Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Thai Green Curry with Chicken, Broccoli and Mushrooms (Supplemental Recipe #2) - Drowning in Deliciousness!
Date Cooked: August 24, 2008
My wife has been a big supporter of my newest little project and she had requested that I make a Thai curry of some sort so I looked through the ‘Best’ book and unfortunately there were no Thai curries to be found. But The Best Soups & Stews did contain recipes for several variations of both red and green curry. So we settled on a green chicken curry simply because we had chicken in the fridge which needed to be used.
I was faced with a decision as to whether or not I should try to make my own curry paste. In the end I decided that if I liked the dish enough I would consider making it in the future, but for now I would just use store bought green curry paste which wasn’t too difficult to find. So armed with the many ingredients required for this recipe I dove in.
If I had been preparing this dish two weeks ago I would have just dumped everything together, cooked it and called the meal complete. That was the old me, uninspired, clueless and let’s face it, probably a little lazy. But since I decided to start this project I was determined to make changes to the way I approach cooking and food. One thing I have learned in the handful of dishes I’ve prepared so far is that I am slow and unorganized, starting before having everything ready. I have already begun to improve in this regards. Gone are the days of burning the chicken while I look for a clean knife to cut the vegetables. Gone are the days when I discover I am out of eggs after mixing the other ingredients together. Then I found out the broccoli florets I had in the freezer weren’t florets.
The recipe begins by reducing the green curry paste and some of the thicker/solid coconut milk until it separates into solids and oil and I must say this is a rather fragrant state and surprising since the smell of green curry paste by itself is not exactly pleasant to me. Add to this the rest of the coconut milk, fish sauce and sugar and simmer till the flavors meld. The aroma in my kitchen was fantastic! The chicken was added and allowed to cook for a few minutes before adding the mushrooms and broccoli. After a few more minutes in went the red peppers and hot Thai chili peppers.
As I seeded the hot peppers the only thought going through my mind was that it would probably be a bad day to decide to put my contact lenses in. What was truly absurd though was I had almost involuntarily rubbed my eyes. Not sure why I was about to do that but I can assure you that would have been a disaster.
Once the Thai curry was done I removed it from the heat and added the fresh basil, mint and lemon juice and wow! The smell was amazing! I don’t normally cook with fresh herbs mostly because the frequency with which they get used usually means they end up in the garbage before I get around to using them again but I must say after that fragrant experience I will make an effort to use them more often.
So after the dish was completed and the pictures taken I decided to have a bowl of it just by itself. I took the bowl out to our deck where Katt was busy mowing the lawn to allow her a chance to taste this dish (after all she requested it). As I called her name a little fly decided that the smell was just too amazing and like the kamikaze pilots of WWII Japan, he dove head first into my bowl of hot Thai green curry and with a pathetic little flutter promptly submerged and drowned. I’m pretty sure the look of disbelief on my face overshadowed the slight revulsion, but at least I knew my Thai Green Curry with Chicken, Broccoli and Mushrooms was worth dying for.
The Next Day
I brought a monster sized bowl of this for lunch at work the next day and it just didn’t have the same effect. The flavors had melded together too much and it had a milder uniform flavor. The fresh and truly enticing aroma of the mint, basil and lime juice was now blended into the rest of the dish. It was filling but definitely not very exciting.