Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Thai'ing Up Loose Ends - Curried Shrimp Lasagna

I realize I kind of left everyone hanging after my last post regarding Thai Curry Paste.  I have finally had a few moments for finish reducing photos, so here is why I was making Curry Paste.

I have often stated that Lasagna is the worlds most perfect food.  That cleverly layered mix of Tomato sauce, Béchamel, Pasta, Ricotta, Mozzarella and Spinach/Arugula/Chard is the magnum opus of the kitchen.

Little did I know that lasagna could be even more "perfecter" than it already was.

Enter the Thai Curry Paste.

Oh yes my friends, unorthodox though it may be... When you combine a Béchamel made from Coconut milk and a little Curry paste, layer it with Shrimp, Pasta and Ricotta that has been spiked with Galangal and Kaffir lime.  It's Nirvana in a casserole dish.  Seriously, Botticelli's "Madonna of the Magnificat" weeps with joy.

Curried Shrimp Lasagna

3 TB Butter
1 TB Fish Sauce
2 TB Red Curry Paste
3 TB AP Flour
2 cans Coconut Milk
15 oz Whole Milk Ricotta
1 inch Galangal, grated
3 Kaffir Lime leaves, finely slices (or the zest of 1 Kaffir lime)
8 oz Mozzarella, shredded; divided
12 oz Lasagna noodles
1 TB Sesame Oil
1 lb Bay Shrimp (I used precooked this time, but raw works just as well)
2 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
(This works equally well with Green Curry Paste and Chicken)

OK, so first we need to start the Thai Béchamel.....
Melt 3 TB Butter in a medium sauce pan set over medium flame.

In a small ramekin, combine the Fish sauce and the Curry paste while the butter is melting.

Once the butter is melted, add the Flour, continuing to cook the roux until it just begins to smell nutty.

Add the Coconut Milk and whisk until everything is well combined.

Whisk in the curry paste mixture, then continue cooking until the sauce begins to bubble and thicken (about 15 minutes)

Meanwhile, bring a tea kettle full of water to a boil.
Lay out the lasagne noodles in a baking dish and pour the boiling water over them, letting them set for about 10 minutes until the begin soften.

While the lasagne are softening, and the Béchamel is continuing to cook, grab a medium bowl and add the Ricotta, 4 oz of the Mozzarella, Galangal and the Kaffir lime, stirring to combine....

(Don't forget the Galangal, like I did... oops)

By now the Béchamel should be thickened, so remove it from the flame and allow to cool for 10 minutes.....
While you remove the now slightly bendable pasta from the water and lay it out on paper towels.

Rub down your 13 x 9 baking dish with a little Sesame oil.

OK, now you are ready for construction, but before you begin...  Preheat the oven to 375F degrees.
Spoon about 1/4 of the sauce into the bottom of the baking dish and spread it out.

 Lay down your noodles.

Spread 1/2 of the ricotta mixture over the noodles.

Scatter about 1/2 of the shrimp over the Ricotta mixture.

Spoon just enough Béchamel over the Shrimp to cover them.

Add another layer of noodles and repeat (Like washing your hair.... Ricotta, Shrimp, Béchamel, repeat)

Again, cover the last layer of Shrimp and Béchamel with another layer of Pasta. (To recap - Béchamel, Pasta, Ricotta, Shrimp, Béchamel, Pasta, Ricotta, Shrimp, Béchamel, Pasta)
And finally, cover that last layer of Pasta with the remaining Béchamel.

Sprinkle the top with the remaining 4 oz of Mozzarella and the Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 45 minutes (Be sure to put a sheet pan underneath, cause Lasagna ALWAYS stews over)

Remove the foil for the last 5 minutes of baking to get a nice golden brown crust on the cheese topping.

Let it set for at least 15 minutes before cutting into it.

Serve with Gewurztraminer or Riesling.

Mangia!!
~~

5 comments:

Patti T. said...

Sounds great if you like shrimp. I will take a glass of either wine though.

Culinary Alchemist said...

If shrimp isnt your cup of tea, it also works well with green curry paste and chicken.

Patti T. said...

My SIL makes a seafood lasagna with scallops and crab. Mmmmmmm. I should show her this recipe.

Faye said...

I love this lasagna recipe!

Shane Wingerd said...

YAY! I am glad you enjoyed it. I promised my aunt I would make it for her when she comes to visit in a couple weeks. I cannot wait!