Cooking up a Storm

Cooking up a Storm


Knowing that there was a strong possibility that I might lose power due to hurricane Sandy, I set about using up everything in my fridge and freezer. My misguided obsession with food had me far more worried about going hungry than I was about the practicalities of living without power.

Hoping that necessity would breed creativity, I got to work on discovering a genius new recipe that would make me my fortune. Not quite. The first ‘mash up’ was a risotto using up all the frozen stock as well as a mixture of cheeses and some leftover roasted peppers. It was fair but not good enough to be written down and shared. It did however teach me that risotto, like pasta, can really be a conduit for anything you have left in the fridge.

Next up was a pesto using up all the basil and arugula I had on hand and that was definitely a hit. I liked the mixture of the two with the arugula giving the pesto a peppery taste.

The third and slightly incongruous meal for my pre-hurricane hoarding was by far the best – a delicious and very quick Thai prawn curry with Poppadoms. We usually fuse East and West but why not Indian and Thai? The result was definitely worth sharing. I would have added a red chili pepper if I’d had one to give some heat but that is optional.

Thai Prawn Curry with Poppadoms

1 (14oz can) of unsweetened coconut milk (whisked to blend)
2 Teaspoons red Thai curry paste
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/3-inch-wide strips
2 cups of sugar snap peas
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 pound King prawns (shelled and deveined)
1 ½ teaspoons of palm sugar (or brown sugar if you can’t find palm sugar)
1 tablespoon fish sauce (nam pla)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Chopped fresh dill

Bring 1/4 cup coconut milk and curry paste to boil in large skillet over medium-high heat, whisking constantly. Add bell pepper, sugar snap peas and onion; sauté 5 minutes stirring frequently. Stir in prawns, remaining coconut milk, sugar and fish sauce. Cook until prawns are cooked through, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Stir in fish sauce and lime juice and cook for a further minute. Plate over Jasmine rice and sprinkle with fresh dill. Serve alongside warmed poppadoms.

Note: poppadoms can be brushed with oil and microwaved between paper towels for 40 seconds.

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