Tag Archives: coconut milk

Curry Shrimp & Snow Peas

Curry Shrimp & Snow Peas

Curry shrimp & snow peas is a luscious dish with a complex sauce that tastes like you spent all day on it! I serve up this yummy creation with fresh chopped dill and jasmine rice. Basmati is my other go to rice. This curry shrimp dish is made with snow peas, coconut milk, white wine, curry, turmeric, coriander, sour cream, half and half, chicken broth and fresh limes.

For goodness sake, don’t waste your time with an instant rice with no texture or flavor. Making good jasmine or basmati rice couldn’t get any easier just follow the directions on the label. When I make rice I always turn off the stove five minutes early. I then stir the rice and let it sit for ten minutes with the cover on. When you are ready for the rice give it another stir, add a tablespoon or two of butter, a sprinkle of salt and voilà.

One of the best things about making this incredible curry shrimp and snow peas is getting it done in fifteen minutes. A good time saver when cooking with shrimp is to buy already peel and devein shrimp. Make sure to get good, meaty shrimp from your local seafood store where all they sell is seafood. Considering the shrimp takes on a main roll in this curry shrimp and snow peas you better darn well get some decent shrimp and make your efforts worth while!

Before serving up this velvety curry shrimp and snow peas you will probably have time to make some appetizer’s like my best guacamole ever, or black bean & mango salsa, or baked sweet potato fries with my green goddess dipping sauce. For dessert, maybe something sweet but on the lighter side you should try fresh berries in a dreamy cream or my fresh berry granita!

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Ingredients for Curry Shrimp & Snow peas -(makes 6 servings):

  • 1 lb large good meaty shrimp from your local SEAFOOD store- peel & devein (better results if you don’t use pre-packaged frozen shrimp)
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh snow peas
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped sweet onion
  • 1 clove garlic put through garlic press
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup half & half
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 3 tbsp sour cream
  • juice from 1 1/2 -2 limes
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder (if you don’t have turmeric or coriander use 2 1/2 tsp curry)
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil or olive oil
  • 4 cups cooked rice – Jasmine or Basmati rice cooked to directions
  • fresh dill – 1/2 cup chopped coarsely added to cooked rice


  1. Remove tail shells from all the shrimp and set aside
  2. Cook Jasmine rice and set aside
  3. Add coconut oil or olive oil and chopped onion to a large sauté pan on med/high heat
  4. Add in curry spices, and a sprinkle of salt stirring with onions sautéing for 2 minutes
  5. NOTE: Adding in curry now with onions will elininate potential of curry becoming grainy
  6. Add in garlic and stir
  7. De-glaze with wine
  8. Simmer and reduce the sauce for 2 minutes
  9. Add chicken broth and bring back to a simmer
  10. Add in snow peas and simmer 1 minute
  11. Add in coconut milk, whisk to mix
  12. Add in half and half, bring back to a simmer for 2-3 minutes
  13. Add in 1 tbsp butter and all of the raw shrimp simmer for 3 minutes until the shrimp are cooked through
  14. Whisk in 3 tbsp sour cream and just warm through
  15. Take off heat and squeeze juice from 1 1/2 fresh limes
  16. Taste and add sprinkle of salt if needed
  17. Add fresh chopped dill to Jasmine rice and serve with Curry Shrimp & Snow Peas
  18. Optional: Add a few dashes of Siracha, Franks Red Hot or Tabasco to heat it up a little


Vodka Sauce with Coconut Cream

Vodka Sauce with Coconut Cream

Who said homemade vodka sauce couldn’t be gluten free…well here it is and it tastes amazing! I came up with this recipe when I was catering. A few clients here and there want a penne alla vodka sauce dish that’s gluten free. So I make this vodka sauce exactly like the regular vodka sauce except I substitute the wheat penne pasta with rice penne pasta. And if they are lactose sensitive I switched out the heavy cream with coconut cream and coconut milk.

When making my vodka sauce I use my homemade gourmet tomato basil pasta sauce  which I usually make the day before. If you like a thicker, chunkier texture to the sauce you would puree the first can with the sauteed vegetables and then other can you would pulse only a couple of times.

