Masala Fried Shrimp and Chilled Zucchini Soup

Sticking with the summer theme of light fresh flavors, these two back-to-back recipes from the July issue of Food & Wine seemed like they’d go well together.  Made for a lovely evening of food and wine and the company of one of our favorite people in the world.

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Masala Fried Shrimp

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, plus lemon wedges for serving
  • 1 serrano chile, minced
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 pound shelled and deveined medium shrimp
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a bowl, combine the lemon juice, serrano, garam masala, cayenne, turmeric, mustard powder and coriander. Add the shrimp and toss to coat.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil. Add the cumin seeds and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until deeply golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the shrimp, season with salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until curled and white throughout, about 2 minutes. Stir in the scallions and cilantro. Transfer the shrimp to plates and serve with lemon wedges.

Just a note, I got a particularly hot serrano at the store so I cut the amount by half.  I also mixed some fat-free Greek yogurt with Vindaloo spices, some lemon juice and salt and pepper and served it on the side.

Chilled Zucchini Soup

Chilled Zucchini Soup

Chilled Zucchini Soup

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 2/3 cup vegetable stock or low-sodium broth
  • Julienned raw zucchini, for garnish

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large saucepan, melt the butter in the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderately low heat, stirring frequently, until softened, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the stock and 1 1/2 cups of water and bring to a simmer; cook until the zucchini is very soft, about 10 minutes.
  2. Working in 2 batches, puree the soup in a blender until it’s silky-smooth. Return the soup to the saucepan and season with salt and pepper. Serve it either hot or chilled, garnished with julienned zucchini.
MAKE AHEAD The soup can be refrigerated overnight.
As recommended by Food & Wine, the whole dinner works really nicely with a Sauvignon Blanc.
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Spaghetti Alla Primavera

Spaghetti Alla Primavera

Spaghetti Alla Primavera

Spaghetti Alla Primavera

After reading all the delicious recipes in October’s Saveur magazine and riding our bikes to the farmers’ market this weekend, it seemed like primavera was the perfect choice the the pre-election countdown.  I made a few adjustments to try and curb the point value: half and half for heavy cream and 4 Tbsp of olive oil instead of 6 and whole wheat pasta.  I also left out the pine nuts, much to my chagrin.  Didn’t really get to a low point value on this one, but it’s filled with delicious and healthy veggies and works as a great choice if you have saved up for the day and are ready to splurge on dinner.

Weight Watchers Points Plus Value:  11

SERVES 8

INGREDIENTS

4 tbsp. olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
6 oz. button mushrooms, quartered
1 cup asparagus tips, blanched
1 cup small broccoli florets, blanched
½ cup frozen peas, blanched
1 small zucchini, quartered lengthwise, cut to 1″ lengths, blanched
1 lb. spaghetti, cooked al dente
1 cup half and half
⅔ cup grated Parmesan
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
2 tbsp. thinly shredded basil

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Heat 3 tbsp. oil in a 12″ skillet over medium heat. Add ⅔ of the garlic; cook until golden, about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms; cook until golden, about 3 minutes. Add asparagus, broccoli, peas, and zucchini; cook 3 minutes. Add pasta, cream, Parmesan, and butter, season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine; transfer to a platter.

2. Bring remaining oil and garlic, tomatoes, and basil to a simmer over medium heat; pour over pasta.