Thursday, February 19, 2009

Split pea...curry

Sometimes you think you're making soup, but what you're actually making is a shit load of curry. Last night I spent an hour or so in the kitchen, sorting yellow split peas, straining stock, jockeying pots, making yellow split pea soup. Let me get this out of the way: I DID NOT END UP WITH SOUP. I won't detail what I did, but suffice it to say that I went to a dinner party instead (beef stew and King cake; I didn't find the baby Jesus) and complained to the hostess with the mostess, I've got several quarts of thick, pureed yellow stuff on my hands, and I don't know what to do! I slept on it. After teaching an excellent class on Joe Wenderoth's book, Letters to Wendy's (see my potato chip blog), I drove home, problem solved: curried shrimp, tails on. In the restaurant world. this kind of thinking saves the cook's ass. It also saves me from feeling like a complete fool. Here's what I did to make the yellow split pea, curry sauce:

In a large pot (or skillet) I cooked curry powder and two crushed, matchstick chilies in olive oil. I cooked it until the curry powder started to smell really smoky, then I threw in several big dollops of the pureed yellow split pea non-soup. Then I let that cook and tossed in some of the shrimp cooking water (because it's there, people); then I plunked the shrimp into the mess and BANG! there it is. Serve on basmati rice with some green peas (not pictured), and you're one happy camper. That's all. Peace.

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