Sunday, October 23, 2016

Ghoulish Green Curry Veggie Chowder with Optional Grilled "Scary" Kauai Shrimp for Food 'n Flix: October: Beetlejuice and Souper (Soup, Salad, & Sammie) Sundays

In case you missed my announcement post on October 1st (this one!), you probably know that I am hosting this month's Food 'n Flix event here at Kahakai Kitchen with the perfect October and Halloween movie, Beetlejuice! Although not the most foodie of films, entries have already been coming in and as usual, my Food 'n Flix fellow participants, both old and new are outdoing themselves with creative and fun entries. I can't wait to show you in the roundup I will be doing after the deadline! 

If for any reason you have not seen Beetlejuice, my announcement post gives a quick breakdown of the plot so I won't go into that in this post and instead, I'll talk about my movie-inspired dish.

I have seen Beetlejuice about a bazillion times and probably my favorite part is the dinner party scene with the sculptural shrimp cocktails that turn into hands and grab the guests into their bowls (but not until after their bodies are taken over by a rousing dance to The Banana Boat Song).  I knew going in, I would take inspiration from those shrimp and the bowls but I wanted to change things up a bit. Instead of shrimp cocktail, I wanted to make some sort of soup and have the shrimp over the side--instead of in it.

I decided to go with a green curry chowder--both because it sounded delicious and also because I wanted to capture the eerie green light of the afterlife and the ends of Beetlejuice's lovely hair, and a chowder full of veggie pieces conjured up the strange, almost junkyard feeling of the Maitland's model cemetery where Beetlejuice hangs out.I probably should have done a more Jamaican-style curry soup based on the Calypso music of the Deetz's dinner party, but I was craving those classic Thai green curry flavors and so that's what I made. 

I'm calling these shrimp "scary" because I bought some fresh-frozen Kauai shrimp and decided to leave them with their heads on--often scary for people, but that's where the true flavor in shrimp is and Kauai Shrimp says, "Don't be afraid of the head!" Because not everyone is a shrimp eater, I grilled them separately after marinating for extra flavor. The chowder stands on its own with great flavor, so if you don't do shrimp, you could eat it without, or add some fun hard-boiled egg eyeballs (with green olive and capers) for extra protein and a still creepy look. But, personally I think the shrimp add so much--both in their flavor, and their looks--giving off a spooky Beetlejuice and Tim Burton vibe. 

Ghoulish Green Curry Veggie Chowder
By Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Serves 6-8)

2 Tbsp butter or coconut oil
2 large leeks, white and light green parts, cut in half, cleaned and sliced into half-moons
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 stalk lemongrass, outer core peeled and inner core bruised
4-5 kaffir lime leaves, left whole but tears made on the edges to release oils (optional)
2 to 3 Tbsp of your favorite green curry paste, or to taste
jalapeño pepper, seeds removed, diced
large carrot, peeled and sliced into thin coins
6 medium red potatoes, scrubbed and cubed, skin on
4 cups of broth or stock (veggie, chicken, shrimp) or water
2 (14.5 oz) cans coconut milk (I used 1 lite, 1 regular) 
2 cups corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
4 heaping cups baby spinach leaves, washed and sliced
2 Tbsp Thai fish sauce
juice and zest of 1 lime + extra if needed

Optional Garnishes: Grilled "Scary" Shrimp (recipe below), hard-boiled eggs (green olives & capers to make eyes), lime wedges, fresh cilantro

Grilled "Scary Shrimp"
Marinade inspired by Chef Andy's Flame-Grilled Kauai Shrimp via
(Makes 13-15 shrimp) 

1 lb jumbo (13-15 per lb) fresh head-on, un-shelled shrimp, thawed
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 Tbsp ginger, peeled and minced
2 Tbsp cilantro leaves
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup olive oil
pinch of coconut sugar
pinch of black pepper

Leave heads and shells on shrimp. Starting where the head meets the body, use a pair of kitchen shears to cut the shell down the back of the shrimp. Grasp vein with a toothpick and gently pull from shrimp and dispose of vein. Rinse and pat dry shrimp and place in a shallow bowl or plastic bag. (Optional: Flip shrimp over and using the tip of pairing knife, gently cut along the center where you see a vein, and gently pull and scrape out the smaller vein and dispose it before rinsing shrimp.)

Place the remaining ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour the marinade over the shrimp and gently toss until coated. Allow to marinate at room temperature for 25-30 minutes.

Preheat a large grill pan over high heat. When hot, working in batches, add shrimp and grill about 2 minutes per side--until shrimp is pink and cooked through. Set aside to serve with soup or enjoy!

Notes/Results: First off, this chowder is so good! Great green curry flavor, just the right amount of heat--that warmth at the back of the throat--and so rich and creamy, you just want to keep scooping it up. The shrimp are delectable--so fresh and so much flavor--the slightly tangy and salty/savory marinade contrasting with the sweet shrimp. Even if you aren't brave enough to suck on the shrimp head, they are delicious. Just have extra napkins for peeling  and enjoying them. I would happily make both recipes again!

