Southern shrimp courtesy of Irish instructor living in New York
Chef Maurice Moore-Betty, an Irish author and cooking instructor, was a charming gentleman who advised many a New York hostess on the fine art of entertaining.
Beginning in the mid-1960s, Moore-Betty received students at his Manhattan townhouse and taught them much more than making a meal; he shared his school of thought on hospitality, how to craft curated menus and set tables with flair and finesse.
He was an accomplished cook known for his simple, good food. Moore-Betty’s Shrimp Malacca, essentially shrimp Creole, calls for the inspired addition of curry powder, which elevates it by a delicious degree. Enjoy this dish over white rice and serve it with a crisp green salad.
1⁄3 cup vegetable or canola oil
2 medium yellow onions, finely diced
1 large green bell pepper, seeded, stemmed and finely diced
2 celery stalks, finely diced (about ½ cup)
1 16-ounce can whole peeled Italian plum tomatoes
1 cup tomato puree
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, more to taste
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasonings
2 garlic cloves, mashed with 1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons curry powder
2½ pounds medium large (36 to 40 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Seafood stock, homemade shrimp stock preferred
Crushed red pepper, optional
Cooked basmati long grain white rice for serving, Texmati brand is preferred
Heat the vegetable oil over medium heat in a large heavy saucepan. Add the onions, bell pepper and celery and cook until soft, stirring occasionally.
Add the tomatoes, tomato puree, cayenne, Italian seasonings, garlic, bay leaves, and salt and black pepper to taste. Bring to a boil over high heat, and add the curry powder. Turn down the heat and simmer the mixture, covered, for about 25 minutes. If the sauce seems too thick, thin it with a little seafood stock.
Add the shrimp and simmer for about 10 minutes, until just cooked through. Remove the bay leaves. Adjust seasonings as desired.
Serve over cooked white rice.
Adapted from Maurice Moore-Betty’s recipe.
Alicia Cahill is the owner of The Kitchen Chick, 2402 Market St. in Galveston.