This bright-tasting stir-fry takes next to no time to prepare and cook, but its distinctive flavor combination makes a lasting impression. The sweet tang of fresh oranges provides a refreshing contrast to the heat of the chilies, both complementing the ever-popular shrimp.
The recipe is among some 200 in "Le Cordon Bleu Quick and Easy" (Thunder Bay Press, 2004, $24.98), compiled by Jeni Wright and a team of Cordon Bleu master chefs. The recipes have the style of classic French-inspired cuisine, adapted and lightened up for the home cook.
You can adjust the seasoning to make the dish as hot and spicy as you like, the editors say, and they suggest serving it with noodles or rice for a complete meal.
Chef's tip: Fully peeled jumbo shrimp are sold both frozen and chilled in supermarkets. If they are frozen, they should be thawed for a maximum of two to three hours before cooking. If you don't have this much time, put them in a strainer and hold them under the cold faucet, separating them with your fingers until they soften. Dry the shrimp well on paper towels.
Shrimp With Orange and Ginger
(Preparation 5 minutes, marinating 10 to 15 minutes, cooking time 8 minutes)
2-inch piece of fresh ginger root
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed dried chilies, or to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound shelled raw jumbo shrimp, thawed if frozen
1 large red bell pepper
2 large oranges
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
Peel the ginger and grate it into a bowl. Finely chop the garlic and add to the ginger with the sesame oil, crushed chilies, salt and black pepper to taste. Add the shrimp and toss until coated. Cover and leave to marinate at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, thinly slice the red pepper. Thinly slice the scallions on the diagonal, keeping the white and green parts separate. Peel and segment the oranges, catching the juice in a bowl (there should be 3 to 4 tablespoons), then cut the segments in half crosswise and add them to the bowl.
Heat a wok or large, deep skillet over moderately high heat until hot. Add the shrimp and stir-fry for a few minutes until the shrimp turn pink all over. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside on a plate.
Heat the sunflower oil in the pan. Add the red pepper and the white parts of the scallions and stir-fry for 5 minutes or until softened. Mix in the orange segments and juice, then return the shrimp and any juices to the pan and stir until mixed and heated through.
To serve: Taste for seasoning and serve immediately, sprinkled with the green parts of the scallions.
Makes 3 or 4 servings.
(Recipe from "Le Cordon Bleu Quick and Easy," Thunder Bay Press, 2004, $24.98, by Jeni Wright and Le Cordon Bleu chefs.)