Thursday, October 2, 2008
Hello curry! Hi there. I'm tasty curry paste all the way from Alaska! Don't you want to eat me? Oh yes Curry! I do! I do!
So, in addition to my way awesome mom in WA, the coolest mom EVAR, way awesome MiL and GMiL in MD, and way awesome sMiL in TX, I have my way awesome Other-Mother in AK - my mom's best friend. She's not only way awesome, but equally as into all the crazy tasty bits I like to put in my mouth. You want some sushi - she's your go-to lady. By the way, her husband probably just caught that sushi off the bow of their way awesome sailboat. That they live on. In ALASKA. What's that you say? They're crazy? Perhaps yes, but crazy like cool foxes! You want some curry? She's got the perfect paste. You want a sourdough starter? She's got plenty. Need a recipe for some crazy (Insert Odd Random Country Name Here) native dish? Seriously. She's probably got it.
You may be thinking - Whoah! That's a lot of awesome ladies in one person's life. And you, my friend, would be correct. I'm one lucky bird.
This installment is all about tasty curry though. My OM in AK makes curry all the time, one day we were on the phone chatting about all different types of curry we like and she mentioned her favorite curry paste. I looked and looked for it, but much to my dismay, it could not be found. So, being the awesome OM that she is, she mailed me some. Because she's awesome. Have I said awesome enough yet?
Mae Ploy Thai curry is surely one to brag about. A problem that I frequently have is curry powder is borderline tasteless, or mainly composed of turmeric. Now, turmeric is all well and good, and especially good for you, but it doesn't taste the greatest. I've used powdered, which taste like crap, whole combos that never get ground quite fine enough so it tastes gritty, but this is my first paste. And I don't think I'll ever go back. The yellow curry I tried had strong notes of lemongrass, galangal, and coriander backlit by cinnamon, cardamom, and cumin. The ideal combo for Thai curry. Even better is there's no preservatives and no colorants of any kind added. That rates up there in my book. I do a lot of shopping at Asian markets and it seems like most everything is loaded with MSG, artificial color, and preservatives. No thank you, kind sir, I'll take my cancer-free body elsewhere. I didn't quit smoking for nothing.
I highly recommend this, just as my OM did. She's a pretty smart lady. You better listen.
Mae Ploy Chicken Curry
4 tablespoons butter
1 lb. chicken, preferably thighs, cubed
1 yellow onion, slivered very thinly
1 clove garlic, smashed with the flat of your knife
2 cups coconut milk, divided
65 grams Mae Ploy Thai Yellow Curry Paste
1 (28 oz) can tinned, petite diced tomatoes, drained of all juices through fine mesh strainer
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
Jasmine Rice to serve over
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. When hot add butter and melt. Sear the chicken meat and cook about half way through. Remove to a bowl and add onion and smashed garlic clove. Cook onion until softened, about 5 minutes. When garlic clove begins to brown, fish out and discard. Add 1 cup coconut milk curry paste. Cook, stirring, until mixture is uniform in color and paste has been completely mixed in. Add remaining cup of coconut milk. Mix thoroughly. Add chicken and tinned tomatoes. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes, uncovered, stirring every ten minutes, until curry has reduced and thickened. Just before serving mix in chopped cilantro and serve over jasmine rice.