From salsa springs an easy curry Versatile sauce complements shrimp, chicken

FAST & FRESH

March 29, 1995|By Rita Calvert | Rita Calvert,Special to The Sun

Salsa may well turn out to be the miracle condiment of the '90s. It's become so popular in recent years that it now outsells ketchup.

But it's much more than a dip. It can also be a wonderful base for endless sauces. Using the versatile tomato as the main component, with a combination of onions, frequently chilies, sometimes carrots or bell peppers and spices, salsa has a lot going for it. And it doesn't contain any fat.

Our recipe here takes salsa into a new realm by combining it with orange marmalade and a hint of curry. The sauce pairs well with shrimp, but you could substitute cubes of chicken breast or even sea scallops. The resulting flavors are complex, but the cooking time is nothing more involved than the quickest of sautes.

Serve the shrimp and sauce over some plain pasta or rice. If you choose pasta, make sure to put the water on for boiling before starting the rest of the prep.

For a finale, serve a fruit dish that delivers all the important nutrients, but, with a twist that really satisfies for dessert. Since the recipe takes less than 10 minutes, it really does serve as an unusual time-efficient treat.

Shrimp with a Gentle Curry

Serves 4

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 pound medium shrimp, shelled

1/3 cup orange marmalade

3/4 cup salsa (heat of choice)

1 large tomato, diced

1 teaspoon curry powder

Add the olive oil to a medium skillet and heat over medium high heat. Add the shrimp and saute until they just begin to turn pink.

Add the remaining ingredients, stirring until hot. Do not overcook or the shrimp will become rubbery.

Serve immediately over pasta or rice.

Ruby Poached Pears With Ginger Crunch

Serves 4

2 ripe pears, cut lengthwise into 4 halves and cored (no need to peel)

2 cups cran-raspberry or cran-apple juice

2 tablespoons reduced sugar raspberry jam or preserves

6 gingersnap cookies, coarsely crumbled

In a medium saucepan or a skillet, place pear halves and juice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 to 8 minutes or until pears are tender when pierced with a knife. Just before serving, mix raspberry preserves and gingersnap cookie crumbs. (Don't do this too early because the crumbs will get soggy).

Place each pear half on a serving plate with the well side up. Fill each well with an equal portion of raspberry-gingersnap mixture. Serve immediately.

MENU

SHRIMP WITH A GENTLE CURRY

ANGEL HAIR PASTA

TOSSED GREEN SALAD

RUBY POACHED PEARS WITH GINGER CRUNCH

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