When you add in the vodka, the extra dry vermouth and the grated Reggiano Parmesan at the end it takes the Asian flair off it and transforms it into the Italian arena. I promise you will love this sauce and not think for a moment that it is even gluten free.

You can also watch my How To Make Vodka Sauce VIDEO by clicking here. This video adds shrimp at the end which you can omit or decide to add if you feel so inclined…it’s delicious!




















  • 1 can coconut cream (14 oz. can from Trader Joes) NOTE: If you want this like a normal vodka sauce just substitute 2 cans heavy cream for the coconut cream/milk.
  • 1/2 can coconut milk (13.66 oz can from Thai at your local market)
  • 2 1/4 – 2 1/2 cups pasta sauce from my Tomato-Basil Pasta Sauce , see “how to” here: Tomato-Basil Pasta Sauce VIDEO OR your favorite store bought plain red pasta sauce -NOTE: If there are any lg basil leafs just remove before putting into cream sauce and ….If you want a chunkier sauce puree til smooth ONLY 1 can with the sauteed vegetables and then other can pulse only a couple of times.
  • 1/4 cup PLUS 2 tbsp vodka
  • 1/4 cup extra dry vermouth
  • 5 dashes or so of Tabasco or your favorite hot sauce (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 -3/4 cup of Reggiano Parmesan
  • Truffle oil (optional) (Star Fish Market has the best called La Truffiere Tartufo Bianco – a white truffle oil that’s amazing)
  • Red pepper flakes for garnish if you want more heat
  • 1 lb. gluten free penne or rigatoni pasta


  1. Make 1 lb. of gluten free penne pasta
  2. Pour the coconut cream/coconut milk into a sauce pan and turn on to medium heat whisking slightly to help loosen up coconut cream
  3. Add 2 1/4 cups pasta sauce into the cream
  4. Add S & P to taste (1/2 tsp salt)
  5. Add vodka and vermouth and bring to a simmer
  6. Simmer for about 10 minutes on low to let alcohol burn off
  7. You can add in a several dashes of Tabasco or your favorite hot sauce here …it’s OPTIONAL
  8. When reduced slightly take off the heat
  9. Whisk in 1/2 -3/4 cup of Reggiano Parmesano
  10. Pour pasta into a large serving bowl pour all but 1 CUP of sauce over pasta
  11. Sprinkle with Parmesan and red pepper flakes
  12. Put the extra sauce in a canning jar and into frig for reheating the next day if you have any pasta left over which most likely won’t be the case
  13. Or you can just pop it into the freezer for a nice little dish at a later date …enjoy!

You may want to make one of these to go with your pasta:

Caesar Salad

Caesar Salad

Bacon Wrapped Scallops

Bacon Wrapped Scallops

Asian Grilled Salmon

Asian Grilled Salmon

Cold Asparagus Salad

Cold Asparagus Salad




Mussels in a Lemongrass-Fennel Sauce

Mussels in a Lemongrass-Fennel Sauce

Steaming Mussels in a lemongrass-fennel and coconut milk sauce is an amazing flavor you will love and it’s simple to make. Mussels are an inexpensive shellfish to buy and they are delicate and delicious. I like infusing a fennel flavor into the broth of the coconut milk and lemongrass because it reminds me of this amazing dish I had in New Orleans years ago, oysters in Pernod sauce that rocked my world.  In my Italian-American family we ate raw fennel often, in fact I have probably been eating fennel since I was little kid. It has a delicate anise flavor when cooked and is very refreshing when raw which I love thinly sliced in salads. It is actually considered to be a palate cleanser although I think we just ate it because we loved the flavor.

Now there really isn’t any science to keeping mussels fresh in the frig …just try and cook them the same day you buy them. DO NOT put them on ice because the cubes will melt and there won’t be enough oxygen to keep them alive once they end up submerged in the water. Put the bag of mussels in a bowl so any liquid from the mussels doesn’t leak in your frig and keep the bag open at the top. Any mussels that are open and don’t close when you squeeze them are bad…they are dead so toss them, you must NOT eat them! Some mussels have a filament on them or a beard that you need to pull off but don’t do this until you are ready to wash and cook them because this kills them.

