If shrimp, bell pepper, rosemary and parsley all in one meal don’t scream out, ‘It’s Spring time!’…then what does?
I’ll name a few others…spring is in the balmy, sunny days and the sprouting herbs and vegetables in my garden, spring means kids riding their bicycles in the neighborhood and chasing the ice-cream truck (which arrives right around dinner-time every evening)…and yes, spring is in the food on my plate. Stews and soups are giving way to stir-fry and fresh salads; the pot roasts are replaced by charred meat and vegetables served right off the grill.
In our circle of friends, my husband is known as a ‘genius of marinades’; one moment he is cutting meat or fish into chunks and the next moment, the entire home is filled with delicious aromas of flavor combinations using rosemary, mint, cilantro, garlic, ginger, lemon, red wine vinegar, mustard and yes, pungent Serrano peppers and Indian spices (we sure don’t do mellow flavors around here.)
So last weekend, as my husband created this ‘Shrimp and Bell Pepper Stir-fry’ magic within the hour, I used some leftover brown rice to make a bed of ‘Rosemary and Parsley Brown Rice’; perfect to soak up all the goodness of this stir-fry.
Try it, this combination creates ripples of flavor on your tongue. And it is simple enough to make as a weeknight meal too.
‘Spring’ Shrimp and Bell Pepper Stir-fry
For the marinade:
1 tablespoon canola oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon coriander powder
Juice of one lemon
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
For the Stir-fry:
1 lb shrimp, washed, peeled and deveined
2 bell peppers cut in large squares
1 medium red onion cut in large squares
2 tablespoons canola oil
¼- ½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoon chopped cilantro
To make the shrimp marinade, heat one tablespoon of canola oil in a pan on a low heat. Add garlic and spices; make sure the garlic does not burn by stirring on a low flame, about 3-4 minutes only. Take the pan off the heat and add lemon juice to the warm marinade. Season the shrimp with salt, pepper. Add the marinade to the shrimp, cover and leave in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
In a hot wok or skillet, heat the canola oil, add onions and bell peppers. Season with salt and pepper, stir fry on a high flame for 3-5 minutes, the vegetables should remain crunchy.
Add the shrimp along with the marinade and stir fry for another 3-5 minutes till the shrimp cook. Serve on a bed of Rosemary and Parsley Brown Rice with a drizzle of lemon.
For the Rosemary and Parsley Brown Rice
3 cups cooked brown basmati rice
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped rosemary
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Juice of ½ a lemon
Making the brown rice
For this herb rice, I use the Indian technique of ‘tempering’ or ‘Tadka’ as it is popularly known; to create a warm dressing. Start by heating the olive oil in a small pan till its shimmer. Take the oil off the heat and immediately add the rosemary and parsley to the hot oil, it will sizzle in the pan. Squeeze lemon juice into the herb oil and mix it into the warm cooked brown rice. Season the brown rice with salt and pepper. Using a fork, spread the herbs through the rice. Serve warm.
This rice is versatile and can be used as an accompaniment to any meat, fish or vegetables.