Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Weeknight Kung Pao Shrimp

What I've been up to lately:
Sharing an experience of a lifetime with the most wonderful group of six year olds I know,

Hunting for my first "new" car,

 Cutting out a metric crap-ton of lamination,

Feverishly essay-writing,

 And painting my fingernails.  Poorly.  Very poorly.

Anyway, with everything going on, I've been doing well to get dinner on the table, much less neatly photographed and accompanied by a semi-witty intro.  In fact, I haven't been inspired to blog at all lately.  Until this happened:

It may not look like much right there, but this Kung Pao Shrimp is officially my favorite weeknight meal.  It's a true 30-minute dish from start to finish.  (Don't you hate when a recipe is rated as a 30-minute meal, but they expect you to have already chopped 19 million different veggies and pre-cooked the protein?!)  Anyway, the ingredient list was so skimpy that I wasn't expecting fireworks, but the final product was amazing.  Garlicky, spicy, and flavorful, it beats my favorite take out hands-down. 

Very slightly adapted from Cook's Country, October/November 2007 issue

1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
3 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tsp hot sauce (I used chili paste from my local Asian grocer, & Sriracha would be fine.)
2 tsp cornstarch
2 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
1 lb extra-large shrimp, peeled & deveined
1/2 cup dry-roasted peanuts
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced

1.  Whisk chicken broth, oyster sauce, hot sauce, and cornstarch in a bowl.  Set aside.

2.  Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium high heat until shimmering.  Add shrimp and peanuts and cook until shrimp are speckled with brown, about 2 minutes.  Transfer to a plate. 

3.  Add remaining oil and bell pepper to empty skillet and cook until lightly browned, about 3 minutes.  Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Stir in sauce mixture and bring to a boil.  Add shrimp and peanuts and simmer until sauce has thickened and shrimp are cooked through, about 1 minute.  Serve over rice.

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