The boys are getting ready to take off and watch the Royals get their butts kicked by the Yankees, and I wanted to make sure they had an early dinner so they wouldn’t spend the mortgage payment buying food at the ballpark. But it’s the third day of a long weekend, and I really hadn’t planned anything for dinner… so I scrounged and dug a bit, and here’s what happened:
Royal Mango Curry
(my first Internet-published recipe, ooh!)
2 cans coconut milk (don’t shake ’em!)
3 red Thai peppers, seeded and roughly chopped (from my garden!)
1 tsp. coarse salt (maybe another tsp. more if making a vegan version)
1 6″ stalk of lemongrass, chopped finely (also from my garden!)
1″ ginger root, chopped into fine dice (the galangal started to mold and had to be tossed, darnit)
1 shallot, chopped finely
5 cloves garlic
zest of one lime (yay microplane!)
1 tsp. shrimp paste (omit if you want a vegan curry)
2 T. fish sauce (omit if you want a vegan curry)
1 1/2 lb. summer squash, chopped into bite-sized bits no thicker than 1/4″ (from the farmers’ market, baby squash in bright colors)
1 soft ripe green mango, diced (leftover from last week’s Mango Lassi adventure)
juice of one lime
6 c. jasmine rice, cooked
3 T. chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
Start rice cooker, if rice isn’t already made. Find your “Judy Garland in Concert” cd set and put in disk 2. Crank it to drown out the staticky mariachi radio station of the roofers right outside your kitchen window.
Open the cans of coconut milk and spoon out the cream (about the top half of the can), leaving the thinner, more watery stuff in the cans for later. Heat the coconut cream over a medium flame until it cracks (the fat begins to separate, you’ll see dark lines appear in the cream). You can work on the paste while the cream is heating up.
Get out your mortar and pestle, and pound the chilis and salt to a fine red paste. Add, one at a time and pounding until you get a uniform paste, the lemon grass, ginger, garlic, lime zest, shallot and, if desired, shrimp paste.
Stir this paste into the hot coconut cream and fry until fragrant (about 1 minute). Add fish oil and squash, and simmer until squash is just starting to lose its crunch, but still brightly colored. Add diced mango and heat gently, then add lime juice.
Serve over hot rice and garnish with cilantro. Add fish oil, Nam Prik Pao (chili jam) or Srirachi sauce to taste.
Devour and blame chilis for tears while Judy belts out “Over The Rainbow.” Serves four hungry folks with some leftovers for lunch tomorrow.
(I think this would be really delicious and even more colorful with fresh, shelled, deveined shrimp substituted for about half of the squash)