This was a lousy year for growing tomatoes: the summer started hot spurring a lot of plant growth, but turned cooler, meaning few fruit ripened on the vine, and the ones that did were all chomped by squirrels. All of them, I mean it. I got like four ripe tomatoes all season off of five plants. And then an early frost came, and I harvested all the green tomatoes over a reasonable size. Made fried green tomatoes, thought about making a green tomato curry… but then they started ripening in the basket. In past years, this has led to raised hopes being dashed as they rotted faster than they ripened, but I got at least six decent, juicy tomatoes in November and December from the early harvest. These weren’t even ‘breakers’ with a little red on them, they were grass-green when I pulled them in.
The pictured sandwich isn’t actually the last tomato, it was third-to-last, with the other two going into a salad, and another similar sandwich of twice-leftover curried turkey salad: there was a lot of meat on the carcass after making stock, so I pulsed that in the food processor with some of the onions and carrots, then added a big portion of S&B curry powder (the best for this sort of salad) and a dollop of mayo. The sandwich is on toasted sourdough, with scallions, jalapeno, and of course, sliced tomato.
My Kaffir Lime tree (best xmas present ever) has gotten a little leggy, so it was time to prune it back. So what can I do with a few leaves on a weeknight? I feel like making a curry or tom yam soup, so I hit the Google. I have some frozen shrimp, and some about-to-bolt lettuce in the garden, so what could I do for a light meal with what I had?
I came up with two recipes: One from Ming Tsai which sounded simple but perhaps not very adventurous, and one from a spice company that added a couple more flavors in that sounded like they’d work together well. I then kicked it up a little bit (neither recipe used fish sauce? no garlic?), making the flavors closer to tom som (green papaya salad). This made a nice light meal for two, with a little left over for lunch.
Sorry, no photos today — we ate it too quickly.
Recipe: Shrimp with Turmeric and Kaffir Lime Leaves
12 oz (340g) frozen shrimp, thawed, peeled, deveined 1 large clove garlic, minced 1/2 medium onion, sliced 1/2 to 1 jalapeno chile, sliced into rings 2 full (double) kaffir lime leaves, center vein removed and shredded 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) turmeric a few grinds of black pepper juice of 2 limes 1 Tbs fish sauce
3 cups leaf lettuce, cleaned and cut into bite-sized pieces 1/2 cup shredded carrot 1/3 cup scallions, sliced into fine rings juice of 1.5 limes 2 Tbs (30ml) olive oil large pinch of sugar pinch of salt and a few more grinds of pepper 2 full (double) kaffir lime leaves, center vein removed and minced
Combine the shrimp, onion, chile, shredded leaves, turmeric, pepper, the juice of two limes and fish sauce in a nonreactive bowl and marinate for ten minutes.
While the shrimp marinate, prepare the salad using the rest of the ingredients. Toss to mix flavors
Heat a large nonstick pan on medium-high heat with the oil
Drain and discard any liquid from the marinading bowl, and add everything but the shrimp to the hot pan, stir fry until the onions have softened just a bit (a minute or so)
Add the shrimp and continue to stir fry until they are opaque
Remove from heat
Distribute the salad on plates, top with the cooked shrimp/onion/chile
Where has he been for the last month? Still eating, still cooking, just not taking pictures (my tablet was in the shop, there was a business trip, (“…a fire, a terrible flood, IT’S NOT MY FAULT!”). Anyway, after the disappointing Thai clams, I thought I’d go back to Cantonese basics. This recipe is based on Barbara Tropp’s “China Moon Cookbook.”