Friday, December 30, 2011

Thai red coconut curry stir-fry

I made this Tuesday night (leftovers were gone by lunch Wednesday) and I'm just now getting around to blogging about it.  It's been a very lazy week at home since I joined the sisterhood of hospital staff who worked on Christmas Day.

A couple of months ago, I made my first Thai coconut curry, based on a recipe I found online, and was disappointed enough with the result that I didn't bother to write about it.  I just ate the leftovers very sulkily at work over the next couple of days.  Later, I got a little curious about this "red coconut curry" that I'd heard about, looked for a recipe that seemed reliable, went out and got some Thai Kitchen red curry paste and some fresh veggies and got down to bidniss.

This recipe was my starting point, and the author helpfully suggests alternatives based on meat-eating status and availability of seasonal produce.  I replaced the chicken and chicken broth with tofu and veggie broth (and skipped the fish sauce), and my veggie selection was different as well.  I picked up a red bell pepper, some baby carrots and a head of broccoli and sliced up the last few mushrooms I had in a package from something else I'd made a few days prior (don't even remember anymore) and pretty much followed their instructions.  Oh, I also used lime juice instead of lemon and didn't worry about the basil.  When the stir-fry was ready (I took a picture of it in the pan because it was just so pretty!), I served it over a bed of rice noodles.  Delicious! 

Of course, if you're not a vegetarian, you could make it exactly as shown in the original recipe, but the nice thing about this and so many other recipes is that it lends itself to substitution.  Maybe try it with shrimp instead of chicken?  I dunno.  The only thing I'd say is that if you actually want to have leftovers, use slightly larger quantities of veggies and meat/tofu/whatever, because it cooks down a good bit and there was only one leftover portion for the next day's lunch.  (Guess who ate it?)  And if you use broccoli like I did, be sure to stir it in near the end, since it takes very little time to cook and you don't want it to be mushy by the time the dish is ready to serve.  I added the broccoli at about the same time as the cornstarch mixture, and it came out just right.

Well, this is probably it for 2011.  If you're in the Columbia area, I look forward to seeing some of you tomorrow morning at the Cold Winter's Day 5K or tomorrow night on Main Street, where George Clinton will be kicking off 2012 P-Funk style!

Stay warm and be safe, everyone!

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