bright green.
Add the grapes, scallions and cornstarch mixture; bring just to a boil, stirring, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Return the cooked shrimp to the skillet; stir to combine and heat through. Remove from the heat; divide among individual plates and sprinkle with the cilantro just before serving.
Adapted from "Quick & Healthy Recipes and Ideas, 3rd Edition," by Brenda J. Ponichtera (Small Steps Press, 2008).
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at firstname.lastname@example.org.