Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Thai red curry to be exact... My big weekly meal of choice this time around. Chicken in red curry with veg and brown rice makes a nice meal after work, a quick heat and POOF! hearty, spicy, filling and oh so yummy. I figure I'm into this about $7 and I'll get 4 1.5 cup servings and along with .75 cup of cooked brown rice it is a big meal. I use a brand of curry paste called Mae Ploy and it is quite inexpensive, very flavorful and easy to use. I get a pint of the paste for $1.69, throw in a can of light coconut milk from Trader Joe's and the rest is pretty much up to the chef. Here's what I did...

8oz boneless skinless chicken breast, thinly sliced

8oz cremini mushroom thick sliced

1/2 red bell pepper, sliced

4oz carrots julienned

1 can slice water chestnuts

1 Cup frozen green peas

Stirfry the chicken in 1 Tbl peanut oil & remove from the pan

Stirfry the mushrooms with another Tbl peanut oil

Dry stirfry the carrots so they caramelize a bit and return the shrooms and chicken to the mix along with the red bell pepper, peas and water chestnuts

Dump in 1 can of coconut milk and then add 2-3 Tbl red curry paste to taste

If it needs a bit more spice and no more curry flavor, add a teaspoon of sriracha

POOF! Even with slice time you're in 20 minutes. If you've made your brown rice ahead of time you need do no more than spoon it over the warm rice and instantly transported to Thailand (well having never been to Thailand I can't really say that for sure but it sure seems that way). I washed this down with a 22oz bottle of Dad's Little Helper Malt Liquor from the Rogue Brewery (I am a citizen of the Rogue nation after all) and all was well with the world.

As you might be able to tell this is a far cry from the yellow glop that many Americans think of when they hear "curry". The word curry merely means "sauce" so really it is a different blend of seasonings wherever you go; Japanese curries are flavorful and spicy, sometimes hot and sometimes not. Indian curries are so numerous but my favorite everyday is Madras a spicy blend of flavors and a tomato-ey base that's pretty spicy. When I want to step up too the edge I'm going the tindaloo route but I need LOTS of beer and raita to cool the palate after that. Thai curries as a whole are my favorites, I started with green curry and after quite a lot my favorite is Mussaman which has some different flavors due to the addition of aromatics such as cinnamon and other flavors one may not associate with curry. I love Mussaman curry with lamb and cashews...mmm mmm MMM!

The best part about the curries I make at home is they are CHEAP and really good, with Asian flavors and hearty and spicy. It gives me the ability to work some spice magic and never leave the house or my budget. It's been snowing here the past couple of days (WHAT THE HECK! Snow in February is just wrong!) so a hot spicy meal is just the ticket. I hope those of you that haven't tried these budget "stews" and need to break out of the mold give it a try. You really can't screw it up...

Well, off to a glass of wine, a roast pork sandwich on homebaked bread and the foodie film "Eat Drink Man Woman", I hear it is pretty amazing in it's food scenes. Keep those comments coming, I love to hear from you all and any suggestions or comments are welcome...


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