Monday, March 05, 2007

Great Green Curry

I was searching for something to make for dinner tonight. Of all the recipes I have nothing was really hitting me as exciting. But as I was about give up, I found a recipe I had typed up awhile back for a friend. It was for a Thai Green Curry Paste. Curryious! I wasn't sure what I would use it with. I remembered that I had a sealed up pork tenderloin in the fridge. And it only had one or two more days until it was bad. Sure, why not! Green Curry and Pork Tenderloin?! Let's see how it turned out.

Thai Green Curry Paste
About 1 cup

This fragrant and spicy paste is excellent on meats and seafood, or stirred into soups, rice, pasta and other grain dishes.

Combine in a small dry skillet over medium heat and toast, shaking the pan often to prevent burning, 2 to 3 minutes:

2 tsp, coriander seeds
1 tsp, cumin seeds
1 tsp, fennel seeds
1 tsp, black peppercorns

Remove from the heat, let cool to room temperatures, and grind to a fine powder in a spice grinder, coffee grinder or blender or with a mortar and pestle. Transfer to a small bowl.

Combine in a blender or food processor and process until finely chopped, about 4 minutes:

1/3 cup tightly packed fresh cilantro leaves
2 ¼ inch slices fresh ginger, peeled
12 Serrano peppers or 6 fresh jalapeno, seeded and chopped
2 large shallots, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
Grated zest of 1 lime, plus the juice
1 ½ tsp, salt
1 tsp, freshly grated nutmeg

Add the spices and with the machine running, slowly pour in:

¼ cup grapeseed oil

Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. This paste will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 1 week.

Slightly adapted from: The All New All Purpose Joy of Cooking: Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker and Ethan Becker (1997)

When the Curry Paste was done, it hung out in the fridge for a few hours while I went off on some errands. Then it was time to figure out how to make the dinner.

I took the tenderloin and cleaned up, I cubed it. I also chopped up a some red bell pepper and half an onion.

Following the idea behind the Coconut Chicken Curry, I pulled out the can of coconut milk.

In a wee touch of oil, I quickly sauted the pork cubes. When the pork was browned, just two minutes per batch. Because we know not to try to crowd the meat in the pan or else it will steam and get nasty. So after about 4 batches, I removed all the pork to a plate. Tossed in the onion and sauted them for a brief minute. Then poured in about half a cup of water to help deglaze the pan. Then I added about one cup of the green curry paste. (My batch gave me about a cup and a half.) I stirred the onions and the paste together. Then poured in the coconut milk. Stir to combine. Add the pork bites back into the pot of green coconut curry. Turn the heat to medium-low. Add the bell pepper pieces. Simmer for a few minutes until the pepper it just tender. Serve with Rice and garnish (optional) with chopped peanuts and chopped mint. Mmmmmm! I loved this and can't wait to have my leftovers!


Dancer in DC said...

I really liked the flavor of the curry - nice and spicy, but not overpowering to the point that you're racing for a glass of milk.

For some reason I wasn't crazy about having pork with it, though. I guess I'm a curry chicken person.

ScottE. said...

In the pictures...before I added the oil to the curry mix, it was the most vibrant green I've seen before. Brilliant! I guess if there were a bunch of chemicals, your grass could be that green. IT was great.

And today I'm having the left overs for lunch. Sadly that makes me the lunch stinker at the office. Homemade curries, although yummy to smell for some are less yummy for others. But I haven't heard any complaints yet!

The heat is a little more intense, slightly less balanced than during the first round with this dish. The pepper compounds really fight for dominance, forcing the submission of the coconut milk and other spice profiles.

The pork does get a tad chewy in the leftover state, perhaps this is where the chicken would shine. Staying on the tender side.

I did reserve some peanuts to add after warming up. A nice touch. A little texture to play with. I did skip the addition of the chopped mint, it's brings a certain brightness to the dish. I'm curious if I were add mint to the curry blend itself, what kind of party we'd have???

I'm really proud of this one!

Omar Cruz said...
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