Cooking with lemongrass gives you a subtle lemony-citrus flavor with out the acidity of using an actual lemon. It’s used a lot in Asian dishes and now even available at your local Stop & Shop. When you cook with lemongrass it does require a little prep but don’t be intimidated because it’s quick and easy. You need to start by cutting off the ends, slicing down the middle to peel away the tough exterior layers reaching a very thin yet flavorful strip that you need to bruise with a meat mallet to release those incredible lemongrass oils…see that wasn’t so bad!

You can add cooked rice noodles to these mussels in a lemongrass-fennel sauce to make it more of a meal and of course don’t forget the garlic bread toasts for dunking. You can be versatile with this dish and turn it into chowder by shelling all of the mussels and evenly distributing the broth and mussels into bowls and don’t forget to serve with Tabasco, of course. If you do make this a meal it always nice to finish off a fish dish with something chocolatey like chocolate-avocado mousse. If you keep it as an appetizer you might want to start off with some other non-fish appetizers as well like baked asparagus wrapped in Prosciuttosausage stuffed mushrooms, or zucchini torta.

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Ingredients – Makes 4 appetizer servings (there are about 22 mussels per lb. so it’s approx                                        13 mussels per person)
                    – To make into 4 meals add 3/4 lb cooked rice noodles:

  • 2 1/2 lb of mussels
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 cup clam broth
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 fennel bulb with fronds (green tops)
  • 1/2 sweet Spanish onion cut into lg wedges (can leave the peel on)
  • 1/2 jalapeño sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves – smashed
  • 1 Tsp sugar
  • 1/2 Tsp salt
  • Dashes of Tabasco
  • 8 cherry tomatoes (garnish) chopped
  • 1 cup cilantro (garnish) chopped
  • 3 diced green onion stalk (garnish) thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil (garnish)

Directions for Mussels in a lemongrass-fennel sauce:

  1. Chop cherry tomatoes, green onion and cilantro
  2. Add these together in a small bowl with 1 Tbsp olive oil…set aside for garnish later
  3. Cut off the ends of the lemongrass stalks see photo above – one end cut in 1 1/2 ” and at the thin end come in about 6″ and cut
  4. Slice down the middle of the stalks and peel away the tough exterior layers reaching  very thin strips
  5. You need to bruise these inner strips with a meat mallet to release those incredible lemongrass oils then put them into a large sauce pan
  6. Cut the ends off of the fennel bulb as shown in the photo above and slice 2/3 of it into wedges and add to the sauce pan with some of the fronds (green fennel tops) and the lemongrass
  7. Add sliced jalapeño, onion wedges, smashed garlic cloves, coconut milk, clam broth, white wine, heavy cream, salt, and sugar all to the large sauce pan with fennel and lemongrass and bring to a boil
  8. Turn heat down and simmer for 30 minutes so all the vegetables and herbs can infuse the broths and creams
  9. Drain this mixture and place back into the same large sauce pan and simmer for 5-8 more minutes …you want to taste sauce at this point to see if you need to add any Tabasco to spice it up more
  10. (If you are making this into a meal with rice noodles cook 3/4 lb of rice noodles now, drain and set aside)
  11. Rinse the mussels going through each one to make sure it closes when you squeeze it with you finger tips and throw out the ones that remain open…these are dead
  12. After washing and sorting thru each and every mussel pull off any beards that may be attached to them…pulling down towards the bottom end (you are just pulling this filament out of the mussel)
  13. Add all of these cleaned and de-beared mussels to the simmering lemongrass-fennel sauce and cover with a lid
  14. They mussels will open in a matter of minutes …like 1-3 minutes so don’t go far
  15. As soon as they open immediately remove from the stove
  16. (If serving rice noodles add them to bowls and evenly distribute mussels and broth)
  17. Evenly spoon mussels and broth into bowls and sprinkle each with some fresh cherry tomato, cilantro, and green onion mixture
  18. NOTE: If any of the mussels do not open when you are cooking them…TOSS them they are bad