Shrimp with Peppers

Happy Monday everyone.  It’s our last sunny day for a while so I wanted to make a dinner that seemed a little sunny.  Quick and easy seemed important too.  Cooking Light to the rescue – specifically the Quick & Easy section.  This wasn’t quite as quick and easy as I had anticipated,  but that’s my fault.  I’ll explain a little further down.  Suffice it to say that this is a sweet and sunny little dish.  A nice beginning to the evening.

Shrimp with Peppers

You wouldn’t think I could work in many substitutions to a ‘quick and easy’ recipe, but you’d be wrong.  I intended to buy a lime at the store yesterday, but they looked dreadful so I didn’t (completely forgetting that I needed one for this).  For Christmas last year some friends gave me a jar of lime powder.  It’s intended for use in baking, frostings, marinades, etc. so I figured I could use it in this sauce.  It worked fine, though honestly I could have used more.  I didn’t have fresh basil so I used some that I dried last summer.  The basil I dry from the garden has a better flavor than any I’ve bought at the store so it’s a better substitute for fresh in a recipe like this.  Finally, I was pretty far into making this when I went to the fridge for the hoisin sauce and realized I didn’t have any.  Yikes.  Thank the mighty interwebs for supplying a recipe to make my own.  Now you see why this wasn’t so quick and easy.  I had to stop in the middle to make hoisin sauce.  Kinda cool that you can do that though.  The recipe is absolutely easy though.  Chop, saute, mix, simmer, eat.  I used frozen, thawed shrimp because I despise peeling and deveining the fresh ones.  I’ll do it if I’m going to serve the shrimp in a salad or a ceviche, but if I’m just going to cover them in sauce I find that the frozen ones work just fine. 

The textures in this are nice.  The peppers and onions maintain a little crispness to balance the tender shrimp.  The flavors are good, not spectacular, but definitely good.  I used brown rice so there was a little nuttiness added.  I used pepper jelly I made and canned summer before last. I almost never get a chance to do that, so that was fun. The sauce is pretty darn sweet.  A touch too sweet for me, but that’s not too hard to fix.  The recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon of hoisin sauce.  That might be exactly right if you have a commercial jar (which I recommend), but not even close if you make your own.  I added 3 teaspoons to the pot and one more to my individual bowl.  It’s also possible that fresh lime juice would have cut the sweetness a little more.

I enjoyed my dinner and I’ll definitely eat the leftovers, but I don’t know that I’ll make the recipe again.  If you do, and you follow the instructions more closely than I did let me know what you think of it!

Good? Yep.  Good.
Easy? Yep.
Good for company? Not so much.
Special shopping? Nope.

Shrimp with Peppers

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 1/2 cups red bell pepper strips
1 cup vertically sliced sweet onion
2/3 cup fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon cornstarch
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (or 1 1/2 T dried)
2 tablespoons jalapeño jelly
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (or 1 teaspoon lime powder)
1/2 teaspoon hoisin sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 C cooked brown rice

Directions

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp; sauté 3 minutes or until shrimp are done. Remove shrimp from pan with a slotted spoon; keep warm.

Add bell pepper and onion to pan, and sauté for 2 minutes over medium-high heat. Add the orange juice; reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes. Combine water and cornstarch in a small bowl. Add cornstarch mixture, basil, jelly, and lime juice to pan; bring to a boil. Cook 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add hoisin sauce; cook 1 minute. Stir in shrimp, salt, and black pepper.

Serve over rice.

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