Firecracker Shrimp with Orange-Cashew Rice

Back to the book tonight!  This was seriously yummy, and filling without being heavy, which is exactly the sort of thing I like around this time of year.

The shrimp marinates for about an hour in what the book calls a “fiery almond pesto.”  The ingredients are 1 jalapeno pepper (with or without seeds according to your preference, fresh cilantro, scallions, almonds (slivers or slices work best), olive oil, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper.  Mix in a food processor until a thick paste forms.  Toss with shrimp and marinate in the fridge 1 hour or more.  (If you are like me and buy your shrimp frozen, you can let the marinate and defrost at the same time, which saves you having to remember to defrost them in advance.)

When you are ready to eat, simply toss everything – shrimp and marinade – into a very hot skillet and saute for about 4 minutes or until shrimp is opaque.  Deglaze with a little lemon juice and serve with sliced avocado and cherry tomatoes.

The orange-cashew rice is a suggested accompaniment to the shrimp, and turned out better than I expected.  (I thought it would be far too sweet, but it was surprisingly balanced.)

Combine the zest from one orange in a pot with 1 cup orange juice, 1 cup water, 1 cup basmati rice, salt and pepper, and 1 tbsp olive oil.  Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.   Just before serving, stir in 3 sliced scallions, 2 chopped yellow bell peppers, and 1/2 cup roasted cashews.



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