In the time between winter and spring, I crave warm & hearty food one moment, and bright & zesty flavors the next moment. This Thai-style red curry satisfies both those cravings, with enough heft to be filling and enough heat to chase away the evening chill, yet with vibrant lime, ginger and cilantro to keep the flavors fresh. This can easily be adapted for chicken, scallops, or a vegetarian version; here I use shrimp and sweet red bell peppers. —laura
large onion, diced
garlic cloves, minced
Thai red curry paste
grated fresh ginger
stalk lemongrass, halved lengthwise and pounded to release the oils
In a large, wide saucepan, heat the canola oil over medium heat and add the onions; cook until softened and starting to turn translucent. Add the minced garlic and cook another 1 minute. Add the red curry paste, the fresh ginger, and the pounded lemongrass stalk (in two pieces) and stir well as it cooks, another 2 minutes or until fragrant. Add the tomatoes and coconut milk and 1 tsp. of the salt and stir well, breaking up the tomatoes into pieces as they cook. Let simmer for 20 minutes uncovered, stirring occasionally.
Optional: Meanwhile, cook basmati rice to accompany the curry.
Rinse the shrimp well and add to the curry with the sweet red bell pepper, cover and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until shrimp turns opaque and is cooked through. Taste the curry and add more salt if desired, plus juice of one-half lime (or more to taste). Serve over basmati rice with plenty of fresh cilantro and fresh lime wedges.