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Recipe Friday: Green Curry!

Posted on: March 18, 2011

Happy Post-St. Paddy’s, y’all!

Anything exciting? As for me, I started the day with this
a very green smoothie!
inspired by Oh She Glows and Katie. I didn’t measure exact ratios, but all of the green comes from spinach! It also contains frozen banana chunks, milk, peppermint extract, and vanilla extract. (And chocolate garnish!)

Last night, for St. Paddy’s, we had a friend over, and I made a Thai green curry. (I also roasted broccoli, but that recipe comes later.) It didn’t quite taste like what you’d get in a restaurant, but it was still very flavorful. The best thing is that you can vary the curry paste seasoning to your liking, you can vary the protein type, you can add whatever vegetables you want… so much flexibility in this recipe!

*This recipe requires a food processor or blender.

Thai Green Curry
adapted from thaifood.about.com

GREEN CURRY PASTE:

  • 4 small Thai chiles, or 1-2 jalapenos coarse-chopped (2 jalapenos, and we barely noticed any spice!)
  • 1/4 c shallot, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of galangal or ginger, peeled and coarse-chopped
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 3/4-1 tsp shrimp paste (I omitted this due to shellfish allergy)
  • 1 c fresh cilantro leaves
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce (or soy, for strict vegetarians)
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp lime juice

CURRY INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 kaffir lime leaves (which I didn’t buy due to cost)
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil for stir-frying
  • 1-1.5 lb boneless chicken breast (I imagine you could also use shrimp with a shorter cooking time. Tofu would also work, but be sure to use firm tofu, and press extra liquid out with a cloth for 10 minutes prior to cutting into cubes.
  • 1 can regular or light coconut milk
  • Sliced vegetables of choice–I used a green and a red bell pepper. Sliced mushrooms would also work, as would baby corn (less cooking time), sliced yellow onion, bamboo shoot, parboiled potato… but don’t let that list limit you! This is your dish!
  • Fresh basil for garnish

1. Place all of “curry paste” ingredients together in a food processor or blender, and process/pulse to a paste. (Add some coconut milk if needed.) Set aside.

2. Prepare the lime leaves by tearing the leaf away from the central stem, then discard the stem. Cut the leaf into thin strips using kitchen shears.

3. Warm a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the oil and swirl around, then add the green curry paste.

4. Stir-fry briefly to release the fragrance (30 seconds to 1 minute), then add 3/4 of the coconut milk, reserving 2-3 Tbsp. per serving portion for later.

5. Add the chicken (or protein of choice), stirring to incorporate. When the curry sauce comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium or medium-low, until you get a nice simmer.

6. Cover and allow to simmer 3-5 more minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Stir occasionally. If you’re using seafood, be careful, because it will cook fast!!!

7. Add the your vegetables, plus the strips of lime leaf, stirring well to incorporate. Simmer another 2-3 minutes, or until vegetables are softened but still firm and colorful.

8. Do a taste-test for salt, adding 1-2 Tbsp. fish sauce if not salty enough. If you’d prefer a sweeter curry, add a little more sugar. If too salty, add a squeeze of lime or lemon juice. If too spicy, add more coconut milk. Note that this curry should be a balance of salty, spicy, sweet and sour, plus bitter (the bitter is found in the fresh basil garnish).

9. Serve this curry in bowls with rice served separately, allowing guests to add their own. Top each portion with fresh basil, then drizzle over 2-3 Tbsp. coconut milk, and ENJOY!

What a great GREEN dinner last night! Did you do anything holiday-themed?

Have a great weekend!

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