22 April 2008

Thai Curry

Zach and I both really like Thai style curries and over the years we have tried to make them at home, varying the recipes and amounts of curry powder but to no avail. The curries were always edible, just not that good.  I had all but given up on making curry at home when a recipe appeared in the food section of the Washington Post a few months ago... (I can't fight with Blogger anymore- the middle of this post is somehow hidden so if you would like to read it please click hereLocal chef Sak Pollert had a green curry recipe that looked good and could be made in 30 minutes (even better) which he served over linguini.  I never ever would have thought about using linguini with curry before this recipe, but it works (although to be honest I do prefer rice). 

The first time we made the curry we used Thai Kitchen brand curry paste and ended up adding nearly the whole jar as the curry just seemed bland otherwise but we happened to find the Maesri brand paste that Pollert recommends (and at less then half the price of Thai Kitchen-- I think we bought 8 tins of it...) and needed the recommended amount, so tasting the curry as you go along is a must to get the spice level right.

After making the recipe a few times I've changed things up a little bit. I use low-fat coconut milk (but still cook the curry in the coconut milk before adding other ingredients- it seems to really deepen the curry flavor) and tofu in place of chicken (if you want the original recipe with chicken click
here) and this time we used red curry instead of green and brown sugar instead of white. It's really easy to have all the ingredients on hand for this curry and it's definitely a good change from pasta with red sauce, our usually standby on night we need something quick and I'm not feeling creative.

Red Curry with Carrots, Peas and Pasta

Adapted from a recipe by Sak Pollert published in The Washington Post
Serves 4

8oz. linguini
1 brick extra firm tofu
2t. vegetable oil
8oz. fresh/frozen snap peas (defrost the frozen kind, if that's what you're using)
8oz. baby carrots, cut into halves or quarters, depending on size
1C lowfat coconut milk (the fat rises to the top, so I usually end up using a wisk on it)
1/4 C curry paste
2T brown sugar

-  Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta.

-  Cut the tofu into bite size cubes or triangles and pat dry with a paper towel.  Heat a skillet over medium high and add a teaspoon or two of oil and add the tofu.  Cook until golden brown and then flip over to cook the other side.  Let the tofu hang out while you start the curry.

-  Heat 1/2C of the coconut milk in a large skillet over medium heat, when it begins to simmer add the curry past and stir well.  Cook mixture until it darkens, 3-4 minutes.  (your pasta water is probably boiling now so it would be a good time to salt the water and drop it in)

-  Add the rest of the coconut milk and the sugar; stir.  Add the vegetables and stir to coat and pop on a lid and set your timer for 10 minutes (the heat should be medium high).

-  Drain the pasta when it is done cooking.  When the veggies are done cooking, stir in the tofu and check for seasoning, adding salt and pepper if needed.  

-  Serve with the curry atop the linguini.

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