Spicy Shrimp Stirfry

Spicy Shrimp Stir fry

My pepper plants are beginning to product a variety of peppers and one of the best way to use them is in a healthy stir fry.   Stir fry’s are one of those dishes that can be an assortment of most any vegetables, meats, tofu.  The quick cooking process helps keep the nutrients in tact and if you have a well seasoned or non-stick wok, you can cook one up quickly with very little oil – another healthy benefit.

So many times we stare at the contents of our fridge and think “what CAN I make for dinner”?  This was my dilemma last night so I cruise the garden for some peppers, fresh green beans and a few cherry tomatoes and combined them with celery, carrots, green onions, garlic, some frozen shrimp and peas and a bit of fresh shredded cabbage at the end.  Totally healthy, and totally delicious.

I combined one hot banana pepper – fairly spicy, a reddened “big Jim” chili – mild, a green pepper – mild and then set the whole dish on fire with just two little Thai chili peppers.  Not sure what the heat rating was on them I let my husband be the Guinea pig and he popped one in his mouth.  After all, he prides himself on his tolerance of spicy food.  When he ran to the fridge for milk, I knew these were HOT!  Since the Jerk Seasoning I marinated the shrimp in also has quite a bit of spice to it that is all the additional heat I needed.

Don’t be afraid to make your own stir fry combinations, it is hard to go wrong when combining vegetables.  However, in order to get the textures right, you should cook the vegetables according to their individual needs – in other words, if you have a vegetable that requires more or less cooking time, cook them separately and then combine at the end.  In this case I cooked the green beans first on their own, then the carrots, then combined the remaining vegetables to cook in order of their textures.  That way, all the vegetables were cooked to the right doneness and keep their proper crunch.  The cabbage I didn’t cook at all, just sliced it ultra thin and mix it at the end for a fresh finish.

Spicy Shrimp Stir fry – by Debra Crawford
Serves 2

12  –  Medium Shrimp, defrosted, deveined and rinsed
4   –   Cloves Garlic, minced
1   –   Hot Banana Pepper – sliced
1   –   Red or Green Bell pepper – sliced
2   –   Thai Chili Peppers (more or less depending on your heat tolerance)
4   –   Green Onions, sliced diagonal
1 –     Stalk Celery, sliced diagonal
1 –     Dozen Cherry Tomatoes
1/2 –  Cup Carrots, sliced diagonal
1  –    Cup Fresh Green Beans, sliced diagonal
1/2-   Cup Frozen Peas
1 –     Tablespoon Toasted Sesame Oil (I did not use a dark variety here which has much stronger flavor)
3 –     Tablespoons Low Sodium Soy
1 –     Tablespoon Honey
1/2 –  Cup White Wine
2 –     Tablespoons Jerk Seasoning (Ralph’s carries a great mix of this)
1/4 – 1/2 Teaspoon fresh ground pepper to taste
Dash Salt to taste

Season the shrimp with the Jerk seasoning and set aside to let the spice marinate on the shrimp while you cut and cook everything else.  In a medium to large-sized wok, heat the sesame oil.  When hot add the green beans and stir fry for a couple of minutes to desired crispness, then remove with a slotted spoon, continue with the carrot, adding white wine and soy alternately to keep a bit of moisture in the pan.  Cook each vegetable to desired crispness – you can combine like vegetables such as the green onions, peas and peppers since they cook at approximately the same rate.  I typically salt and pepper a bit at this stage. When the vegetables are done, add the shrimp, garlic and honey and saute two minutes per side, deglaze with a little more wine if needed until shrimp are just pink.

Combine all, mix well to marry the flavors and serve over brown rice.

See the two tiny fiery peppers?
Cook tougher veggies separate
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