Shrimp with Fresh Basil, Thai Style

Photo courtesy of Lodge Manufacturing

Photo courtesy of Lodge

A while ago, my husband gave me a copy of the latest edition of the Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook. I don’t know if other cooks and foodies are like me, but I spend more time thumbing through my cookbooks than actually trying some of the recipes. For me, the attributes of what makes a fine cookbook are a wide variety of dishes, beautiful photographs (preferably color), easy to follow recipes, and little tidbits thrown in on history, techniques, and possible ingredient substitutions. I am also partial to cookbooks with spiral bindings, as they remain flat on the counter when you are working through a recipe.

Lodge’s cookbook meets most of my criteria. It doesn’t have the spiral binding, but quite frankly, most cookbooks don’t. But it has everything else — a variety of dishes, including breakfast frittatas, soups, stews and gumbo, delectable surf and turf dishes, desserts, and an entire section just on cornbread — and an easy-to-follow design with numerous color photos, simple directions, and sections on caring for cast iron, metric conversions, and even tips on bean hole cooking.

The recipes are diverse, not only in cultures (American, Asian, Indian, Cajun, Mexican), but in the different types of cast iron skillets, griddles, bakeware and ovens that are recommended for cooking. Overall, a great cookbook!

Following is a recipe that I tried from the cookbook, something that caught my eye as I love Thai food. I modified it a little, adding some julienned carrots and removing the jalapeno pepper from the recipe. This recipe is very simple, extremely flavorful, and fast to make. And it gets the thumbs-up from my hubby, so what more does one need!

Oh, and stay tuned! I will be giving away two copies of the Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook in the near future. Details to follow in a future post.

Thai Basil ShrimpIngredients
2 Tbsps. Asian Fish Sauce
2 Tbsps. Water
1 tsp. Soy Sauce
1/2 tsp. Sugar
2 Tbsps. Oil (Canola or Vegetable)
1 Lb. medium Shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup thinly sliced Onion
1/2 cup Carrots, julienned
1 Tbsp. chopped Garlic
1/4 cup finely chopped Green Onions
2 Tbsps. coarsely chopped fresh Cilantro
3-4 torn Basil Leaves

Stir together the fish sauce, water, soy sauce, and sugar in a small bowl and set aside. Prep the remaining ingredients, so you can add them quickly when they are needed.

Stir together the fish sauce, water, soy sauce, and sugar in a small bowl and set aside. Prep the remaining ingredients, so you can add them quickly when they are needed.

Heat oil in a 10- or 12-inch cast iron skillet, until it becomes very hot, about 30 seconds. Turn to coat the skillet evenly. Add the shrimp in a single layer.

Heat oil in a 10- or 12-inch cast iron skillet, until it becomes very hot, about 30 seconds. Turn to coat the skillet evenly. Add the shrimp in a single layer.

Cook on one side, undisturbed, until the shrimps' edges turn bright pink. Toss well and turn all the shrimp cooked side up so the other side can cook, undisturbed, for 15 seconds.

Cook on one side, undisturbed, until the shrimps’ edges turn bright pink. Toss well and turn all the shrimp cooked side up so the other side can cook, undisturbed, for 15 seconds.

Add the onion, garlic and carrots and toss well.

Add the onion, garlic and carrots and toss well.

Thai Basil Shrimp

Cook 1 minute, tossing occasionally…

...until the onion softens and becomes fragrant and shiny; continue tossing so it wilts and softens but doesn't brown.

…until the onion softens and becomes fragrant and shiny; continue tossing so it wilts and softens but doesn’t brown. Stir the fish sauce mixture to make sure the sugar is dissolved and pour it around the edge of the pan.  Toss well to season the shrimp, then let cook, undisturbed just until the shrimp are cooked through and the sauce is bubbling.

Add the green onions and cilantro, and toss well. Tear the basil leaves into 2 or 3 pieces each,. Add all of the basil to the pan over the shrimp and toss well. Cook 10 seconds.

Add the green onions and cilantro, and toss well. Tear the basil leaves into 2 or 3 pieces each. Add all of the basil to the pan over the shrimp and toss well. Cook 10 seconds.

Serve over cooked rice. Enjoy!

Serve over cooked rice. Enjoy!

M.I.A.

Well, in case of you have been wondering why things have been quiet on The Skillet front over the past month or so, here’s why I’ve been Missing in Action.

One of my dogs had elbow dysplasia surgery in early April and this is her feeling good on her meds.

One of my dogs had elbow dysplasia surgery in early April and this is her feeling good on her meds.

My brother-in-law and his family came for a visit, and I thanked them by backing my new car into their headlight. Yep, brilliant!

My brother-in-law and his family came for a visit, and I welcomed them by backing my new car into their headlight. Yep, brilliant!

I now get up at 5:30 in the morning to take my dog on her therapy walks and get to see beautiful sunrises like this one.

I now get up at 5:30 in the morning to take my dog on her therapy walks and get to see beautiful sunrises like this one.

My Dutch oven group, the Northern Sierra Dutch Oven Group, fed the masses at the Genoa Cowboy Poetry and Music Festival.

My Dutch oven group, the Northern Sierra Dutch Oven Group, fed the masses at the Genoa Cowboy Poetry and Music Festival.

We served Dutch Oven Lasagna.

We served Dutch Oven Lasagna.

Skillet Cookies

Skillet Cookies

Drunken Buffalo Stew

Drunken Buffalo Stew

Five Alarm Texas Chili

Five Alarm Texas Chili

Sourdough Rolls by Terry Bell, The Dutch Diva. These are cheese and jalapeno.

Sourdough Rolls by Terry Bell, The Dutch Diva. These are cheese and jalapeno.

We fed hungry mountain men.

We fed hungry mountain men.

Cowboy poets like Tony Argento, pictured here.

Cowboy poets like Tony Argento, pictured here.

And even Sarah Winnemucca visited our camp.

And even Sarah Winnemucca visited our camp.

Last, but certainly not least, my husband decided we needed to foster a mama cat and her four kittens.

Last, but certainly not least, my husband decided we needed to foster a mama cat and her four kittens.

We've named them all, so I think they'll be staying. This one is Mikey.

We’ve named them all, so I think they’ll be staying. This one is Mikey.

Welcome to my zoo!

Welcome to my zoo!

So, as you can see, life in my household is never dull. But I promise to get back to cooking and will have future posts coming soon.

Happy spring, everyone!