I didn’t know whether to put this one in the S category, or the K category. Since I’m not posting a recipe for North Korea, I thought I’d stick it here. Bibimbap has a million different variations, but this is the one I’ve eaten my […]
I don’t know how many times I’ve tried to make Thai curry at home. Red, green, panang, massaman- I’ve tried and failed to make them all. I didn’t know what I was doing wrong! Well, yes I did. I was using Japanese and Chinese ingredients for a Thai curry. So I finally went grocery shopping and got lemongrass, Thai basil, and green chilis. You know, the tiny kind that has enough heat to burn a hole right through your tongue? Those ones. I made this very, very mild because I’m a wimp, but you can definitely increase the amount of chilis if you’re so inclined!
16 oz coconut milk
.25 oz Thai Basil
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons lemongrass paste (or two stalks of lemongrass)
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons coriander
3 Thai green chilis
1 head of garlic
1 inch piece of ginger
3 bell peppers
½ lb tofu
Start by peeling and chopping the ginger, garlic, and a quarter of the onion.
Throw them into a food processor, and blend them up along with the Thai basil.
Slice up and seed the chilis, and throw those in with the spices. I can’t cook anything from south, east, or southeast Asia without using cumin and coriander. It just doesn’t taste right without them!
Add the honey, and lemongrass, and then blend those up with some salt. Voila! Green curry paste.
At this point, you can transfer the paste into an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for up to a week. Or you can just make it right now, because you’ve been longing, nay, aching for some good green curry and there isn’t a Thai restaurant within a 50 mile radius of you. Am I projecting? I think I’m projecting.
Pour the oil into the pan, let it heat up, and then slowly pour the curry paste in. I say slowly because the paste will sizzle and splatter like crazy when it hits the hot oil, and you don’t want green curry all up and down your arms.
Stir it around, and let it boil and bubble and toil and trouble. Let it cook for at least 5 minutes. Relatively, 5 minutes can be really fast and really slow. It goes by slow when you’re standing in front of the stove watching curry paste simmer unblinkingly. It goes by fast literally any other time.
Pour in the coconut milk- remember to give it a good shake before you pour it in. I guess shaking it isn’t necessary- it just makes it look pretty and instagram-worthy.
Slice up the bell peppers, carrots, and the other three quarters of the onions,
and throw those in too. Feel free to use any vegetables you’d like- Thai eggplant, bok choy, spinach, etc.
Roast the tofu, and then throw it into the curry. I can’t eat tofu straight outta the package. Too slimy.
Serve it hot, with rice!
Kheer is kind of like rice pudding- and is eaten all over India. Every state in India is like a different country, they all have their own languages and cuisines. I almost skipped this, because I didn’t want to take sides. But kheer? Kheer is everywhere. It’s usually eaten in the summer, but it’s just as good in the winter. It takes a little while to make (longer than my recipes usually do), but it’s worth it!
½ gallon milk
¾ cup basmati rice
⅔ cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground green cardamom
½ cup slivered almonds
½ cup raisins (exclude this if you think raisins are from the devil like I do)
Start by pouring the rice and milk into a slow cooker. This much milk might seem excessive for such a small quantity of rice. At least I think it does.
But weird things happen in slow cookers. It’ll all work out. I don’t trust slow cookers myself. I never have the patience to use them. Cook it on high for about 5 hours, or on auto overnight. I’d say to cook it on high because it’ll get done faster.
When it’s done (finally, finally done),
throw in the sugar,
slivered almonds, and raisins. You can get a bit creative here- add different dried fruits, nuts, and spices. For example, hazelnuts, dried apricots, and nutmeg. Or maybe cinnamon, peanuts, and honey instead of sugar. Cloves. Crystallized ginger. A splash of vanilla extract. Or, you know, you could just leave it pure and perfect. Or give up and throw in some Nutella.
You didn’t hear that from me. Serve it cold- hot kheer is bitter!
I like rice. I like, really like rice. I’ll take it any way I can get it- fried with egg, seasoned with paprika and put in enchiladas, biryani, khichidi, risotto, or simply topped with a runny egg. But one of my favorite ways to eat it is in jambalaya. It’s flavorful, surprisingly healthy, and really low on effort! The prep time is under 10 minutes, and then you just cook it for 20. You can definitely use a store bought Cajun seasoning, but… why? This is a vegetarian version- I don’t have access to Andouille sausage or alligator, and crawfish makes my head swell up.
2 bell peppers
4 oz parsley
2 cups rice
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 bay leaf
4 cups vegetable broth (not shown)
1 tablespoon cajun seasoning (store-bought) OR
1 recipe cajun seasoning (below)
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Start by slicing up all the vegetables. You can add some celery, if you want! I was plumb out, and I’m not in the habit of using things I’m plumb out of. A couple of years back, I tried my hardest to like celery. I tried it with peanut butter. I tried it with Nutella. I tried it with sprinkles. I tried it with hot fudge. I tried it with all of the above. Eventually, I had to accept that the health effects of celery were somewhat nullified by all the stuff I was putting on it. I haven’t bought it since! And I’ve been doing just fine, let me tell ya.
Now it’s time to make the seasoning. Skip this if you have your own! You have to put more of the homemade stuff because the flavor isn’t as intense as that of the store-bought, mostly because this isn’t packed full of MSG! Just mix it all up,
and throw in the sugar for good measure.
Now heat up some oil in a large pot- keep in mind we’re cooking the rice and vegetables in here.
Throw in the veggies
and half the seasoning,
and saute them over very high heat. You just want to get some color on them!
Now pour in the rice,
and stir it around.
Pour in the broth, the rest of the seasoning, and salt to taste. Taste a little bit of the broth, once everything’s in it- it should be saltier than you want, because the rice and vegetables are going to absorb it.
Let it come to a boil,
then reduce the heat and put a lid on. Cook it anywhere from 15-20 minutes- poke it periodically to see how far along it is. Don’t stir it, though! That’ll ruin the presentation. When it’s done, just remove the lid, and it’s ready to serve!