I have been waiting for SERVE YOURSELF since Joe Yonan, food and travel section editor at the Washington Post, told me about it, a year or so ago. I have always enjoyed his cooking for one column in the Washington Post so I knew I was in for a treat. And boy, does the book live up to it’s promise: delightful recipes that you will want to make again and again. The book is focused on cooking for one but I found that I could easily and effortlessly increase the quantities of the ingredients to feed my family.
What I really liked about the book, in addition to the recipes, were tips on how to store half a lime, that half drunk bottle of wine, the half can of coconut milk. The tips are smart, tested and very useful.
Each recipe has a headnote and I spent hours reading them. Joe is a food editor, after all, and can really make these notes rock. I would advise all my writing students to pick up the book and read his headnotes.. a good lesson!
I have made the pickled onions, the curried shrimp on sweet potato and am now eyeing the desserts section. It looks amazing – who would not want to make a coconut French toast with Banana Foster.
Ten Speed has agreed to giveaway one copy of this lovely book! Post here as to why you want it and I will enter you in the giveaway. Winner announced on April 4th, at 4:00 pm EST. Open to US and Canadian residents only, please.
Curried Shrimp on a sweet potato
By Joe Yonan adapted from his new book, “Serve Yourself” (Ten Speed Press, 2011)
1 medium sweet potato, scrubbed clean (about 6 ounces)
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2-inch piece ginger root, peeled and cut crosswise into thin slices
1/4 medium red bell pepper, cut into very thin strips (julienne; about 1/4 cup total)
1 teaspoon Thai red curry paste (may substitute good-quality Indian curry powder)
3 tablespoons low-fat coconut milk
4 ounces any-size uncooked shrimp, peeled, deveined and cut into pieces
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro leaves
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Use a fork or sharp knife to prick the sweet potato in several places. Place on a piece of aluminum foil and bake for 40 to 60 minutes or until the sweet potato is tender and can be easily squeezed.
(Alternatively, to speed up the process, the pricked sweet potato can be microwaved on HIGH for 1 minute, then carefully transferred to the oven and seated on a piece of foil. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until the potato is tender.)
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a small heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil shimmers, toss in the ginger and saute, for 1 to 2 minutes or until it becomes fragrant and starts to soften. Add the bell pepper and cook for 2 to 4 minutes or until the strips lose their crunch. Reduce the heat to medium-low, then add the curry paste and coconut milk, stirring to thoroughly combine. Add the shrimp and stir to incorporate. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes or just until the shrimp are firm and opaque. Season with salt to taste; remove from the heat.
When the sweet potato has finished baking, place it on a serving plate. Use a sharp knife to make a centered, lengthwise slit in the top, pinching the potato on each end to expose the flesh and make a pocket for the filling. Spoon on the shrimp mixture and sprinkle with the cilantro. Serve hot.
Gorgeous photo of the shrimp on potato taken by the terrific Sala Kannan