Takeout Series Two

TCURRYoday’s addition to the takeout series is Thai food. Kevin and I have long bonded over Thai food, even before we were dating. Out of all types of restaurants, it has always been a Thai one that is our favorite/most frequented, first in Indiana, then Detroit, then Durham. And if you happen to have a pregnant wife craving Thai curry, she will be so grateful to you for conquering the cuisine.

You might need a few special things to make like-take-out Thai happen, but they shouldn’t be too hard to locate. Thai curry paste is a dime a dozen, as is fish sauce, these days. As for the kaffir lime leaves, that might prove harder. At any rate, whipping up your Thai restaurant favorites will be healthy, yummy, and very impressive. (Sorry, no recipe at this time for Pad Thai.) These four recipes are–for simplicity’s sake–all simple tofu/meat and veggie dishes meant to be served with cooked Jasmine rice and each one will make a meal in itself, without tofu todd or spring rolls. Although a Thai iced tea wouldn’t hurt. Or shredded iceburg with a strong, grainy peanut-ginger dressing.

MASAMAN CURRY

For the full flavor of real take-out curry, you should add at least 1 teaspoon of fish sauce into the recipe. Thai Kitchen makes one that they stock in plenty of grocery stores. Also, feel free to add cooked veggies to taste: carrots, green beans, bell peppers, potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.

  1. Over medium-high heat in a nonstick skillet or wok, cook 1 package diced and dried tofu or 1 pound sliced chicken, pork, or steak until done. Season near the end. Remove from pan.
  2. In the same pan (wiped out, without oil) saute 4-6 pressed cloves garlic, 1 scant tablespoon ground coriander, 1 tablespoon ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 3 red chilies, minced, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon turmeric until garlic just begins to turn golden brown.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons lime (or lemon) juice and cook until just evaporated.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons peanut oil and stir until sticky and thick.
  5. Add 2 tablespoons soy sauce and optional fish sauce and stir. Whisk in 1 can coconut milk. Return meat to dish. Add salt to taste.
  6. Serve with steamed Jasmine rice.

Rsdf 010ED CURRY

  1. Over medium-high heat in a nonstick skillet or wok, cook 1 package diced and dried tofu or 1 pound sliced chicken, pork, or steak until done. Season near the end. Remove from pan.
  2. Pour 1/2 can coconut milk into the pan and heat over medium-high heat until it begins to separate.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste and 3 tablespoons soy sauce with 1 dash optional fish sauce.
  4. Add 8-16 button mushrooms and simmer 1 minute, stirring.
  5. Stir in remaining coconut milk and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer.
  6. Add 1 1/2 cups combined green beans and/or sliced bell peppers and the tofu/meat. Simmer 5 minutes.
  7. Stir in 4 torn kaffir lime leaves and 2 red Thai chilies, seeded and sliced. Serve with steamed Jasmine rice and garnish with cilantro and a lime wedge.

CRISPY SPICY ASPARAGUS

You may want to dial down the heat, but if you are used to Thai food, maybe not.

  1. Over medium-high heat in a nonstick skillet or wok, cook 1 package diced and dried tofu or 1 pound sliced chicken, pork, or steak until done. Season near the end. Remove from pan. If you do tofu, place on a pan under the broiler on medium and keep an eye on it.
  2. In the same pan, lower heat to medium and heat 4 tablespoons peanut oil and stir in 1 tablespoon green curry paste until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in 2 tablespoons soy sauce, optional squirt fish sauce, 2 kaffir lime leaves, 2 tablespoons brown or palm sugar, and 2/3 cup water. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer.
  4. Add 8 oz. trimmed asparagus and simmer for five minutes. Top with tofu and 3 tablespoons chopped peanuts and serve over steamed Jasmine rice.

BASIL AND CHILI STIRFRY

  1. Over medium-high heat in a nonstick skillet or wok, cook 1 package diced and dried tofu or 1 pound sliced chicken, pork, or steak until a little under-done. Season near the end. Remove from pan.
  2. Re-heat the same pan and add 2-4 minced, red Thai chilies and 4 thinly sliced garlic cloves. Fry for 1-2 minutes without burning garlic.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons soy sauce and few generous squirts fish sauce and 1 teaspoon brown or palm sugar with the meat or tofu. Stir-fry another 4 minutes.
  4. Stir in 12 basil leaves and serve with steamed Jasmine rice, extra chilies, fried basil leaves, and/or sliced red bell peppers.

*To continue with the Takeout Series, click here.

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