Food

Mmmm…Thai Green Curry

So, here’s the deal: when one moves to Boulder, something happens where one all of a sudden starts craving organic fruits and vegetables.  It’s like a disease, only you get more healthy.  But the weird thing is, I’m lying, and the reality is that you basically HAVE to buy organic fruits and vegetables here.  You have to make more effort to find NON-organic, and who wants to make an effort?  Exactly.

After exploring our local farmer’s market this weekend (which totally rocks, even though your dignity is kind of stolen along with the many dollars from your wallet), we ended up with a vast bounty of delicious fruits and vegetables.  But I’m not talking about that day, I’m talking about the day before.  So forget about the farmer’s market.  Okay?

On Friday night, I wanted Thai food.  But the thing was, I didn’t want to spend money.  So, rather than go out for dinner, my man and I decided to make an old faithful for dinner: Thai Green Curry.  Because Thai Green Curry is DELICIOUS.

I won’t give this recipe any more introduction, except to say that you really don’t need any cooking skills, just a wee bit of patience and a dash of good judgment.  And the ability to try something while it’s cooking.  Because that part is important.

I should also probably add that this particular recipe is for vegetarian green curry, but it’s also super easy to throw in shredded chicken breast or sauteed shrimp, and those are awesome too!

Thai Green Curry

Ingredients:

  • Any rice of your choice (white, brown, and jasmine will all do great)
  • Thai green curry paste (start with 1/2 tblsp and add from there, depending on how much spice you can handle – can be found in the Mexican/Asian/Ethnic food aisle of the supermarket)
  • Coconut milk (one can is good for two people, and it can be found with the curry paste at the supermarket)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Garlic (I diced 3 or 4 large cloves because ain’t no such thang as too much garlic, but use as you wish)
  • Fresh ginger (enough to make three tblsps or so when grated)
  • Onion, cut into long strips (white or yellow are fine, I used a whole medium yellow onion this time)
  • Lime (just one should do it, or some lime juice if you don’t have a fresh one)
  • Fresh basil, shredded (I use a whole plastic container’s worth for two people, ’cause I’m nuts like that!)
  • Glorious veggie bounty – whatever you like!  I like using…
  • Snap peas
  • Mushrooms (we cut up baby bellas, but you can do baby shiitakes or whatever you like best)
  • Baby corn (because it makes it look soooo much more legit)
  • Bell pepper (this makes it pretty!  Use lots of colors for ultimate fun appearance, if this matters to you.)
  • Eggplant (can be a little complicated cooking-time-wise, but is totes delicious)
  • Bamboo shoots (because food can be fun!)
  • Cheez doodles (just kidding!)
  • And whatever else ya dig!

Instructions:

So, the wonderful thing about curry is that you have a LOT of leeway.  In fact, it’s pretty obnoxious that I’m forcing my “recipe”/opinion on you at all, but this is my blog and I do what I want, so there.

Heat up some extra virgin olive oil on a medium stove in a pan that’s going to be able to handle all your ingredients minus the rice.  If you have a wok, use it!  Once the pan is pretty hot, throw in that diced garlic!  Let the garlic hang out until the kitchen smells DELICIOUS.  When that happens, throw in the onion, and let them play together in the olive oil.  It’s a garlicky, oniony, olive oil-y delicious party in the pan.

But then comes the ginger.  Dump it in, and then pass out from the delicious smell.  Make sure you have a sous chef on hand to revive you.  It might be necessary.  I’m just keepin’ it real here.

Cut up the mushrooms, or don’t, but make sure they’re clean either way.  After the onions start to go pretty clear, toss in the mushrooms and add them to the party!  Swish it all around to make sure the mushrooms get nice and oiled up, because that’s the most delicious.

Now you actually get to turn it into curry!  Throw in the coconut milk and whip out the curry paste.  Curry paste is a little tricky – it has the kind of spice that sneaks up on you.  I would start with 1/2 a tablespoon, let it sit for a minute or so (after stirring it into the coconut milk), then try it, and if you want more flavor and spice, add more paste gradually (like a 1/4 tblsp at a time, unless you’re crazy like me, in which case you gauge into the jar of curry paste with a knife and throw whatever comes out into the pan.  Livin’ on the edge, that’s me.  Don’t be afraid!).

This is pretty much what it looks like at this point.  I know, I know – not terribly photogenic.  But trust me, it’s freakin’ delicious.

Let it sit with everything simmering together and joining as one for the most ultimate of flavor parties.  You can add veggies as you see fit – if you do eggplant, throw it in just a minute or so after that, and baby corn too.  When it’s getting to a good place (simmerville, I call it) and it looks like the rice will be done soon, throw in any vegetables that you want to still be crisp in the curry – I do bell peppers and snow peas at this point.  This is also a good time for the bamboo shoots!

Once it’s looking like everything is about to be ready, take a lime and roll it under your palm.  Keep lots of pressure on it for ultimate juices!  My man sometimes throws them in the microwave for ten seconds or so before rolling them, for maximum juiceage.  Cut the lime in half, and squeeze the juice of both halves into the curry.  Mmmmmmmmm!

Once you’re all ready, it’s servin’ time!  Throw the basil onto the curry and mix it around, reveling in the cacophony of smells that is assaulting your brain.  Heap some rice into a bowl and ladle some curry on top, making sure to get some of the liquid – it is divine.  If you make enough, you might even have leftovers, and this keeps pretty well in the fridge for a day or so.

This is one of those wonderful dishes where you can really tailor it to what you like in terms of ingredients and spice level, so experiment and have fun, because this is also fairly healthy and that’s awesome because it ROCKS!!!!!  Happy cooking!!!

P.S. Apologies for the quality of the pictures in this post…we’re house-sitting and all I have is my danged iPhone.  But you get the idea.  Curry ahoy!

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