Thai Chicken Curry

OOOooo, my chicken curry counts on here now too, as I made it tonight with CSA box stuff.

This is pretty close to the Thai Kitchen recipe for Thai chicken curry. Though honestly, I’m getting less and less happy with the Thai Kitchen green curry paste. I think they’ve changed recipes because no matter how much curry paste I put in now, I can NEVER get it spicy hot.

First the basic recipe, then the details on how I actually do it.
Thai green curry chicken

1 lb chicken, give or take
veggies
1 can of coconut milk (I recommend the regular, not the low fat)
1-2 T green curry paste
1-2 T fish sauce
2 T brown sugar

1. Chop your veggies if you’re using fresh (tonight was two sad old carrots and a random summer squash, and some frozen green beans).
2. Combine the can of coconut milk with the green curry paste in a large-ish pot (I used 2 T of curry paste tonight and it had NO kick to it *sigh*).
3. Start chopping your chicken into bite size pieces. When you’re almost done, turn the burner under the pot on.
4. Simmer the coconut milk and curry paste for five min.
5. Add the chicken, 2T fish sauce, 2T brown sugar, and any frozen veggies you are using.
6. Cook 5 min on medium heat.
7. Add any fresh veggies.
8. Cook 5 more min.
Serve over rice.

I’ve used frozen stir fry veggies successfully. In fact, I almost always have a bag of them in the freezer (I like the mondo bag from Costco). This is one of those recipes I pretty much ALWAYS have the ingredients for.
You can add 1/2 c of chicken stock to extend the sauce a bit.

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Summer Salad

This is one of those non-recipe recipes. One of those “I have a pot luck to be at in 1/2 hour and I don’t know what to bring and I don’t have time to cook” sort of things. I had a lot of veggies sitting around, and since I pick up a new box Sat, figured I should get through a bit more of what I had. Plus I picked up a HUGE zucchini at work. This was also a good reminder to me that salads don’t always involve a lettuce base.

So here’s what I ended up with.
Summer Salad
2 limp carrots
1 small eggplant
1 very small zucchini
1/3 of a very large zucchini
2 ears of corn shucked and cut from the cob
about 1″ of jalepeno, seeds removed
1 medium tomato
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup olive oil

Chop all the veggies into bite size pieces (I’d suggest deseeding the tomato and the larger section of the zucchini) and put into a large bowl.
Mix the olive oil and balsamic vinegar together (I save salsa jars for dressing making, shaking is easy and there’s so much less clean up then a blender, but I’m sure it doesn’t blend as well. Whatever).
Pour dressing over veggies and if you have a lid that seals tight, place it on and give it all a good shake to mix. Open and serve.

Seriously easy. Honestly, any veggie that tastes ok raw could go into this.

Cheaters Fries

I have no clue how you are supposed to make fries. I’ve never made them before and it isn’t often a thing I read up on. But I’ve been craving fries for A LONG time. As in years. Very few places have GF fries, mostly because they fry other things in the same oil (Dear Hubbards Diner, Thanks for the false advertising. Your fries are NOT GF, please take them off your GF menu. Tease.).

My CSA box came with potatoes the past two times I’ve gone to pick them up and I wasn’t really sure what to do with them. See, I’m not a potato kind of gal. I’ll eat them in various forms, but they aren’t the first thing I go for, and most people don’t make them the way I like them anyway. But french fries… Oh my.

One of the things my family used to do when I was a kid is cut them up, boil them, and eat with ketchup (or ketchup and mayo in my case) as a side dish. I don’t remember liking it much, but thought I’d see if my adult taste buds thought otherwise. They didn’t (I think it’s actually a texture thing, not so much the taste). So here I was with quite a few cut up boiled potatoes and not a clue of what to do with them when brilliance struck! I could try frying them. While they didn’t come out perfect, I’ve eaten more than a serving of Cheaters Fries thus far, so it must be decent.

Cheaters Fries
1. Chop up some quantity of potatoes, leaving the skin on (well, we still don’t have a peeler, and frankly, I think the skins taste good on them this way).
2. Boil until cooked through.
3. Now, the next step, I’m not sure it was necessary, but is how it happened for me. Leave your boiled potatoes in the fridge for a few days.
4. Heat up about 1/4″? of oil in a large pot (I used canola, you DON’T want to use olive oil, as olive oil isn’t a good frying oil).
5. When the oil is good and hot and starting to shimmer, put the potatoes in in a single layer.
6. Let them fry for a while.
7. With a slotted spoon, test a few to see if they release from the bottom of the pan. If they do, give the whole lot a good mix. And continue every once in a while until the potatoes are browned to your liking. I didn’t time how long mine took.
8. Remove to a paper towel to drain.
9. Start a second batch if all your potatoes didn’t fit in the first time.
10. Eat as desired (sprinkled with salt in my case).

Stir Fry – version 8 million and 3

I’ve finally realized that I really do prefer cooking mise en place (or as Use Real Butter called it recently, mess in place). I chop almost everything and then start cooking.

Tonight’s version of stir fry.

