This potato topper was inspired by Polynesian and Southeast Asian combinations of shrimp and mashed sweet potatoes. A good-quality Indian curry powder may be substituted for the Thai curry paste.
- 1 medium sweet potato, scrubbed clean (about 6 ounces)
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 1/2-inch piece ginger root, peeled and cut crosswise into thin slices
- 1/4 medium red bell pepper, cut into very thin strips (julienne; about 1/4 cup total)
- 1 teaspoon Thai red curry paste (may substitute good-quality Indian curry powder)
- 3 tablespoons low-fat coconut milk
- 4 ounces any-size uncooked shrimp, peeled, deveined and cut into pieces
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro leaves
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Use a fork or sharp knife to prick the sweet potato in several places. Place on a piece of aluminum foil and bake for 40 to 60 minutes or until the sweet potato is tender and can be easily squeezed.
(Alternatively, to speed up the process, the pricked sweet potato can be microwaved on HIGH for 1 minute, then carefully transferred to the oven and seated on a piece of foil. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until the potato is tender.)
Heat the oil in a medium heavy skillet over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers. Add the ginger and cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes or until it becomes fragrant and starts to soften. Add the bell pepper and cook for 2 to 4 minutes or until the strips lose their crunch. Reduce the heat to medium-low, then add the curry paste and coconut milk, stirring to thoroughly combine. Add the shrimp and stir to incorporate. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes or just until the shrimp are firm and opaque. Season with salt to taste; remove from the heat.
When the sweet potato has finished baking, place it on a serving plate. Use a sharp knife to make a centered, lengthwise slit in the top, pinching the potato on each end to expose the flesh and make a pocket for the filling. Spoon on the shrimp mixture and sprinkle with the cilantro. Serve hot.
From Food editor Joe Yonan.
Tested by Joe Yonan.
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