February: Coconut Shrimp Curry

In a Sunset Magazine that I picked up somewhere, I found this coconut curry recipe that is easy to make, and easy to customize with whatever ingredients that are handy. You could even make it vegan by substituting the shrimp with potatoes and other vegetables. This recipe is a good introduction to basic curry, and it’s great to build and learn from.

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December: Shrimp and Grits

“Grits are hot, they are abundant, and they will by-gosh stick to your ribs.” – Janis Owens

I wanted to explore Southern cooking, but I’ve never actually spent time in the region. With the help of my sister-in-law who was raised in Alabama, I’ve been learning the finer points of how to cook foods that you’d find in kitchens from Texas to Virginia. In fact, that area is referred to as the “grits belt” of the United States because the food has become such a vital part of the region’s cultural identity, and Georgia has even named it the official “prepared food” of the state. Grits are typically a breakfast food, although shrimp and grits became popular for dinner sometime in the 1980’s.

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October: Cioppino (Sunset Cookbook Classics)

“In the hands of an able cook, fish can become an inexhaustible┬ásource of perpetual delight.” – Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

Cioppiono is a familiar stew if you live on the Pacific Ocean, so I’ve definitely eaten my fair share. It’s a little intimidating to spend so much money on seafood if you’re making it for the first time, but this recipe is ridiculously simple and forgiving, easy to customize to your individual preferences, and my roommates claimed it was “marvelous.”

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May: Pescado al Mojo de Ajo (Authentic Mexican)

Barriga llena, coraz├│n contento.” – Mexican proverb

Translation: “Full belly, happy heart.”

I would estimate that over 90% of my diet is vegetarian, with the notable exception of the delicious, wild-caught seafood that is so abundant and accessible in the Pacific Northwest. While the majority of the recipes I’m exploring are entirely plant-based, there will be a few fish and shellfish dishes making surprise appearances.

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