When I started thinking about dinner yesterday, it was late, we were hungry and worst of all, it was -25 Celsius (-35 C with a horrid windchill factored in). Weather like this gets me thinking not only about hot, nourishing comfort food, but also about escaping winter’s icy grip. I am not ashamed to admit that while I am a very proud Canadian who embraces this frosty season, I am not above fantasizing about languishing on a tropical isle.
It was those kind of daydreamy thoughts that got me rummaging through my fridge and freezer last night to gather ingredients for a suitably warming, quick to prepare dish. You could easily use whatever vegetables you have on hand and adjust the flavour of the sauce to suit your preferences. I highly recommend the coconut chips as a garnish; regular toasted coconut flakes would also be delicious and suitably tropical!
- 2 – 3 tablespoons (30 – 45 mL) olive oil
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon finely minced ginger
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 green pepper, slivered
- 1 rib celery, thinly sliced
- 1 pound raw large shrimp, peeled
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) cider or rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) soya sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) hot sauce (or to taste)
- 3 tablespoons (45 mL) cold water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons (22 mL) cornstarch
- 1 cup (250 mL) fresh pineapple, cut in 3/4 inch (2 cm) pieces
- 2 tablespoons (60 mL) maple syrup (or more to taste)
- 1 – 2 tablespoons (30 – 60 mL) freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 – 3 tablespoons (60 – 90 mL) coconut chips or toasted shredded coconut *
* Grace Foods offers fabulous lightly-sweetened, toasted coconut chips in their extensive line of great coconut products! Most are available at Metro and Food Basics stores.
- Heat 2 tablespoons (30 mL) of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add ginger and onions; sauté for two minutes.
- Add garlic, sauté, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the remaining oil if the garlic is sticking to the pan.
- Add peppers and celery; cook for 1 minute.
- Add shrimp and cook, stirring often, until shrimp is beginning to turn pink (about 3 minutes).
- Add cider vinegar, soya and hot sauce; stir.
- Combine cold water and cornstarch in a small dish. Add to skillet and stir gently but thoroughly.
- Let the mixture begin to bubble then add pineapple and gently combine.
- Add 2 tablespoons (60 mL) maple syrup and 1 tablespoon (15 mL) lime juice; stir to combine and then taste sauce. Add more lime juice, hot sauce and/or maple syrup to suit your preference.
- Bring mixture just to the boiling point then turn off heat and serve immediately over hot cooked rice, quinoa or couscous.
- Garnish with coconut chips or flakes.