This is the kind of recipe I so need right now. Fast, lots of tastiness for little effort, relatively healthy, simple, and easily customizable. A perfect contrast to the complicated and heavy and meaning-laden dishes that I love at this time of year, but don’t always have the energy or the time for. This is perfect weeknight cooking. Or maybe perfect weekend cooking, on a particular weekend when you’re feeling done with a certain collection of leftovers, and ready for a whole new set of flavors? This recipe, for coconut curry with shrimp and piles of vegetables, has got you covered.
This spicy, creamy, cheesy party food came into my life in the most improbable of ways: through a diet. Specifically, my husband Ed’s low-carb diet. If you know Ed, you’re probably thinking, Why is he on a diet? He’s fine! That’s what I said for months anytime he mentioned that he wanted to lose weight. “You’re a tall, lean drink of water,” I’d say. “You look great,” I’d insist. It was only after he explained that he was uncomfortable—it was hard to exercise, he had ferocious indigestion, he was always tired—that I realized this was about more than vanity.
I’ve already written about the dinner party dessert I made this summer to accommodate the food restrictions of some lovely guests. The dessert was a fairly quick and easy choice, because I’d been looking for an excuse to make it for a while. But it took me a little longer to come up with a main course. This is perhaps small minded of me, but it tends to be hard for me to imagine a truly tasty entree without the crutch of a starch. I spent some time flipping through my stack of cook books and searching around on favorite blogs and pinterest, and kept coming up empty. And then, happily, I remembered steak and tomatoes with toasted spice vinaigrette.
The other night, Ed walked in from work as I was chopping an onion. “Taco salad?!” He smiled at me, all shiny-eyed and dimply.
He was right, but how did he know that just from the onion?
“I didn’t know, but I always hope you’re making taco salad.”
It’s true. My husband is obsessed with taco salad. No matter how recently in the dinner rotation we’ve had it, he will suggest it. No matter how much meat we cook, he eats almost all of it. Our version of taco salad is basic: the fillings for a taco piled into a bowl and tossed. Ed loves to be freed of the constraints of the shell so that he can go wild with the amount of fixings.
How wild? The only vessel large enough for his “salads” is a stainless steel mixing bowl.
On September 6th, we celebrated our third blogiversary. It hardly seems possible that it’s been three whole years since we first took a deep breath and pushed publish, but 140 posts later, here we are. In some ways the time has flown, and in other ways we’re both so far from where we were back in September 2012. This has been such a special project for both of us—keeping us connected around one of our favorite shared subjects, pushing us to try new recipes always, giving us a reason to write—and looking back over the last three years definitely has us a little nostalgic.
One of our favorite things about blogging together is that we get to enjoy each other’s writing. During the summers in high school, we used to write snail mail letters, then came looong emails in our 20’s, and now most often we swap texts punctuated by carefully chosen emojis. Blogging has become another way to hear and savor each other’s voices—we rush to click through to read new posts as fast as we used to tear open those summer letters. This anniversary seemed like a great excuse to share some of our all time favorites of each other’s posts. We tried to be thematic and stick to just three each, but we ended up doing four a piece (one for good luck!).
Thank you so much for following along with us and we hope you enjoy butter poached as much as we do.
In general, I hesitate to recommend a recipe that requires a really specific piece of equipment. Mostly because I know how I react to them myself–every summer I get hugely and irrationally annoyed when the Bon Appétit grilling issue rolls around. I don’t have a grill, Adam Rapoport! Give me a break and some indoor recipes! (I have strong feelings about BonApp, clearly). But sometimes a recipe is so tasty it cries out for an exception, and this is one of those times. The specialty equipment is an ice cream maker, and the dish is an Aperol spritz float. Pinned on a whim, mostly because of the gorgeous photos, this has quickly become my new favorite high on fanciness and low on effort dessert. A little sweet, a little bitter, and very celebratory–just the way I think the end of summer should feel.
I feel like I’m finally starting to relax in the kitchen. I used to be a ball of nerves worried over every grain of salt, but lately I’ve been trusting myself to play around a little. I will add a spice, swap an ingredient, or skip a step and still end up with something tasty. My relationship with this guacamole—my favorite for years—pretty well tracks my path to culinary relaxation.