Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Because you asked...

Ok, so only Tropical Threads asked but I'm obliging. (I was going to respond in the comments but that would be one too long reply).  I can't stand buying stuff I can make myself and that includes food. I love Thai green chicken curry but at nearly $18 a takeaway container, I cannot afford it (lets face it, even if I could afford it I wouldn't pay it).

In this Thai green chicken curry is capsicum, broccoli, mushrooms, snow peas and carrots.

The key to good Thai curry (I thought) is to make sure you use good quality coconut cream/milk and good paste if you don't make it. (I don't make it). (too many parenthesis ;) ) Although I've been making this for a long, long time, I couldn't get that same flavour when I bought it ... it was good but just something missing. Well it was kaffir lime leaves. For some tight wad reason I wouldn't buy them as I thought how much could they add. Turns out it was the missing link. Now I get them when they are marked down, finely slice them and freeze them and they are ready to go. I freeze nearly all herbs except coriander (cilantro) as it is too delicate for freezing, but I do freeze the roots which I also put into the green curry.

So onto the recipe. In a fry pan put a small amount of oil of preference and fry off the green curry paste. This is to get the raw flavour out of the paste and I forgot to do it when I made it in the slow cooker one day and it wasn't as good. Then add the coconut milk/cream and bring to the boil and let it boil for  a few minutes - traditionally the oil in the coconut milk/cream should split leaving the oil floating on the top, but if you don't like that, don't do it. Put the chicken in now (or whatever meat you are cooking - prawns, pork or beef thinly sliced and of the best quality you can afford). I use chicken breast not thighs but either if fine. Put in your veggies - I use anything I have and I like lots of veggies. I use any or all - snow peas, capsicum, pumpkin, sweet potato, broccoli, carrots, baby sweet corn, fresh corn kernels, spinach, kale, mushrooms and anything you like even though they aren't 'traditional' veggies. Then splash in some fish sauce and a large pinch of sliced kaffir lime leaf and let the chicken cook and the veggies soften a little. For a long time I use to fry the chicken up first, take it out then fry the curry paste, (like a stir fry) but a Thai friend put me on the right track with putting the chicken into the coconut milk. That's why the chicken doesn't dry out as it doesn't get overcooked or cooked twice rather. Serve with coriander on top and a slice of lime with some steamed jasmine rice. YUM!

As for the curry paste I've worked out with my taste for heat and flavour, I use  a large tablespoon's worth for a can of cream/milk but this may be too hot or not for you. Go less for the first go if you don't like the heat as you can add more fresh chilli if it isn't hot enough, but there needs to be enough curry paste to give it flavour and this is a spicy dish by nature.

Sometimes I make a vegetarian red curry.... same deal except use red curry paste, boil the coconut milk/cream, add veggies (and meat if you want) and serve. Yum. Also I make both in the slow cooker too if I know I'll be out all day, but I do always cook off the curry paste otherwise it has a slightly 'raw' flavour.

While we are talking cooking, when I cook chicken pies or anything with pastry, I always use the scraps from the horrible but convenient square puff pastry sheets for making little apple puffs - I just put fresh chopped apple or pear or a mix on the pastry sprinkle a little sugar and cinnamon, squeeze them closed and sprinkle a little more sugar and cinnamon on and bake at the same time. Bingo...dessert done too and those pesky shrivelled, not quite fresh apples and pears gone but used. No waste. Now to go and make some dinner... bon appétit.

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