Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Green Curry with Chicken, Bell Pepper, and Potato

School is now in session. I have one more year with a hanging-on semester. I like to think of it like that so that it doesn't seem too far out. But who am I kidding? It really does seem like a far distance away. I am eager to just jump into work full time since I am in love with my new job. School seems so pale in comparison. I've also been really lucky lately with the people around me. They're my role models of sorts, and asking for their advice, or getting a book recommendation from them, seems so much more beneficial than a classroom setting.

I just got back from a camping trip with my highly adored company, and getting back into the swing of things has been sort of tough. To make dinners easy I've been making things that appeal to my gut, to time spent, and ease of thought-process. So curry it is.

Green curry is one of those things for me that really represents purity and restoration. Have a go at it. It's really easy and really satisfying. For curry paste, I highly recommend using Mae Ploy, if you can get your hands on it (if you're in the Phoenix area ask me for recommendations). Another thing that makes this dish wonderful is the simple essence of Kaffir Lime Leaves. We had not cooked with them much before, but got lucky in the fresh produce section at the Asian Market. I hope you'll have the same luck, because it is the magical touch that will put your curry over the edge. I hope you enjoy.

Green Curry with Chicken, Bell Pepper, and Potato
Cook's Note: For a Vegetarian option, replace chicken with tofu. Either add tofu at the end to steam with lid on, or bake tofu until firm and then add to mixture. For vegetarian, also omit the Fish Sauce. I like to have a second can of coconut milk on hand, just in case I feel like I want to adjust it near the end of cooking. If you would like to as well, add about a few tablespoons at a time to taste. Yield: 4 large servings Total Cook Time: 45 min - 1 hr

2 tbsp coconut oil
1, 14 oz can coconut milk, divided
1 1/2 tbsp green curry paste (The brand we use is Mae Ploy, found at the Asian Market)
4 small red potatoes, cubed
2 chicken breasts, sliced lengthwise, from top to bottom, then halved
2-3 kaffir lime leaves, sliced (Purchased fresh at our local Asian market, or can be bought dried from Specialty stores like Whole Foods. If you can't find it, add the zest from 1 lime)
1 small onion, cubed
1/2 tsp fish sauce, or to taste (you may substitute with soy sauce)
1/4 tsp sugar, or to taste (I use organic, unbleached sugar. You may also use Palm Sugar)
1 green bell pepper, julienned

2 sprigs of fresh basil and mint, for garnish
Steamed Jasmine Rice, for serving

How To:
Heat a wok over medium-high heat. Add coconut oil. Quickly add about 1/4 cup coconut milk, and curry paste. Once mixture becomes fragrant, and starts to sizzle, add cubed potatoes. Don't immediately toss potatoes, but let them fry in the oil (avoiding burning). After a minute or two, toss potatoes, and add chicken. Let mixture sizzle for a few minutes.

Toss mixture and make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the wok. Pour in the rest of the coconut milk. Add about 1/2 cup of water (depending on your taste, you may add more or less). Add kaffir lime leaves. Once coconut milk starts to boil, turn heat down to medium. Put lid on wok to allow the potatoes to steam for 7-10 minutes. During this time, add the cubed onions.

Add green bell peppers. Add fish sauce, and sprinkle sugar evenly over the surface of the curry. Stir well and replace the lid. Cook with lid on for another 5-7 minutes.

Remove lid, and turn heat down to medium-low. Let mixture continue to simmer without stirring it for another 6 or so minutes. This is to help thicken it. If you desire a thicker consistency, allow it to continue to simmer. Check for the tenderness of the potatoes and overall taste of the curry. Adjust to your preference if need be.

Serve with rice and sprigs of basil and mint.

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