Friday, February 20, 2009
Thai Red Curry!
I made delicious Thai red curry the other day! This is a huge accomplishment for me, for a couple of reasons (warning: sort of gross story coming up). The first reason this is so great is because I don't cook that much and this is something that seemed really complicated; part of the problem is that its hard to cook for the large amount of people (5... hey, its a lot! Also certain members of my family are picky... they always want meat; no vegetarian food ever!). The second reason I'm so proud is because I actually tried making Thai red curry for family dinner last week and it tasted exactly like ivory soap! I thought I did something wrong or that the recipe was wrong and that was the reason the curry tasted weird... all of my cooking confidence was deflated by that stupid soap curry! I was so frustrated I decided to make it again (but just for myself) this week and it turned out great :) I have since come to the conclusion that the soap curry was the result of.... ***warning, gross part coming up*** RANCID coconut milk! That's right, rancid coconut milk! I wasn't trying to poison my family, I swear! Anyway, lesson learned; never listen to your mom when she says that an expired can of coconut milk is still okay to use. Also, I hope this gross story won't scare you away, the curry is REALLY good!
So I made mine with leftover rotisserie chicken and tofu the second time, but I actually think I'd like it best with just eggplant, tofu and bamboo (no meat... but yet again I'm restricted by family consumption rules). You can put any vegetable in here, but I think eggplants and green beans do well. It's a great one pot meal, and you can simmer it for hours and the taste will only improve :)
In case you want, here is the good recipe for Thai Red Curry:
Serves ~5 (REALLY spicy, just the way I like it!) Approximate prep and cook time: 45 minutes
1.5 cups of good, non-expired canned coconut milk
3 garlic cloves
3 Tablespoons of red curry paste
.5 cups of chicken stock
1 tablespoon peanut or vegetable oil
7 boneless, skinless chicken thighs and/or firm tofu (optional)
1 can of bamboo shoots
0-3 tablespoons of fish sauce (depending on if you like it)
1 onion diced or chopped
vegetables like eggplant (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar
fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons of lemon or lime juice
3 jalapenos, and hot hot chilies! (optional :)
In a pot with a lid, saute onions and garlic and oil on medium to medium high heat. When onions are translucent, add curry paste and 1/2 cup of coconut milk (do not shake can before hand). Stir occasionally. When red oil appears on top of the mixture, add chicken (if raw, be aware that you'll have to simmer it for a while) or tofu, bamboo shoots, rest of the coconut milk, chicken stock, salt, brown sugar, lemon/lime juice, vegetables, and fish sauce. Towards the end, add the basil leaves. Simmer down now!