This stew’s for you, Mom. 😉 Only kidding… although shrimp-haters beware because this dish is all about that succulent little sea creature. I can still taste this stew, despite the fact that I made it a while ago and just got around to posting it now. It’s as though I’ve been reluctant to part with the pictures as they sit in the queue, waiting to be unveiled to the world.

That’s probably because this recipe is a quick and easy, spicy and hearty stew that’s bursting with flavor and healthfulness. Minus the bacon part, which can easily be omitted — but who would do such a thing? In every bite you can capture nearly everything — the salty tang of the bacon, the slow spice of the broth, the buttery taste of the shrimp and the slight bite of bitterness to the kale. Substitute spinach if kale freaks you out, but please give this veggie a try eventually. It’s found in nearly every grocery store (I love the curly variety) and goes from a dull color to a vibrant shade of green one once it’s cooked. It’s also one of those awesome healthy greens.

I doubled the original recipe but only minimally adapted it from there, substituting kale for spinach and adding a few other tweaks. This recipe is definitely going in the rotation again and again and again … minus a couple of “agains” since I continue to try new recipes to post on this blog, but still — it’s awesome, it’s quick and it’ll be on the table in no time. Everyone will love it. Unless they are shrimp haters like my mom, and if that’s the case, check out a few other recipes on my blog.

**Note: I like my food very spicy. If you like yours with just a touch of spice, go with 2-3 tsp of Thai chili garlic paste.

Spicy Shrimp Stew with Kale
minimally adapted from Anja’s Food 4 Thought
serves 4-5

5 slices bacon, cubed
4-5 garlic cloves, finely chopped (less if you have a little vampire in your blood)
1 medium-large onion, chopped
1 1/2 tbsp Thai chili garlic paste
28 oz. can diced tomatoes, with juice
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 15 oz. can chickpeas
1 lb. raw shrimp, medium to large, tails on or off
3/4 bunch kale, or roughly 4 cups chopped
hot rice

In heavy-bottomed pot, saute bacon over medium heat until it begins to release its fat (roughly 3-4 minutes). Add onion and garlic, stirring regularly until soft (roughly 5 minutes). Add chili paste and cook for an additional minute. Add tomatoes, stock and chickpeas. Bring to boil, cover pot with lid and simmer on medium-low until sauce thickens (roughly 8-10 minutes).

Add kale, stir to mix. Then place defrosted shrimp on top, cover, and cook until done (roughly 5 minutes). Season with salt and pepper and serve over white rice. Consume with dedicated fervor.

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