We leave for Hawaii in just over a month. I haven't mentioned it here because I've been trying not to think about it too much. You see, I've come to learn that anticipating, even something as wonderful as a vacation, doesn't do me any good. I get all excited and plan every moment. I start to dream about how great the whole thing will be. Before I know it, the trip has come and gone and I didn't really enjoy it because of these totally crazy expectations. So, I haven't planned a thing yet. We have our flights, our hotels, a car... but that's it. I plan to do a little work on things over the next couple of weeks, but unlike other trips, I'm just going to go with the flow. I'm even ok if there are days where we just sit on the beach, drinking cocktails and reading books. No need to schedule every second of our stay.
Of course, I do have a few things on the list. While we don't have a lot of hikes or other excursions planned, we do plan to go snorkeling. We'll also be spending a day driving the Road to Hanna, which we've heard is stunning and there are lots of stops to make (and pictures to take) along the way. I also want to go to a luau. But, really, besides that, we're going to just enjoy the warmth and try to decompress a little. I'm leaving my camera behind and will just take pictures with my phone. Maybe... maybe... I'll even leave my computer behind. We'll see.
It's fitting that we're ending the year with a big trip, since we began it spending a week in New Orleans. It was my first time and I totally fell in love with the city... the food, the people, the ability to walk around with a cocktail (oh, and Happy Hour! Come on, Massachusetts, get with it!). We dined at a number of spots (though missed a ton of big ones too). Our favorite was Peche, which took the seafood restaurant concept to a new level. Every dish was inventive, but familiar. We both went nuts for their curried shrimp and agreed it was one of the best dishes we ate during our multi-course lunch there (they don't do a pre-fixe... we just kept ordering things). Shortly after we returned home, I was going through an issue of Bon Appetit and to our surprise, there was the recipe for the curried shrimp! I really can't believe it took me as long as it did to make it... but here it is. A perfect dinner for a cool fall night.
Curried Shrimp and Noodles
The original recipe called for all-purpose flour, but to make it 100% gluten-free, I replaced that with rice flour. In addition to this, I used seafood broth to make it totally pescatarian-friendly. Lastly, I recommend removing all the seeds from the jalapeño, as the gochugaru provides enough of a kick.
1 large onion, cut into large pieces
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small jalapeño, seeds removed
3 garlic cloves
1½ pounds small shrimp, peeled, deveined
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon gochugaru (Korean red pepper powder)
2 teaspoons finely grated peeled ginger
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon rice flour
4 cups low-sodium seafood broth
12 ounces wide rice noodles
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Chili oil, fresh basil leaves, and sliced scallions (for serving)
1. Finely chop onion in a food processor. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium and cook onion, stirring often, until soft and starting to brown, 6–8 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, finely chop jalapeño and garlic in processor; transfer to a small bowl.
3. Pulse shrimp in processor until coarsely ground; set aside.
4. Add jalapeño and garlic to skillet along with curry powder, gochugaru, and ginger; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, until paste darkens slightly, about 3 minutes. Add reserved shrimp and cook, stirring often, until cooked through, about 5 minutes.
5. Sprinkle flour over mixture and cook, stirring, until flour is no longer visible. Add broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer briskly, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half, 25–30 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions; drain. Add to sauce, tossing to coat. Remove from heat; stir in citrus zest and juice. Drizzle with chili oil and top with basil and scallions.