This isn’t the first time I’ve said this, but if you’re looking for a solid weeknight dinner cookbook, I really recommend The Essential Dinner Tonight Cookbook from Cooking Light. It’s full of simple, healthy and relatively easy recipes (including this, this, and this), and I’ve liked everything I’ve tried from it.
The thing I really like about this cookbook, though, is the side dish suggestions. Aren’t side dishes just the most annoying part of getting a meal together? Since I’m only cooking for two people, I usually don’t even mess with them, instead leaning toward entrees that have veggies/grains/etc. mixed right in. But this cookbook makes the side dish thing pretty idiot-proof. For every recipe, there are two side dish suggestions, one of which requires a small amount of preparation/other ingredients, and one of which requires next to nothing. It’s a really good set-up.
The coconut rice below was the suggested side dish for this shrimp, and it was super yummy. And so easy! All you really need is some rice and some chicken broth, along with the coconut milk leftover from making the shrimp (and lemongrass if you’re being super fancy, but it’s fine to exclude). Add in one of those bags of frozen sugar snap peas that steams in the microwave, and you’ve got an entree-plus-two side dish dinner that is, frankly, pretty impressive.
I said it.
SHRIMP IN YELLOW SAUCE WITH COCONUT RICE (recipe from Cooking Light: The Essential Dinner Tonight Cookbook)
Ingredients for the shrimp:
1/2 tsp grated lime rind
2 tbsp lime juice (about 2 limes’ worth)
1-2 tsp sambal oelek (garlic chile paste, found in international aisle)
1 tsp fish sauce (found in international aisle)
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
3 garlic cloves, grated
2 small shallots, chopped
1 1-inch piece peeled fresh ginger
1 cup light coconut milk
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed
chopped cilantro, for garnish
Ingredients for the rice:
1 cup long-grain white rice (preferably jasmine)
1 1/4 cup chicken broth (or water)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp canola (or vegetable) oil
1/2 cup light coconut milk
optional: 1/2 stalk crushed lemongrass
1. Combine first nine ingredients (lime rind through ginger) in food processor; process until smooth.
2. In medium saucepan with lid, add rice, chicken broth, salt, and canola oil and heat over high heat. Bring to boiling, then reduce heat and add coconut milk and lemongrass, if using. Cover and simmer 15 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed. Let stand 10 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
3. While rice cooks, spray large skillet with nonstick spray and heat over medium heat. Once hot, add spice paste and saute briefly until fragrant. Add shrimp and coconut milk, stirring well, and simmer until shrimp are pink and cooked through, about 5 minutes.
4. Serve shrimp over coconut rice. Garnish with cilantro, if desired.
This had a unique flavor…not super spicy, but kindof…exotic? I really, really liked it, and the coconut rice was perfect with it. Add some sugar snap peas and you’re set!