What’s for Dinner?
And a vegetarian twist with tofu
A beguiling combo of flavors – smoky, spicy, garlicky and sweet – for a quick-but-oh-so-special midweek feast. Serve with rice or warm, store-bought tortillas.
1 15-ounce can diced canned tomatoes, drained
2 to 3 canned chipotle chiles en adobo
2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
About 1 1/2 cups fish or chicken broth or water
1 to 1 1/2 pounds medium-large shrimp (21 to 25 shrimp per pound), peeled and deveined, tail left on if you wish
About 1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro, for garnish
1. Pour the tomatoes and chiles into a blender or food processor. Process until smooth.
2. In a very large (12-inch skillet), heat the oil over medium. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant and golden, about 1 minute. Pour in the tomato mixture. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes for the flavors to meld. Add enough broth or water to achieve a light tomato sauce consistency. Taste and season highly with salt, usually about 1 teaspoon.
3. Add the shrimp to the pan. Cook, stirring nearly constantly, until the shrimp are cooked through, about 4 minutes. Stir in a little more broth or water if the sauce has thickened too much. Scoop onto dinner plates and sprinkle with the cilantro.
Going Vegetarian: In a very large (12-inch) non-stick skillet, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over high heat. Add 12 ounces firm tofu (cut into 1/2-inch cubes), stir until it starts to brown, then add 1 small eggplant (also cubed) and continue to cook until the eggplant is soft, but not mushy. Add the recipe’s garlic, stir for a minute, then add the tomato mixture, 1/2 cup vegetable broth and 2 teaspoons soy sauce (I like this mixture to be a little less saucy than the shrimp version). Season and serve.
Rick Bayless is a restaurateur and star of the PBS hit-Mexico: One Plate at a Time, with dozens of appearances on other TV shows including Iron Chef America, Martha Stewart Living, Today, Good Morning America and CBS This Morning.