Eating better food for less and other tales from a no-moneymoon

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Can, A Plan, A Curry

This is the tale of two cans, a plan, and some curry paste, in no particular order.

We were very fortunate to receive a present: some essential ingredients of Thai cooking that a friend (who is Thai herself) felt would be useful to me as a homecook. I was excited to start exploring and immediately broke into the oyster sauce, which I put with some dark greens for a delicious meal. But the small and potent-looking can of curry paste...well, it just sat there. I'm going to admit that it kind of scared me and so, it lingered on a shelf, taunting me.

But I had a plan for this can: some leftover chicken, some corn from a lonely old cob, the remnants of the hot chili and two cans: coconut milk and pineapple rings. Boil, boil, a little toil, no trouble at all.

Thai Curry with Chicken and Pineapple

1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
Half an onion, chopped
1 red pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 inch of chili pepper, seeded and membrane removed and cut fine
1 carrot, sliced thin
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon thai curry paste (which is fish + chili + tamarind + MSG...oh well.)
1/3 can of coconut milk, about 2/3 cups
1 cup chicken stock
1 cob corn, kernels cut off
2 1/2 cups cooked chicken, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1/2 can pineapple cubes or rings in juice, drained and cut into bite size pieces

Heat a large saute pan with some olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion. While the onion starts to soften chop your pepper (red and hot) and carrot. Add these veggies in and cook until softened. The carrots might still be a little hard, but that's ok.

Now, the fun: spice. Add in the spices and salt and stir into the vegetables. Cook for a minute or two. Add in the coconut milk and chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Add in the curry paste. I was trying to use only a little due to the MSG and it really went a very long way. I was relieved I didn't use more!

Cut the kernels off the corn cob and add to the pan along with the cooked chicken. Cook for 3-4 minutes. Drain and cut pineapple and add it to the mixture and heat through.

Mr. Lemon and I tasted it and threw away the Thai take out menu. It was seriously tasty, spicy and balanced savory with sweet nicely.

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