If you want to play along this month, Food 'n Flix submissions are due Monday, October 31st so there's still time to join in. I'll be rounding all of the entries up on my blog shortly after. 

And I am also linking up this spooky Tim Burton movie-inspired chowder up to #Burtoweeen, for Fandom Foodies, hosted by Carrie at Witchy Kitchen. You can get the details for this event and see of all the creepy Tim Burton-inspired dishes everyone created here.

We have some good friends in the Souper Sundays kitchen who shared some delicious dishes last week--let's have a look!

Welcome Denise of Soup Spice Everything Nice, who joined us at Souper Sundays for the first time last week with two soups. First, her Cheese Tortellini Soup with Gremolata. She says, "I saw this on Food Network years ago. It has been awhile but I think it was on one of Rachael Ray's shows? It is great when you are sick. My favorite when I have a cold. It is so easy to prepare. I have even been without a lemon and substituted lemon pepper and lemon juice. Still very tasty. Luckily I am not sick today. I just wanted this delicious soup."

Denise also shared Instant Pot "Sake" Special Ramen, saying "This was time consuming not instant as the title might suggest. But the instant pot was an invaluable tool to the process. It let me develop great flavor in less time and really made the broth spectacular. I see myself doing this again real soon. I hope you give it a try."

Melynda from Our Sunday Cafe shared her Virus Buster Chicken Soup saying, "This is not regular soup, and it is not even a recipe for soup. It is a process and you can use it and amend it for your own family's needs and taste preferences.  I was aiming for superior bone broth strength and lots of aromatic vegetables for flavor."

Vicki of I'd Rather Be At The Beach brought a Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Eggo Waffle Sandwich and said, "My son thought they were good but needed a little extra flavor so he put strawberry jam on his. When I tasted mine I thought the same thing, so I added some to mine. Much better! I left the cheese off, and that may have made a difference, so I may make these again with a different variety of ingredients, like adding the cheese, or some syrup instead of jam."

Tina of Squirrel Head Manor made a new salad from her Hello Fresh Box and said, "We've had two meals from it so far - the Quinoa Salad with Sunchokes and Kale and the Jamie Oliver verison of Aloo Gobhi. Both were excellent. Here is the Quinoa Salad chock full of kale and sunchokes. I may adapt this next time I make it and use spinach instead of kale. I didn't know what sunchokes were, turns out they are Jerusalem artichokes. Mystery solved."

Judy from Gluten Free A-Z Blog shared Mild and Creamy Cauliflower Kale Soup. She said, "I love making easy seasonal soups that are both tasty and healthy. In this recipe cauliflower and kale, two cruciferous vegetables, team up with coconut milk to make a mild creamy fall soup just in time for the cooler damper weather. I adore soup and can't think of a better way to make sure I get my fill of antioxidant rich vegetables. In addition, this vegan soup has sauteed garlic, onions and turmeric , goes a long way, and is deliciously satisfying."

Mahalo to everyone who joined in this week! 

Souper Sundays is back with a new format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.)

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.

If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:

  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you.

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • please mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post.
  • you are welcome to add the wonderful Souper Sundays logo (created by Ivy at Kopiaste) to your post and/or blog (optional).

Have a happy, healthy and spooky week!


  1. Oooh, I love this - creepy in a fun and delicious way! I can't believe how behind I am this month...I'll be sliding in under the wire.

  2. Yum! I love that you did a curry too inspired by the same scene, your soup looks wonderful (and how can the shrimp look so delicious and creepy at the same time, haha).

  3. This is such a fun looking recipe! I'm a little afraid of shrimp with their heads still on, but I can see the appeal of trying this out, heads attached and all. I especially love the eggs with eyes.

  4. I love that dancing dinner scene! This soup fits it perfectly. Thanks for the warm welcome and features. I have been soup recipe testing this week so nothing brand new to share. I do have something from last Halloween and something movie inspired to share. Thanks again for the party and I hope you have a great week!

  5. Just linked up a chowder to your Souper Sunday. Also checking out the #Burtoween event! Thanks for hosting!!!!!! (Love you creepy prawns!)

  6. I loved that movie, when we first watched it, back in the day. This cooler rainy weather, just calls for some of that yummy sounding chowder, and I'll take some shrimp as well.

  7. Your healthy food choices really support the Halloween mood! they look delicious! Very Clever!

  8. It was so great to see this again. Like I said in my post I saw the avant premier at the time my first trip downtown alone with a friend. It was a big deal lol. Love your choices of a green curry chowder and your shrimp: delicious and might look scarier than the ones in the film lol.

  9. Thanks again Deb for hosting this fun event. I love the looks of this green curry especially those hard boiled eyeballs.

  10. The colors on this look so amazing!

  11. I love that. I think I dig the "eyeball eggs" idea that I might have to use that myself at some point.


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