Thai meatball coconut curry

What could be better than the comfort of meat balls surrounded by Thai flavors and swimming in coconut broth? Very little, if you ask me. I am sharing this recipe from “Delicious” magazine as there is nothing I would do to tweak it.You can freeze half of this for another time, which is perfect!

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Serves 4
3 tbsp olive oil
2 red bell peppers, sliced
4 to 5 tbsp Penang curry paste (You can use Thai kitchen Penang curry paste, if available)
2 x 14 oz cans coconut milk
1 each large red and green chilli pepper, de-seeded and finely shredded
6 scallions, (spring onions) thinly sliced
2 lemongrass stalks, tough outer leaves removed and inner leaves finely diced
Juice of 2 limes, plus lime wedges to serve
5 to 6 oz ground almonds
Steamed rice, to serve

For the meatballs
2lbs ground pork
5 scallions, finely diced
1 large red chilli, deseeded and finely diced
2 lemongrass stalks, tough outer leaves removed, inner leaves finely diced
good bunch of cilantro, leaves finely chopped
1 1/2 to 2 inch piece of ginger, grated
grated zest and juice of 2 limes
1 medium free range, organic egg

In a large bowl mix the ingredients for the meat balls. Season and with wet hands, form into about 40 walnut-sized balls. Put on a large plate and chill for 15 minutes or until needed.

Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a large, deep frying pan, add the meatballs in 2 batches and fry for 10 minutes until cooked through and browned. Remove and set aside.

In the same pan, heat the remaining olive oil, add the peppers and fry for 2 minutes until softened, then add the curry paste and cook for 1 minute.
Stir in the coconut milk, chillies,scallions, lemongrass and lime juice. Gently simmer for a few minutes then add the almonds and cook for a few minutes to warm through (add a little water or chicken broth if the curry sauce seems too thick)

Add the meatballs to the curry sauce and heat through. Divide half the curry among 4 serving bowls, sprinkle with cilantro leaves and serve with rice and lime wedges.

** Cool the remaining curry and spoon into a freezerproof container. Seal and freeze for up to 3 months.
Thaw overnight in the fridge, then transfer to a saucepan and heat until the sauce and meatballs are piping hot.

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Baked curried rice with apples and coconut

I love anything curried and this baked brown rice dish is a no-fuss recipe that needs to be left alone for 45 minutes in the oven. Your reward for doing next to nothing is a pot of tender, fragrant, slightly spicy grains (if you want more heat, use up to a tablespoon more curry powder).

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Serves 4

2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 to 1 ½ tbsp curry powder
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 cup brown Basmati rice
Salt and black pepper
One 14-ounce can coconut milk
1⁄4 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
2 tart apples, (Granny Smith) cored and chopped
1⁄2 cup chopped fresh cilantro + extra for garnish
1⁄4 cup Greek-style yogurt, optional

Heat the oven to 350°F. Put the oil in a large ovenproof saucepan over medium heat. A minute later, add the curry powder and ginger and cook, stirring, for about a minute. Add the rice and some salt and pepper; cook, stirring, until the rice is glossy and translucent, just a minute or 2.

Measure 1 & 3/4 cups of the coconut milk; stir it into the rice mixture. Bring to a boil, then cover tightly and transfer to the oven. Bake, undisturbed, for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the shredded coconut in a small skillet over medium heat and toast, shaking the pan and stirring often, until it begins to brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the rice from the oven, uncover, and use a fork to stir in the shredded coconut, apples, and cilantro. Replace the lid and let it rest for 10 minutes.
Taste and adjust the seasoning and fluff again. Serve immediately or at room temperature, topped with yogurt and a sprinkling of cilantro if you like.

Sauteed scallops with Thai scented pea puree

This is a terrific recipe from Nigella Lawson which is simple to make and the Thai scented pea puree really adds a terrific zing to the dish. It cuts the sweetness of the peas and is really tangy alongside the sweet scallops.

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Serves: 2

1 lb frozen petits pois
1 tbsp green Thai curry paste
⅓ cup creme fraiche
kosher salt (to taste)
2 tsp peanut oil (or other flavourless oil)
2 tsp butter
6 large scallops (preferably diver caught) (or 10-12 small ones)
Juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp chopped cilantro (or Thai basil)

Cook the peas in boiling, slightly salted water until tender, then drain and tip into a blender, adding 1 tablespoon curry paste and the crème fraîche. Season to taste with salt and perhaps add more curry paste, depending how strong it is.

Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan until foamy, then fry the scallops for about 2 minutes a side. If you are using big scallops, then it is sometimes easier to cut them in half across. When they are cooked, they will have just lost their raw look in the middle and be lusciously tender, while golden and almost caramelized on the outside.

Lift the scallops onto 2 warmed plates and then de-glaze the hot pan by squeezing in the lime juice. stir to mix well and pick up every scrap of flavour, then pour this over the scallops on each plate.

Dish up the pea purée alongside the scallops, and sprinkle with the chopped coriander or thai basil. Serve with another wedge of lime, if you feel like it.

15 minute Coconut curry noodle soup

Want a bowl of heaven in 15 minutes?  This recipe is from a great blog called Woks of Life and has all my favorite ingredients rolled into one bowl of deliciousness.

