Thursday, April 7, 2011

I AM REALLY BACK- Stirfry with Shrimp, Vegetables and Pasta

I have been cooking. I just haven't been up to taking pictures and sitting down at the computer to write about it. I also haven't been interested in reading other food blogs. Part of it was that I was ill. Without realizing it, I haven't been right since the holidays. All that is behind me now and I am looking forward again, to sharing my recipes and reading what others are writing about. End of story. 

So, as my regular readers know, my cooking is generally connected to my roots as an Italian immigrant's grandson and as a New Yorker exposed to the diverse cuisines I have around me here in the Big Apple. I am extremely confident in my ability to cook without following recipes. Nowhere is this more evident than in my rendition of Asian food. The following is a recipe for stir fried shrimp and vegetables made up entirely from my weekly shopping and the pantry items I always have on hand. My Asian readers will realize immediately that this is not an authentic recipe, but it was delicious which is my criteria for success. I hope you will try it, even if you are Asian!

For two of us, I used two portions of whole grain pasta, 10 pieces of large (25-20) shrimp, 1 clove of garlic, 1 tablespoon of grated ginger plus another tablespoon of diced ginger, 1/2 a medium onion cut into thin slices, 2 stalks of broccoli (I remove the outer peel on the stalk and cut it into thin slices), 4 crimini mushrooms sliced, a teaspoon of corn starch mixed with cold water, low-sodium soy sauce and my "secret" ingredient, sweet chili sauce for chicken (used as a dipping sauce for dumplings), easily found in most Asian markets, and a diced papaya or some diced pineapple.

Begin by sauteing the garlic, ground ginger and onion
till they are fragrant and softened somewhat.
Next add the broccoli. Since this takes longer to cook, 
I generally saute it briefly in the oil, then add a bit of water 
to the pan and cover it till it is tender. At this point,I would 
also begin cooking the pasta which takes about 10 minutes.

As soon as the broccoli absorbs all the water in the pan, I add
the mushrooms with a little more vegetable oil cooking them till
they begin to soften and brown.

Now, I add the chili sauce and soy sauce. mixing to
incorporate all the vegetables.

Next, I add the shrimp, diced ginger and papaya
cooking them about 3-4 minutes till the shrimp are cooked.
At this point, I add in the corn starch and water which quickly
thickens the sauce. By now, the pasta is done so I plate it and
distribute the shrimp around the plate. Then I pour the rest 
over the pasta! I hope you'll try it and like it. It's good to be back.


  1. So glad you're back Joe!! I have been thinking about you and hoping that you were feeling better. This recipe sounds so spring like and I love the addition of fruit. I'm looking forward to reading your posts again. It's good to have you back!

    Take care,

  2. OK, I just realized. Those are mango not papaya!

  3. Welcome back Joe, sounds like things are better for you now and that's great. I've never made good asian food, but this I think I could do, love all the flavors and especially that sweet chili sauce, maybe I'll give it another try!

  4. You can find it in any Asian supermarket, and I just noticed, good old Trader Joe's carries it.It's good to be back. I recently read your recipe for candied orange peels and can't wait to try it!

  5. I cooked this dish tonight and I can tell you it was great!!!!! It's really funny how easy and fast it is to create such wonderful dishes for the family. Thanks again from a happy family who enjoys one of your recipe's. Thank you!