Thai Style Chik’n Curry

Sunday June 6, 2010 Food Journal entry:

“For dinner last night I prepared a Thai Style Chik’n Curry with Cilantro-Coconut Rice. It was yummy.

I started by prepping the veggies, which were one vidalia onion, one red bell pepper, three stalks of celery, one jalapeno chili, and two zucchinis. I then heated about two tabs of Smart Balance butter in the skillet and added the onions and a generous sprinkle of raw organic sugar. I turned the heat down about five minutes later added the chopped jalapeno, salt and pepper to taste, covered the skillet to let the onions caramelized. Amy wanted “well done” onions in the dish.

Next, because I think coconut milk is too heavy to cook with, I tried a different method of adding coconut flavor to the curry. Amy introduced me to coconut juice which I had no previous knowledge of. It is found in the “healthy foods” section of the regular grocery. So, what I did was mix one cup coconut juice with one cup of soy milk and to that half and half mixture I added a generous teaspoon of jarred red curry paste. I then whisked it all together and set it in the fridge to allow the flavors to marry about 30 minutes or so.

After that, I measured out one cup of basmati rice and rinsed it well under the tap in my mesh colander, which is perfect for draining vermicelli and washing rice and herbs. Then I toasted the rinsed basmati in a dry skillet until the water had completely evaporated and the rice was slightly golden and fragrant. I’ve been prepping basmati rice in this fashion for a while now and it has since continuously turned out perfectly fluffy and flavorful.

Once the onions had caramelized to my liking, I turned the heat up on the skillet and to the onions added the red bell pepper and celery. I sauteed them until they had just softened and the added the half and half of soy and coconut juice. I brought it all up to a soft simmer and then added to that about half a bag of Qourn Chik’n pieces. Once the skillet reached it’s second simmer I reduced the heat to continue simmering the curry.

Next, I brought in a medium sauce pot one and one third cup of water, one tab of Smart Balance butter, and salt and pepper to taste to a boil. I added the toasted basmati to the boiling water, covered the pot with it’s lid, and reduced the heat to low. The rice usually takes between 15 and 20 minutes to cook.

I then toasted in a small skillet about half a cup of coconut flakes and set them aside along with about a tablespoon of chopped fresh cilantro (from my little garden) to later stir into the cooked rice.

After the rice had cooked about 12 minutes I added then chopped zucchini to the curry and let the zucchini to simmer until just slightly cooked through in order to preserve it’s crunch.

To a large mixing bowl I added the cooked basmati rice, the toasted coconut flakes, and the chopped cilantro and mixed it all together with a fork so I could fluff the rice as well.

I gave the curry a finale Ames taste test and per her advice added in about 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne powder to increase the heat level of the dish a bit. Then I platted the Coconut-Cilantro Rice and Chik’n Curry in our dinner bowls Amy picked out in Brattleboro, VT as a gift for me. I love these bowls because of the thoughtfulness of Amy to buy them for me as well as the fact that each of the bowls has a different pattern on the inside.

Dinner was a success and Amy did go on and on about how tasty it was. I told her it turned out so beautifully tasty because of the coconut juice she introduced me to.

Amy has done a lot of that since I meet her, introduce me to wonderful, beautiful ingredients and new and exotic flavors I most likely would have been ignorant of. And that thought alone is enough to keep me in love with her for a long time.”

Ingredients list:

1 cup of soy milk

1 cup of coconut juice

1 tsp of red curry paste

1 chopped vidalia onion

1 chopped jalapeno chili

3 chopped celery stalks

2 chopped zucchinis

1 chopped red bell pepper

~1 cup Quorn Chik’n pieces

~1/4 tsp of cayenne powder

1 cup basmati rice, washed and toasted

1 3/4 cup water

3 tabs of butter, divided

1/2 cup toasted coconut flakes

1 T chopped fresh cilantro

kosher or sea salt and pepper to taste

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