Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Very green curry (aka green dinner, part 1)

I made the greenest meal ever the other night: Green curry with lots of green veggies and avocado ice cream for dessert (coming in the next post). This Thai-style curry is really not very inventive, but I think it was a great combo for spring, and definitely a quick, tasty, healthy dinner. If you haven't ever cooked with Thai-style curry paste, you should give it a try. The ingredients in this particular brand are simple and delicious: chiles, lemongrass, garlic, keffir lime, and ginger - that's pretty much it. I think this was the first time I put edamame (baby soybeans, look for them in the freezer section) in a curry; they really play a nice role! I think I may like them in curry as much or more than tofu. You can buy them frozen, shelled or unshelled - shelled makes them super easy to use in applications like this. Unfortunately the only picture I took is the curry leftover, as my lunch today.

Serves 4

2 c. rice (I like brown) cooked in a rice cooker or however
2 t. neutral oil
1 onion, chopped or sliced
3-4 carrots, sliced (looks especially nice if you cut on a diagonal)
pinch of salt
1 bunch asparagus, cut into bite-sized pieces (ditto on the cutting remark above, make sure to discard the bottom of the stalk if they are lighter in color or feel tougher - that part is unappealing fibrous when cooked)
1 can coconut milk
1/2 can of water
1 to 1.5 T green curry paste (it's spicy, so start small if you're sensitive)
2 c. frozen, shelled edamame
2 large handfuls washed baby spinach
fish sauce to taste (2 t., maybe)
sugar to taste (2 t., maybe)

1. Heat the oil in a large wok (if you use a typical 10 or 12" skillet, you may want to reduce quantities of the veggies to prevent overflow)
2. Stir-fry the onions and carrots with a pinch of salt, till the the carrots are still firm but the crunch has just been taken off (about 5 minutes)
3. Add the asparagus, and stir-fry till the asparagus is still firm but the crunch has just been taken off (about 3 minutes)
4. Add the coconut milk, water (use the water to rinse the last bit of coconut milk), and curry paste.
5. Add the frozen edamame, bring to simmer, and cook for 4 minutes.
6. Add the spinach and cook for another minute or to wilt the spinach.
7. Season with fish sauce and sugar to taste (I used about 2 tsp. of each).
8. Serve over rice

[I hope I don't spill this on my laptop!]

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