1ish onions (1 had one normal sized one, a 1/4 and a 1/2 from two small ones)
3 cloves of garlic
3/4″ ginger?
4 measly “normal” store bought carrots
1 handful of green beans
1 small zucchini
1 small mystery summer squash
1 chicken breast
Cooking oil
—–
2 T brown sugar
1 T lemon tamari
1 T oyster sauce
1 T sesame oil
1/2 T? siracha

Start your rice (I <3 my rice cooker)
Slice your onions thin.
Mince your garlic and ginger.
Cut up your carrot and green beans into whatever size you see fit.
Same with the zucchini and summer squash.
Now with all your veggies tended to, cut your chicken into bite size pieces.
Put some oil in your cooking vessel.
Cook the onion first, and if you're me, almost caramelize it, because if you don't, you'll pay for it later!
Add the garlic and ginger, cooking for another minute.
Add chicken, and cook, stirring fairly regularly until it's pretty much done.
Add the carrots and green beans, cover and cook for a minute or so.
Uncover and add squash. Stirring more to heat them up then to really cook them.
Add your sauce and whala, dinner is ready.

While flavorful, this didn't create as much sauce as I like with my stir fries. Not sure why. I also could have used to add just a bit more siracha.

Guacamole-ish Salsa

I saw a post yesterday in a cooking community looking for good salsa recipes, and realized that I too could make salsa with all the tomatoes I’d just picked up from my CSA. I’m not much of a tomato person, I’m not sure why, and thought this would be a good way to use them up. Some of you may be shocked to know this is the first time I’ve ever made salsa. That’s probably because I don’t like most salsas in restaurants. They are generally too acidic/bland/hot/whatever. If this is what salsa always tasted like, I’d probably eat it by the gallon (and keep the vampires away in the process).

Salsa
the equivalent of 2 large tomatoes (which for me was actually 1 large tomato, 1 medium tomato, 2 small tomatoes, and 7 very small tomatoes)
2/3 of a jalepeno (see notes below)
1/2 small onion
3 large cloves of garlic
1 avocado
Salt
Lemon juice

Chop the tomatoes into small chunks. Finely dice the onion. Finely dice the jalepeno and garlic together. Cut up the avocado. Mix all in a bowl, sprinkling on some salt to taste. I was going to add a tablespoon of lemon juice, but ended up having less than a teaspoon. It still tasted wonderful. I’d suggest letting the whole shebang chill a bit. Enjoy with chips ;)

Jalepeno notes:
If you buy jalepenos you know that sometimes you get really nice and hot ones, and sometimes you get ones that could almost be a bell pepper. I read somewhere recently that if you look for ones that have white ribbing on them, you’ll be more likely to get hotter ones. That worked for the one I used here. When I find the link, I’ll post it here.
Also, if you’ve never worked with a jalepeno, you should know that it is the seeds and internal ribs they sit on that are the hottest, so if you like really hot, leave these parts in, if not, take most of it out.
And as soon as I figure out how to get the tilde over the n’s in jalepeno, I’ll go back and fix those too.

Lemon Pepper Sauteed Chicken, Beet Pancakes, and Green Beans

Yup, two posts in one day! I post when I have content, and this was tonight’s dinner, so here you go.

Lemon Pepper Sauteed Chicken, Beet Pancakes and (over) steamed green beans
The only thing that really has a recipe is the beet pancake. If you want to know how I did the chicken, just ask. All I did was (over) steam the green beans.

This recipe is courtesy of Mark Bittman on NPR. Below is how I did it.

3/4 lb beets
1/2 t dried rosemary
1/2 t salt
2T flour (I used some left over GF four bean flour I had)
2 T butter

1. Trim the beets and peel them as you would potatoes; grate them and get annoyed with the core and chop those thinly by hand.
2. Toss the grated beets in a bowl with the rosemary and salt, then add about half the flour; toss well, add the rest of the flour, then toss again.
3. Place the butter in the skillet and heat until it begins to turn nut-brown. Scrape the beet mixture into the skillet, shape it into a nice circle, and press it down with a spatula. Turn the heat to medium-high and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until the bottom of the beet cake is nicely crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. (next time I’ll turn my flame down a bit more so I don’t end up with caramelized beet pancake).
4. Flip it somehow. Bittman suggests a lot of sliding and flipping between plates. I got it to work eventually, but be aware you pancake may fall apart in the process. Continue to cook, adjusting the heat if necessary, until the second side is browned. Cut into wedges and serve immediately.

This is definitely a make again. I ate it with creme fraiche simply because I had it, but sour cream would work just as well. Next time I think I’ll cut down on the rosemary a bit. The 1/2 t dried was almost a bit overpowering.

Mashed Potatoes, Cauliflower and Carrots

This recipe is from Thayer in the Kitchen with only some minor modifications from me. Next time, I will add more salt. Maybe I’ll even remember to buy milk instead of just half and half. I do suggest looking at the original, because what is below is how I actually did it based on not having milk. These stayed nice and creamy, even when they were cold. I’m impressed and will make this again at some point.

Mashed Potatoes, Cauliflower and Carrots

1.25 lbs potatoes, unpeeled and chopped into quick cooking size chunks
1 lb cauliflower
3/4 lb carrots, cut into chunks
4 medium garlic cloves, peeled
1 t salt
1/4 c half and half
1/4 c water
1/4 c sour cream
2 T butter
black pepper to taste

Place potatoes, cauliflower, carrots and garlic in a large saucepan. Add enough water to cover ingredients. Bring to a boil. Boil until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Drain; return to saucepan.

Stir in half and half, water, sour cream, butter, and 1 teaspoon of salt and pepper. Process mixture in the pan using a hand mixer (or whatever you use to mash potatoes).