Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Thai Tuesday!

Actually, these days Tuesdays are known as True Blood Tuesdays. After watching the show solo for the last three seasons I have finally found other people to watch it with! And it's such a ridiculous show, it really is much more fun to watch with others :)

Our Tuesday routine generally consists of me making something for dinner, with others bringing ingredients or snacks. A recent Tuesday had me craving Thai food like nobody's business so we added even more alliteration to the day.

Thai Tuesday!

I made Drunken Stir-Fried Beef with Green Beans, and a yellow chicken curry with zucchini and red peppers.
I used this recipe for the beef, and it was awesome. Unfortunately I didn't have enough of my own garden beans and tomatoes to use, but I'm hoping in a few weeks I will and I'll make it again.

As for the chicken curry, I used my own method for making a wicked awesome Thai curry.
Before I got hired by the school board I spent about two years working at an amazing store in town - South China Seas Trading Co.. They carry ingredients for almost any kind of cuisine you could imagine (Thai, Japanese, Chinese, Mexican, Indian, African...) and I learned so much working there.

I LOVE Thai food, but find that it can be hard to find really good Thai food in restaurants. This frustration led me to just learning how to make my favourite dishes myself. Curries are great to make, they're relatively easy and the ingredients are usually pretty easy to find.

How to make a perfect Thai curry

What you'll need:
- One package Thai curry paste of your choosing (yellow, red, panang or green), about 2 tbsp
- One can of coconut milk
- 1lb meat or seafood (chicken and shrimp go especially well with green, beef is better suited to red or panang), cut into bite sized pieces
- 1lb-ish vegetables (if you want - use your imagination: sweet peppers, squash, bamboo shoots, eggplant, etc)
- Fish sauce, palm sugar (or brown sugar), lime leaves, lemongrass -- all of these should be available at Asian groceries, often you can find the lime leaves and lemongrass frozen if they don't have fresh. You can also get them dried, but they're not as good.
- 1 tbsp cooking oil

What to do:

1. Heat oil over med-high heat and add curry paste - stir-fry for about a minute.
2. Add meat/seafood and cook about 3 minutes, until sealed on the outside.
3. Add can of coconut milk, bring to a simmer then turn heat to med-low.
4. Add your vegetables, a couple dashes of fish sauce (about 1 tsp), 1-2 tsp of palm sugar, 2-3 lime leaves and two stalks of lemongrass (white part only) **It's good to leave the lime leaves whole and the lemongrass in fairly big pieces so you can pick them out -they're both really tough and lousy to eat**
5. Cook for about 20 minutes, until meat is cooked through and veggies are tender. Serve over jasmine or sticky rice.

You could easily make this veggie by omitting meat and throwing in some tofu puffs, or regular tofu - leave out the fish sauce and it's vegan!

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