Hello e’rbody! Long time no blog.
I’ve had a few questions asking about all the gluten in my cooking recently, and why we haven’t been so strict on that. Well, because Jules has been so sick, her doctors told her to just eat whatever she could and they’d monitor her levels closely. For almost a month she was only able to eat English muffins and other bread stuff, so we haven’t been worried about it. But now that she’s feeling a little better, I’ve decided to go back to gluten-free cooking. And what better way to dive back into gluten-free cooking than with one of my favorite Thai dishes: red curry.
Now I love me some curry. I mean, I love Thai food in general, as we’ve discussed. The intense flavors of curry are just so wonderful and I can’t stop eating it. Unfortunately, it can be pretty rich and heavy. And since the clock just struck 2014, I’m still in full “resolution” mode – i.e., eating healthy. So the goal becomes to make a lighter version of this delicious dish, and what do you know, it’s super easy. Here’s what you need. This is enough to feed 4-6 people.
• 2 chicken tenders, tendon removed and meat sliced (yes, only 2. this is not a massively meaty dish)
• 1 small green bell pepper, deseeded and sliced
• 1 small red bell pepper, deseeded and sliced
• 1 carrot, peeled and sliced
• 1/2 yellow onion, sliced
• 3 tbsp basil, chopped
• 1 can of coconut milk (this brand isn’t my favorite, but is the best our Idaho grocery stores offer – I’m a fan of Mae Ploy)
• 2 cups chicken stock
• 1 Tbsp fish sauce
• 2 Tbsp red curry past
• 1.5 Tbsp Tamarind paste (also can’t find this around here, but I had this left over from making it for Pad Thai way back when – it keeps for a really, really long time)
• 2 Tbsp coconut oil
• 1 lime, cut into wedges
• Steamed brown rice, to serve it with
Let’s make this quick. Heat a pot over medium low heat. Add the coconut oil and let it heat for a few seconds. Then add the curry paste and stir fry that for a minute. Add the can of coconut milk, stir and let simmer until the bubbles are red. Add the chicken stock, fish sauce and tamarind paste, stir well and bring to a simmer. Add the chicken and bring it back to a simmer. Add green bell pepper, red bell pepper, carrot and onion. Stir it all together, bring to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the basil, stir, simmer for 30-60 seconds, and it’s ready.
Cooking it this way, the veggies maintain some texture and integrity, but the harshness of the onion is cooked out just enough that it won’t be like eating a raw onion. Basil and other fresh herbs are best when added right at the end of cooking, because fresh herbs can taste a little muddy when overcooked.
The broth is packed with curry flavor, but eats more like a chicken soup than a curry. Served with brown rice and lime wedges, it’s a healthy, hearty meal that doesn’t sit heavy in the belly. Plus it’s easy.
Do you have a curry recipe that you love? I’m just a curry fiend and am always up to try something new. If you’re the same, feel free to give this a try and let me know how it goes. Happy new year, all! Peace out.