Yep, here's Russell with another Danger Dinner. This time around I wanted to do something with our coconut rice recipe — one of the yummiest side dishes we eat around here, almost a meal in itself. I figured some chicken curry would be a good companion dish.
The coconut rice bakes for 18 minutes after some initial stovetop work, which makes it (a) good to help warm up the living room on chilly days and (b) clears off the range for other cooking. After it went in the oven, I started working on my curry. I cooked up some chicken, some thinly sliced bits of carrot, some red bell pepper, and some bamboo shoots. To this I added cubed tofu, a couple of teaspoons of yellow curry paste (Thai Kitchen brand, highly concentrated stuff, use with caution), some chicken stock, the rest of the can of coconut milk opened for the rice, some Thai fish sauce, and a few teaspoons of sugar, and simmered it all togther for a while. When the coconut rice came out, I shoveled a couple ladlesful into a bowl, scooped some of the curry over it, and served.
The result was pretty good, better than "just edible", but I made a tactical error putting the curry together. I should have sauteéd the dry ingredients in a frying pan rather than saucepans; meriko explained to me that the confines of a deep pan tends to retain moisture, steaming your food instead of browning it. Furthermore, the wet ingredients would have tended to boil off, leaving a thicker sauce behind instead of the watery thing I had.
The flavor of the curry was a bit on the bland side (except for heat); a better caramelization of the chicken, carrot, and pepper might have improved it; meriko also suggested more fish sauce (the fishy flavor of it hit me hard when I first put it in the pot, but it mellows and blends rapidly with everything else) and fresh basil (which, dammit, we had in the frig, slowly wilting, I saw it earlier today and tried to remind myself to use it!). On the bright side, the coconut rice is sooooo good, I could have just served the tofu, raw, on top of it, and it would have been edible, so any failings of the curry didn't ruin the meal, and maybe next time I can make it a bit better.
That's all the time we have tonight on Danger Dinner! Tune in next week for another exciting adventure!Posted by russell on October 23, 2002 | TrackBack