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Makes 2 generous portions

You’ll need:

2 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 heaped tbsp fresh ginger, grated
2 tbsp Thai red curry paste (or 3 tbsp if you like it really spicy)
8 oz. boneless chicken breast or thighs, sliced
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
2 tbsp fish sauce
2/3 cup coconut milk
6 oz. dried rice vermicelli noodles (or the fine rice noodles)
A bag of beansprouts (about 10 oz)
1 lime, juiced
Sliced red onion, red chilies, cilantro, scallions to garnish

In a large pot over medium heat, add the oil, garlic, ginger, and Thai red curry paste. Fry for 5 minutes, until fragrant.
Add the chicken and cook for a couple minutes, just until the chicken turns opaque.
Add the chicken broth, water, fish sauce, and coconut milk. Bring to a boil. At this point, taste the broth for salt and adjust seasoning accordingly (add salt if needed, or if it’s too salty, add a bit of water).

Put the dried rice vermicelli noodles in each of your large soup bowls, add a large handful of beansprouts, a good amount of roughly chopped cilantro and about 1/4 cup chopped scallions per bowl.
Pour the boiling soup over all this and add a good squeeze of lime juice to each bowl.Let sit for about 4 minutes until the noodles are cooked. Serve

(Alternatively, you can add the noodles to the boiling broth to cook them, and then divide among serving bowls).

Asian roast chicken with red curry and coconut gravy

Roast chicken is my go-to comfort food if we’ve had a really busy week and have eaten out a lot. The week of the Oscars was like that and I was craving a roast chicken. This is a fabulous alternative to the usual traditional flavors in a roast chicken.

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1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp Thai spice blend or Chinese five-spice powder
½ tsp coarse salt
Grated zest and juice of 1 lime, plus extra 1 lime, halved
3 1/2 lb whole free-range chicken
2 lemongrass stalks, bruised
4 thick slices fresh ginger
2 lime leaves (look for Bart Spices dried lime leaves, from major supermarkets)
7 oz carton coconut cream
7 fl oz chicken stock, hot
1 tbsp Thai red curry paste

Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Mix together the oil, spice blend, salt and lime zest and juice to make a paste. Rub the mixture evenly onto the chicken skin.
Pop the lime halves into the body cavity, along with the lemongrass, ginger and lime leaves. Sit in a roasting tin and roast for 1½ hours, until the chicken is cooked through.
Tip any juices inside the body cavity into the tin, then lift the chicken onto a plate and rest for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, pour off the fat, then stir the coconut cream, stock and curry paste into the juices left in the tin, and cook in the oven for a further 5 minutes, until hot.
Carve the chicken and serve with the coconut gravy and some steamed greens, such as pak choi, and rice.

Thai red-curry squash soup

I adore any food from South-East Asia and as I eat less and less meat, this recipe is a definite one for the repertoire.
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Serves 8

4 tbsp unsalted butter
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh ginger, plus 1 cup slivered fresh ginger for garnish
2 tbsp Thai red curry paste
3 lbs kabocha or butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 2-inch pieces
5 cups water of chicken stock
Two 13.5 oz cans unsweetened coconut milk
2 keffir lime leaves or 1 tsp lime zest
1 large stalk of fresh lemongrass, smashed and cut into 2-inch lengths
2 tbsp light brown sugar
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 large scallions, thinly sliced
a few cilantro stalks for garnish (coriander)

In a large, heavy pot, melt the butter. Add the onion and sliced ginger and cook over a moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, 7 minutes.
Add the curry paste and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 2 minutes. Add the squash and water/stock and bring to the boil.Cover partially and simmer over low heat until soft, 25 minutes. Add the coconut milk, broken up lime leaves and lemongrass, cover partially and simmer for 30 minutes longer. Discard the lime leaves and lemongrass.

Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender; add it to a clean pot. Stir in the sugar and lime juice and season with salt.

In a medium skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the 1 cup of slivered ginger and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until golden brown and crisp, 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the ginger to paper towels to drain.

Reheat the soup; ladle it into the bowls. Garnish with the fried ginger, scallions and a few cilantro leaves (coriander) and serve

Chilled spicy cucumber, avocado and coconut milk soup

Give me anything curried and I’ll walk miles for it!  I love this because there is no cooking and it tastes as if you’ve been slaving for hours in the kitchen. You can vary the garnishes.

 

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Two 12-ounce cucumbers—peeled, seeded and chopped
2 Hass avocados, coarsely chopped ( try just one to start with as it may be too thick with 2)
2 teaspoons Thai green or yellow curry paste (Try less to start with and taste it)
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
One 13-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
3 ½ cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (use lemon if you cannot find limes)
Salt
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, for garnish
10 cilantro sprigs, for garnish

In a food processor, puree the cucumbers until smooth. Add the avocados, curry paste, sugar, lime zest and chili.
Process until blended. Add 3 1/2 cups of chicken broth, the coconut milk and lime juice and process until smooth. Transfer the soup to a large bowl and season with salt. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a skillet, toast the coconut over low heat, stirring a few times, until lightly browned and crisp, 3 minutes. Let cool.
Ladle the soup into small bowls or cups, garnish with the toasted coconut flakes and cilantro sprigs and serve.