Sunday, March 4, 2012

Add Heat to Food - Eat Yummier

So the losing continues apace. And the discovery of ways to make less food taste more better (intentional grammar lapse...) is also moving along. Y'all know me pretty well, I get flavor combos fairly well. Pork and anything. Chicken and thyme or sage. Macaroni and cheese (laugh, chuckle, liked it). And pepper heat is good with...well, damn near everything. I love it. Jalapenos, serranos, arbol, powdered, fresh, dried.

The past two weeks I've whipped up a batch of Thai-style green curry paste. It's the base. The underlying heat and brightness in Thai green curry dishes. It's the BOOM. And it's easy to make a huge batch and freeze it in ice cube trays. Each "cube" is about 1 1/2 T of concetrated flavor.

Sauteing veg for an omelet? Throw a cube in with the onions or asparagus or whatever and saute that goodness right in. Or if you still have some fresh, stir it into your eggs/whites and get it in that way. One cube = about 1 skillet of food. It's a rough guess thing, not exact science.

If the amount of heat in the recipe scares you, I have an easy work around. Put fewer peppers in. Yeah, I was just looking atcha funny there. Seriously. Less pepper (or less seeds and membranes from inside the peppers) equals less heat.

Then again, my whole point in this was to add MORE heat to dishes.

Anyway, whip up a batch. It's pretty cheap all things considered. $15 worth of ingredients gets you about 12 cubes plus 1/2 cup to keep fresh for the week. So for about $1 per skillet of food, you get AWESOME. I'll add $2-3 worth of veg, chicken, potato, mushroom, beef, pork, etc. to a pan with about $0.50 worth of rice and get a HUGE dinner plate full of Thai goodness.

What, you won't? Eh, your loss. I'm hungry and gettin' with the spicy lunch goodness. Today's gonna be about a half can of chick peas, 2-3oz of spinach, a diced up carrot, and some yellow onion in a pan with some curry paste all stuffed into whole wheat pita and topped w/ crumbled feta and greek yoghurt.

Yeah, I still eat well even on #Facebook4Fatties.

Get some.

Thail Green Curry Paste

2 bunches cilantro, bottom 1" of stems removed
5 oz fresh basil leaves w/ any brown stem ends removed
1 head of garlic, peeled (3 T minced-ish)
1-2T minced fresh ginger
2 stalks lemongrass, peeled, cored, minced (go here for prep)
2 T fresh mint leaves
1 T olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
4 large jalapenos (approx 1 cup rough chopped)
4 serranos (approx 1/4 cup rough chopped)
Juice of 2 limes (~ 4 T juice)

  1. Pulse it all in a food processor to combine, stopping to scrape down the sides.
  2. Once combined, run food processor for 45-60 seconds to make a wet paste.
  3. Put 1-2 T of mixture into each well in an ice cube tray and freeze.
  4. Once frozen remove from the tray and put in a freezer safe plastic bag. 

Should keep well for several weeks. If you start seeing lots of ice crystals on your paste cubes, you haven't been cooking with curry paste enough recently and you should probably use 'em or lose 'em AND make a fresh batch.

Can't find lemongrass? Don't worry. Leave it out.

Only see good looking jalapenos and not serranos? Deal. Use more jalapeno.

You have jars of minced garlic? Okay. I guess. You know. If you must.

NO. You can't substitute dry herbs for this recipe. That defeats the whole purpose here...

1 comment:

Amy K. said...

That curry paste is a great idea. I love me some spices, too.