Monday, March 16, 2009

Thai-stye Curry

A couple of days ago, Julia and I went to a local little bistro. When the weather is nice, we really try to walk to it. When the weather is nasty, we drive the four blocks, particularly when the sidewalks on the route aren't clear of December's snow.

Back on topic, Picabu Bistro is a trendy little place that specializes in trendy cuisine. Julia finds the flavors a little on the sharp side for her tastes. Don't get me wrong: I really like their food. In fact, I like their food enough that I've asked for one of their recipes (not the one here, though).

When we went there this week, I had a cup of their coconut curry soup. The soup was intense and spicy in the way that all good curries are without being too hot. I even discovered a way I like toasted coconut! But, I'm glad I only got a cup of the soup; a bowl would have been too much.

Well, the curry soup gave me a craving for Thai-style curry this week.



Thai-style Coconut Milk Curry
2 tablespoons of canola oil (I prefer a neutral-flavored oil for this)
1 large white onion, diced
8 med-large crimini mushrooms, sliced
1/4 head cauliflower, divided into florets
1/4 to 1/2 lb carrots, cut into thumb-sized pieces
1 med-large green pepper (red or yellow will work as well) cut into thumb-sized pieces
2 small zucchini (squash or one of each will work as well)
1 broccoli crown, divided into florets
1 tablespoon of rice vinegar
12 to 16 oz shrimp, 70 to 110 count (I prefer the shrimp bite-sized, but larger will work. Chicken or beef can be used instead)
2 to 3 tablespoons curry powder (I make my own blend)
2 14 oz. cans of light coconut milk (I use Thai Kitchen brand. If you want a richer sauce, use the non-light version.)
A couple of pinches of salt
15 oz brown basmati rice (white rice would work as well, but I prefer the whole grain)
6 cups of water
several strands of saffron

Combine the rice, water, saffron, and little salt to make rice. I use a rice cooker because rice is the one thing I can't seem to get right in the kitchen.

Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat until a piece of onion sizzles when added. This can be done in a large (5 qt) saucepan, but I prefer a wok. I find the vegetables cook more evenly.

Add the onions and mushrooms and saute until onions are turning clear. Add the cauliflower, carrots, and pinch of salt and saute until the cauliflower and carrots begin to soften. Add remaining vegetables and saute until done (I prefer just a little crunchiness to my veggies). If using a saucepan, the vegetables will need to be turned frequently to heat evenly.

Add the shrimp, coconut milk, and curry powder. Stir thoroughly to combine. Heat until shrimp is cooked.

Serve over rice.
Yes, this is more food than two people will eat in one sitting. The curry makes amazing leftovers -- for dinner the next evening or for lunch. I don't really know how to cook for two people; I cook for five.

I love the interplay of the greens, oranges, yellows, and reds in the curry. They are so bright and festive and make me think of spring and summer coming. The combination of the shrimp and coconut milk makes the curry so luxurious and making me feel like I'm spoiling the two of us.

2 comments:

quanton said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Kaylee

http://grillsblog.com

quanton said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Kaylee

http://grillsblog.com