Authentic? Who knows. But decent curry.

Yes, it’s one of those disparate posts. Deal with it.

The above may well not be, as the recipe contends it is, “Authentic” Thai Massaman curry, but it was good. And it’s entirely doable in the Instant Pot, which is always a recommendation.

The recipe is here. How it was, was, like this. I had some beef “fajita strips” in the freezer, and I was looking for a recipe that would accommodate ’em. Indian’s out. I didn’t want anything European, read conventional, nor did I want, well, fajitas. Thai leapt to the forefront. So I Googled “Thai beef.”

And came up with a plentitude of recipes, including this one, which drew my eye, first because it was Instant Pot-able, and second because the fajita strips, which had been in my way every time I’d looked for something in the freezer in the last two weeks, had suddenly become impossible to find.

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Curry. In a hurry. And good, and easy.

Curry. In a hurry. And good, and easy.

I nailed the chicken curry last night. Nailed. It.

Decided I needed to cook. Didn’t know what I wanted. Decided to thaw chicken breasts, on the basis that I could go in a bunch of directions from there.

Wound up with chicken curry. And I didn’t pull out a recipe, I just winged it with what I know generally goes in there. Worked like a charm.

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Curry in a hurry

May 26, 2016

Dinner in under 30 minutes, and it ain't bad, either.

Dinner in under 30 minutes, and it ain’t bad, either.

Curry is beginning to become one of my go-to meals when I want something quick and easy.

Its heart, at least for me, is coconut milk. Forget your chicken broth or other broth-based preparations; I love me some coconut curry. Not that it tastes coconut-ish; it’s just that a can of coconut milk is cheap, easy to keep a bunch in the pantry, and imparts just about the right amount of liquid and creaminess to a curry sauce.

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Cutting my losses

December 28, 2010

Experimenting in the kitchen is not all Sweet Baby Jesus successes, and blogging is not all about those successes. There comes a time when it’s appropriate to say, “well, that sucked,” and fall back on a tried-and-true standby like wine and cheese and pickles and olives (one reason each of those should be a pantry staple).

Tonight was one of those nights.

It’s lentil week over on Food52. I wasn’t overwhelmed with my submission last night, the pasta e lenticche, which, while it ain’t half bad, ain’t contest winning material. So I figured I’d try something else tonight.

Cross coconut curry lentils off your list of things you might be inclined to try. It just doesn’t work.

I’m not a huge curry fan, but I do like coconut curry. It’s mild, and it’s a good accompaniment to chicken and seafood. It doesn’t do a damn thing for lentils, and vice versa.

I made up my standard curry, except for the fact I used powdered ginger ‘sted of the usual minced, as my ginger was growing strange fuzzies in the fridge and I chunked it. Anyway it’s garlic, ginger, tomatos, turmeric, coriander, cumin, cinnamon and some red pepper. I sauteed the garlic with a couple of chicken breasts, dumped in the other spices while the chicken got done on the outside, added a can of tomatos and a half-can of water and let it poach down, while I boiled the lentils on the other side of the stove. Added the coconut milk and some more water, drained the half-cooked lentils and added them, and simmered until it was thick and the lentils done.

It wasn’t repulsive. But it damn sure wasn’t good.

The cheese and honey and pickles and olives, however, were excellent. So I’m in no danger of going hungry tonight.

Tomorrow night is white chili, P. Allan Smith’s recipe by way of Lynne Rossetto Kasper. You and y’mama ‘n ’em stay tuned.

Well, it actually came from that book of Spanish and African recipes I bought yesterday (‘nother story), or at least the inspiration for it did.

Because, y’see I got home tired as five kinds of hell, after a blue-funk day at work, and couldn’t figure what I wanted for dinner. Had Lots Of Stuff in the fridge. Had, in fact, the makings for Ruebens, which, if I don’t eat ’em pretty soon, are not going to be good. Wasn’t in a sandwich mood. Was in a soup mood (it’s cold and I was in a blue funk anyway).

So I resorted to the tried-and-true don’t-wanna-cook standby. I popped popcorn.

I was still hungry. I meditated on this for a few moments. I got a phone call from a girlfriend in SC, which meant I was going to be on the phone for an hour.) So, bluetoothed and all, I wandered into the kitchen.

(and then I stored this until the next morning because, multi-talented that I am, I cannot cook, talk and blog at the same time.)

TWO long-distance girlfriend phone calls and a good night’s sleep later, here I am (at work, don’t tell anyone), finishing this because unfinished stuff nags at me.

Anyway. I wanted soup. I wanted mildly spicy. I wanted something….different. So I commenced to do stuff I thought would taste good. And it pretty much did.

A tablespoon of olive oil. A clove of garlic. A quarter of an onion. A tablespoon of tomato paste. So far, so good. A quarter-teaspoon of coriander. A pinch of cumin. A healthy sprinkle of cayenne. A sizeable handful of cooked, cubed, frozen chicken breasts. A cup of chicken stock. Simmered 15 minutes or so. A cup of plain yogurt stirred in and brought back to a bare boil, then turned down and simmered for another 10 minutes. Served over couscous.

Not half bad. And it made one single serving, which was what I wanted. Sort of a curry-lite. And that was OK.

Of course, what I realized after that that I really wanted was tortilla soup, which I also could have made. However.

Today, I brought the stuff to lunch for Reubens. I’ll feed the women in the office.

But the cookbook. CookbookS. I had a doctor’s appt. on Monday morning. Got news I wasn’t overly thrilled with (I have a brain tumor, it’s not gonna kill me or anything, but I won’t know for six months if I have to have surgery or not). Had an hour to kill before a lunch appt. There was a bookstore in between the two. I figured I deserved to spend money.

So I did. One book of German, Russian and Polish cooking (do those Slavs pickle EVERYTHING?). One of Spanish and African cuisine (GOOD stuff in in there!). A Classic Bartender’s Guide (which leads me to wonder whether it is intended to be the classic guide for bartenders or the guide for classic bartenders, but I guess either is OK). And a trashy novel I got home and discovered I’d already read.

Cookbooks won’t let you down like that.

This weekend, I have to go get myself a new cookbook shelf. And I’m going back to Mark Bittman, who’s still reclining on my nightstand.

Yes, I know. It’s weird. Cookbooks on your nightstand. Get over it. And tell y’mama ‘n ’em to come over around lunchtime and we’ll have a Reuben.