When I was sick, Marta went through a period of cooking Southeast Asian dishes. I remember thinking I want to come back and try some of these recipes, but here, over two years later, I haven't. Until tonight.
So I'm sitting on my couch, trying to remember what I put on the shopping list, which Chris threw out, for tonight's dinner (yes, I make a menu each week and put it on the shopping list, so I know what to buy). Anyway, I knew it was some sort of salad with grilled shrimp but looking at the skies and the threatening storms, I decided to do something else with the shrimp, which is how I ended up searching through Marta's Blog, Postcard's From the Trail, to find something to make.
And that's how I cam across her Thai Red Curry, perfect!
Well, for a moment. You see I figured I had everything but the kaffir lime leaves (yes, I keep red curry paste and fish sauce in the house - hey you never know), yet I found some where that said I could substitute lime rind and some lime juice. Okay I'm good to go.
Or maybe not.
What happened to the light coconut milk I normally keep in the pantry??? Well, after cleaning out and organizing all the cans, no small feat, especially with stitches in both boobs, no coconut milk. Time for the next substitute. I ended up using 1/2 cup evaporated milk, 1/2 cup water and a teaspoon of coconut extract. Okay, good to go.
Well, maybe not.
Palm sugar? What's palm sugar? No idea but I found I could substitute brown sugar for it and finally - I'm off!
Okay, so I didn't have the Thai Basil, but I used some regular basil (from our garden) and a bit of cilantro I had in a fridge.
Oh, and I didn't have chicken but I did have shrimp, so finally I cooked dinner!
Thai Red Curry - Apologies for the iPhone image quality
And although with all the above substitutions, it may not be authentic it was definitely darn good (especially with the The Lagunitas New Dogtown Pale Ale) and I can't wait to make it again for Chris.
Oh, and I used 3 generous teaspoons of curry paste and probably used a bit more for a bit more heat. Enjoy!
Thai Red Curry
2 tablespoons canola or peanut oil
1 onion—finely chopped
2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste (or 3 teaspoons for a hotter curry)
2 cloves garlic—finely chopped
1 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon palm sugar
1/2 cup veggies—sliced thin
1 red pepper (capsicum)—julienned
1 cup Jasmine rice
12 oz (360g) uncooked skinless chicken breast fillets—cut into bite-sized pieces
5-6 kaffir lime leaves, shredded
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh Thai basil leaves
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat and cook the onion for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the curry paste and garlic and cook, stirring, for a minute.
Add the coconut milk, fish sauce, sugar, then bring to the boil. ADD the veggies, cover with a lid, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 12 minutes.
While the curry simmers, cook jasmine rice.
Add the chicken and Kaffir leaves to the curry and simmer, covered, for a further 8 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and basil.
Serve on a bed of rice.
Variations: This curry tastes equally delicious using any selection of seafood (such as shrimp, scallops or pieces of firm fish), or cubed firm tofu. Adapt the recipe with fresh ingredients and seasonal produce.