Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Spicy Curry Love

Let me start off by saying that I fall for everything. I have recently found myself in a most peculiar situation that is challenging me to be bold... to be the proverbial "fireball" in a situation that is so outrageous and fascinating... Let me just say, horse races are involved.

Ultimately, I am gullible... Someday I'll wise up, I'm sure of it. Until then, it's best that I continue to pursue my evolving and revolving list of short-term goals. Explore tide pools, pet purple starfish, slip around on some green algae shag carpet... check. Hot tub hop around the campgrounds and hostels of northern California... check. Picnic in the park... check. Thanksgiving, in fact (pictures coming soon!). My dear friend (same friend from brunch!) & I adventured our way up to San Francisco for a superbly lovely Thanksgiving Picnic in Golden Gate Park, with a few of the finest people I know. Check out the view.

Superbly delightful is an understatement. Look at the view.
Picnic time!

We don't need no dang turkey!
We walked to Strawberry Hill after dinner. Perfection.
We had ants on a log; Shepherd's Pie with lamb and curry; heart-shaped beets; marinated green bean, red bell pepper; cornbread & salted honey butter (salted butter + organic "beach blossom" honey from my hood); roasted fingerling potatoes & shiitake mushroom gravy; walnut sourdough bread from Arizmendi; $2 bottle of red wine; seasonal holiday Anchor Steam ale; pumpkin pie with whipped cream! So dang delicious y'all. I am spoiled.

Anyway, shit happened once I returned to real life. I have been working non-stop. Can't stop, won't stop. I gotta pay bills, and I'm too young & poor to be a cougar in cougar town. The holidaze is in full force all around me. Parties, presents, and fanciness.

I had to make something spicy! I need a slap in the face and a kick in the pants. I made a festive holiday curry, using non-perishable ingredients. A recipe we can all use... it's bright, it's cheery, and spicy as hell. It's especially great when you feel like you're coming down with something. When it rains, it pours.

Funny enough, this curry was made possible by a can of curry paste I brought with me all the way from Sarasota, FL. If you reside in the wonderful city of Sun Coast, please stop by Phuoc Loc Tho Oriental Supermarket on 12th to pick up a can of this spicy ass curry.

So effing hot.
It astounds and delights me to know I can make a profoundly delicious meal from a few fresh veggies and three non-perishable food items - coconut milk, curry paste, and rice.

Fortunately and unfortunately, no one was around to be assaulted by this hot mess, but of course I brought it for lunch the next day. It's so hot it made the girls get all flushed at lunch. Especially Ciena!

Festive curry & baked Basmati rice. Hot shit.
The recipe for the rice came from my stunning new cookbook, My Nepenthe: Bohemian Tales of Food, Family, and Big Sur. Nepenthe is my dang dream house. Good lord. Can I please live in a baller tree house with an amazing fire pit, in the middle of the redwoods with a wide open view of the ocean?!

Spicy Hot Holiday Curry
  • 1 can Maesri green curry paste (or your favorite spicy blend)
  • 1 can coconut milk for those who are brave; 2 cans for everyone else
  • 1.5 - 2.5 cups of your favorite fresh veggies - I used a leftover baked potato, sliced; a big handful of fresh broccoli; a small handful of fresh cauliflower; 1 small bunch of baby bok choy; handful of lacinato kale
  • 2/3 cup (or to taste) diced tomato - trust me
  • Salt & pepper to taste
Combine curry paste and coconut milk. Stir in chopped veggies and simmer until cooked al dente.
Baked Rice
from My Nepenthe: Bohemian Tales of Food, Family, and Big Sur.
"Perfect rice every time with no attention."
  • 1.5 cup water
  • 1 cup of your favorite rice
"Preheat the oven to 375 F. For every cupful of rice, either brown or white, use 1.5 cups water. Place in a baking dish, add a knob of butter if desired, and cover tightly with foil. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork before serving." 
Notes: I made Basmati rice and it was done after 40 minutes. Also, this recipe fits well into a standard-sized loaf pan.

That's it! Challenge yourself to bold & spicy y'all.