Curried Rice

A nice change from your standard rice side.  Many argue that the success of this side dish is in the quality of the curry you use.

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons curry powder
  • 2 cups long-grain white rice
  • 3 1/4 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Cook onion and garlic in oil in a 3- to 4-quart heavy saucepan over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened. Add curry powder and rice and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add water and salt and boil, uncovered, without stirring, until surface of rice is covered with steam holes and grains on top appear dry, about 8 minutes.

Reduce heat to as low as possible, then cover pan with a tight-fitting lid and cook 15 minutes more.

Remove pan from heat and let rice stand, covered, 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.  Makes 8 servings.

Courtesy of epicurious.com

Garlic Peanut Sauce

This is great with any grilled or roasted meat or poultry, and can be made ahead.  We omitted the lemongrass.

  • 1/2 small onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large stalk of fresh lemongrass, bottom third of the tender white inner bulb only, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoons sambal oelek (see Note)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate (see Note)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons smooth or chunky peanut butter
  • Salt

In a mini food processor, combine the chopped onion, chopped garlic and lemongrass, and process to a paste.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the vegetable oil. Add the onion paste and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Add the ground coriander and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add thesambal oelek and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the coconut milk and boil over high heat until thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the tamarind concentrate, sugar and peanut butter until smooth. Remove from the heat and season with salt. Let cool, then transfer to a bowl.

MAKE AHEAD

The peanut sauce can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Let return to room temperature before serving.

A Thai Dinner – Wontons and Shrimp Satay

 

200905-r-shrimp-satay2

We decided to go Asian tonight after a very successful Szechuan Pork dinner last weekend.  Tonight is Thai night, and we thought we’d stick with the starters and quality ingredients.  Below is my modified wonton recipe, followed by a shrimp satay recipe fromFood & Wine Magazine.  Great when served with garlic peanut sauce  and a side of steamed edamame (soybeans).

Vegetable Wontons

  • 1 package won ton skins 
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 T low sodium soy sauce 
  • 2 teaspoons oriental dark sesame oil 
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced 
  • 1 T curry (optional) 
  • 1 T fresh ginger, minced 
  • 8 scallions, cleaned and chopped 
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and finely diced 
  • 2 stalks celery, finely diced 
  • 2 c. napa cabbage, chopped into thin shreds 
  • 8 water chestnuts, finely chopped (optional) 
  • Vegetable oil for frying
In a wok,  heat sesame oil and add the garlic curry and ginger. Stir with a wooden spatula for 1 minute. Add the carrot, celery, scallions, napa cabbage, and water chestnuts and sauté on high heat for another minute. Season with red wine vinegar and soy sauce. Sauté, stirring frequently until vegetables are seasoned and lightly cooked but still crunchy about 3 – 4 minutes. If more liquid is needed and vegetables seem to stick, add a few tablespoons of water or vegetable stock. Remove from heat and transfer to a stainless steel or nylon mesh strainer to drain off excess liquid.
On a clean working wooden surface, lay out the won ton skins. 
Place 1 teaspoon of the veggie mixture in the center of one side of the won ton. Fold over the edge to form a triangle. Seal the inner edges with a dab of water, then press down with a fork. 
Add veggie oil to a wok and heat on medium to medium-high heat, or about 365.  Working in batches, fry the wontons until golden and lay out on paper towls to dry.  Serve immediately!
NOTE: you can freeze the won tons and fry later.
Grilled Shrimp Satay
  • 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 3 large stalks of fresh lemongrass, bottom third of the tender white inner bulb only, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 30 large shrimp (about 1 3/4 pounds), shelled and deveined

In a mini food processor, combine the onion, garlic, lemongrass and ginger and process to a paste. In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil. Add the onion paste to the skillet and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 25 minutes.

Add the ground coriander, sugar, ground fennel seeds, cumin, turmeric and salt to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Scrape the spice paste into a bowl and let cool completely.

In a large, shallow dish, coat the shrimp with the spice paste. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Soak 30 bamboo skewers in water for 30 minutes. Light a grill. Thread 1 shrimp lengthwise onto each bamboo skewer and stretch each one out on the skewer. Grill over high heat for about 1 1/2 minutes per side, until the shrimp are nicely charred and just cooked through. Transfer the shrimp skewers to a platter, and serve immediately with the Garlic Peanut Sauce.

Note: Satay recipe courtesy of our friends at Food & Wine Magazine.  We could not get lemongrass at the time, and we tried pan frying instead of grilling because I don’t have a grill pan yet!

Food of the Month – Sun-dried Tomatoes

Just one ounce of savory sun-dried tomatoes added to your salad, pesto, soup or simply enjoyed on its own provides a boost of vitamin C, iron and fiber.  Such a little addition can do so much!

You can buy sundried tomatoes packed in olive oil or vacuum-packed at the market, or you can dry your own.  Just half and remove the seeds (optional) of the number of tomatoes you want and whack in an oven at 200 degrees and wait. . . 6 or 7 hours.  

So easy to do, and worth the wait. You control quantity, waste less, and can pick out the tomatoes to dry yourself!

To your health!