Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Thai Red Curry with Chicken and Vegetables

There hasn't been much quilting or knitting going on around here lately. I've been painstakingly repairing a pair of socks for the last few weeks. It seems to be taking longer than knitting a whole new pair! The yarn, Regia Color 4-Ply, is supposed to "wear like iron" but I'm not impressed. They are a full year younger than my oldest socks, the Lorna's Laces Jaywalkers, and they first found themselves in the mending basket a year after the Jaywalkers so I thought that the yarns were wearing equally. But upon closer inspection, it turned out that the Regia socks were completely threadbare around the toes and heels.

I opted to do some duplicate stitch over the threadbare areas to reinforce them and eke out a few more years of use, but after spending several hours, I'm starting to question that decision... my time would have been better spent knitting a new pair of Lorna's socks! Ah well. Lesson learned. Don't waste time knitting socks with Regia if I want them to last!

While my sewing machine has been sitting idly by, the stove has been pretty busy. It is getting chilly in the house so I tend to gravitate toward the warm west-facing kitchen. I've also been trying to make the most of the last few weeks of outdoor farmer's market by frantically buying and cooking all kinds of produce before I'm forced back to the grocery store for the winter (ugh!).

We've been eating a lot of soup and roasted fall vegetables lately so I wanted a change. Something Asian. Something a little bit spicy. Something soup-like but not exactly a soup. And quick.

I found this recipe in my email archives. Not sure what the original source is or if I just made it up after a little research. The version below is what I had made in Cleveland a couple years ago, using tofu. Tonight's version used boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into large bite-sized pieces and stirred in after the curry-garlic-ginger step. I was trying to make the chicken more flavourful by briefly sauteing it before adding the coconut milk. Not sure it was any different than adding it later, but it did have the advantage of having the chicken be cooked through by the time the vegetables were just tender. Had I added the chicken after the coconut milk, I think the vegetable would have gone from tender to soft by the time the chicken was ready.

Red Curry with Tofu and Vegetables
This served 5 for dinner with some leftovers.

Feel free to substitute any veggies you like - diff bell peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, potatoes, various peas (shelled, sugar and snap pods), shelled edamame, zucchini, yellow squash... This is just what I used, to give a sense of quantity.

In a large pot, heat some oil.  Add:

1 med onion, halved and then thinly sliced

Saute this on med-high heat for 3-4 min until onions soften. Add:

3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1" piece of ginger, minced

2 t. Thai Red Curry Paste (it's in the asian aisle at the store, 3" high bottle. usually it's reasonably spicy but tonight's bottle was really mild so I had to add quite a bit more)

Saute 1min and mash up the paste so it is evenly dispersed.

If using chicken, add:

2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into large bite-sized pieces.

Saute 1-2min. Add:

1 can Light Coconut Milk
1/2 can water
1 T. brown sugar
2-3 T. soy sauce
Bring to a boil, then add:

1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced in 2" strips
2 carrots, sliced thinly on the diagonal
4-5 baby bella mushrooms, stems removed, sliced
1 small (6-8oz) can of baby corn
handful of green and yellow beans, cut into 2" lengths on the diagonal (I probably used a total of 50 beans - it was literally handful of each colour)
1 container Firm or Extra Firm Tofu, cut into 1" cubes (I don't recommend "Silken" brand because it is all slippery and disintegratey and totally falls apart when you stir it!)

Lower heat to a simmer.  Add another half can of water if there isn't enough liquid to cover everything. Taste the curry - if it is too mild, add more of the paste at this point. Cover the pot and simmer for 8-10min or so.

* * *
The version I made tonight included mushrooms, red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, yellow squash, some shelled edamame, and I think there was something else that I can't remember now.  I also stirred in some fresh baby spinach towards the end.  We ate this with frozen paratha because I didn't feel like making rice. Plus P loves paratha and declared the meal "super delicious"!

Oh, and I should add that I accidentally used regular/full fat coconut milk - should have just used half the can. It was a little too rich for my taste!

Also, not sure what is going on with the formatting. I am not sure why I have to reset all my customizations with every post...

1 comment:

  1. This is so sweet! what do you say about following each other?:X