Tag Archives: Coconut milk

Cheater’s Chicken Curry

Wow, it’s been a while since I blogged! I received some very exciting news about my writing over a week ago, and since then, everything else has taken a back seat while I fluctuated between floating in a daze and scurrying about while squealing. Kinda like a hamster alternating between weed and crack.

On second thought, a hamster alternating between weed and crack would probably be a dead hamster, so nevermind. Fingers crossed I will soon have official good news to share!

On to the food. I’m probably going to sound like Sandra Lee saying this, but I rarely make curries from scratch. Especially in Oxford, where it’s a challenge getting fresh galangal and tamarind. So I cheat. But before you take out the stakes, I only KINDA cheat. I know, I know, it’s like saying “I only embezzle 50% of what I could have embezzled. . .” but the end result is SO worth the guilt.

Don't hate me, I am only semi-homemade.

Don’t hate me, I am only semi-homemade.

Every time I go back to Indo, I make sure to buy a bunch of spice packs like these:

006You could probably find similar stuff at your local Asian supermarket. Anyway, the key to a good Cheater’s Curry is to only use these spice packets as a base to kickstart your curry. You still need to add a ton of fresh spices to your paste, otherwise it’ll come out tasting really bland, like an Anglicized version of curry.

Cheater’s Curry Recipe

Ingredients:

– About 500 to 600 g of chicken, beef, or tofu, cut into bite-size cubes

– A crapload of veggies of your choice. I love cauliflower in curries because they absorb flavor so well, but zuchinni works just as well, and so do green beans, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash. Mike likes bell pepper, but sometimes I think they’re a bit over-powering. Whatever works for you.

– 4 kaffir lime leaves

– 1 cup thick coconut milk

– 2 cloves

– 2 star anise

– 2 cardamom pods

– 1 cup water

– If you think the pre-made spice mix isn’t spicy enough, you can add fresh chilies

For the spice paste:

– 1 packet pre-made spice mix of your choice.

– 4 cloves garlic

– 1 onion

– 4 shallots

– 2 stalks lemongrass

– 1 inch ginger

– 1 tsp sugar

– Salt to taste

Directions:

1. Put all of the spice paste ingredients in a blender and blend the bejesus out of them. When all of the ingredients have been blended into a smooth paste, fry them with the cloves, star aniseeds, and cardamom until they’re fragrant.

2. Put the chicken into the pan.

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3. Sear the chicken until the outside is cooked, then add your veg.

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4. Add the water, coconut milk, chilies, and kaffir lime leaves. Cover and simmer on low heat for 30 min, stirring once in a while and salting to taste.

5. Serve hot with rice (since we’re on a low-carb thing, I just ate it on its own. And I didn’t miss the rice at all.)

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004Aw yea! You know you wanna be a dirty cheater too.

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Braised Coconut Lemon Curry Pork, plus Mike’s Pork Loin Sandwich!

Mkay, before we get to the food, I just have to share this link.

Because Stephen Colbert is the ideal human being. It’s actually unfair that one person could be THIS PERFECT. After Daft Punk cancelled their interview at the last minute due to an MTV contract, Colbert replaced Daft Punk with something 2165318712 times better. Talk about an amazeballs recovery.

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Aaanywho, back to the food. When the same friend who linked me the carnitas recipe linked me this other pork recipe, I knew I had to try it. Problem was, I didn’t have a slow cooker. Also, Mike hates ginger (root, not people). So of course I had to bastardize the recipe. What fun are recipes you can’t play around with? This is pretty much the reason why I rarely bake. Whenever I bake, I can’t resist adding this and that, and before I know it, my muffin has turned into a rock-hard bread thing. But in this particular instance, messing around with the original recipe yielded amazing results.

Braised Coconut Lemon Curry Pork

Ingredients

– 600 g pork shoulder (you can also use belly, but I wouldn’t use a leaner cut than shoulder)

– 2 stalks lemongrass, crushed

– About a thumb-size chunk of ginger root, sliced thinly

– 4 cloves garlic, smashed

– 1 onion, sliced (actually, the onion turned out sooo delicious and soft next time I would put two in)

– 1 tbsp Thai green curry paste

– 1 can coconut milk (I used half a can here, but that turned out to be too little)

– 1 cup water (I didn’t add water here and there wasn’t as much broth/sauce as I would’ve liked)

– 1/2 a lemon, sliced into two

– Salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 160 deg C (320 F). Put all of the ingredients except the coconut milk and pork into a pan.

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2. Season the pork with salt and pepper and slap ’em into the pot. I used sliced pork shoulder here because that was what we got at the market, but you could use a hunkachunk of shoulder instead.

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3. Pour the coconut milk and water over it. Cover and slide into oven for about 3 to 4 hours. Check on it every 45 min or so, basting the pork.

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004The pork is done when it becomes a challenge to lift it up without it breaking into little glops of deliciousness.

005I know this looks pale and super lame, but trust me when I say the flavor’s to die for. Also, I ate it with a spoon. It yielded to my spoon like the sweet, soft buttcheek of fat angel babies.

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SO tender. This is so totally a keeper. I can’t wait to make this for my family in Indo, actually!

Anyway, the other night, I was completely pooped after a wedding and the thought of cooking made me shrivel up like a sad, salted slug. So I sat back and let Mike putter about in the kitchen, and this was what he came up with:

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Erm, I have no idea what was in it other than. . . pork loin, cheddar, red cabbage, and shrooms. I finished that in under a minute and whined about there being so little of it. I’ll have to ask him for the recipe. It’s funny, he used to cook a lot more often, before I wedged myself between him and the stove and shoved him out of the kitchen. . . I guess I’m just a control freak like that. Who cooks in your house? Do you cook well with others, or do you prefer to have full control of the kitchen?

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