Thursday, February 16, 2012

Thai for Lunch Anyone?

This morning I sent a crockpot full of Thai Red Chicken Curry and a big bowl of Jasmine Rice to my husband's unit for the Soldiers to enjoy during their lunch fundraiser this afternoon (he's serving in the U.S. Army by the way) hopes that people would enjoy it.  The fundraiser has been such a successful event in raising money to support family oriented events.  The concept:  family members donate home-cooked meals (in crockpots) & desserts during lunch time and Soldiers pay whatever they can for a yummy warm meal and sweet treats.  I made my Thai curry dish because I can make it the day before and its much more flavorful the day after it's made.  I really don't know why that is, but I think the spices are just absolutely incredible the next day.  Plus....I just pop it in the fridge at night, my husband takes it to work the next morning, plugs in the crockpot, cooks it on low, and by lunch time it's perfectly heated and ready to eat.  My husband called a few minutes into the lunch to tell me that the crockpot was empty, bowl of rice was gone, and there were many rave reviews on my dish.  YAY!

In case anyone wants my recipe, here it is.  It's one that I created after searching for the perfect recipe that resembled my favorite Thai restaurant's dish.  I butchered several that I found on the internet and finally came up with my little masterpiece.

THAI RED CHICKEN CURRY   *Printable Recipe*
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 chopped onion
4 teaspoons Thai red curry paste (or 5 teaspoons for a hotter curry)
2 cloves garlic— chopped
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup water
1 chicken boullion cube (knorr brand)
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar

1.5 cup bamboo shoot strips 4 kaffir lime leaves
1 red bell pepper - thin slices
2 uncooked skinless chicken breast fillets—cut into thin slices
2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
6 large fresh thai basil leaves—finely sliced

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and cook the onion and garlic until tender. Stir in red curry paste and cook for a minute. Then add coconut milk, water, boullion, fish sauce, sugar, kaffir lime leaves and bring to a boil. Add red pepper & bamboo shoots. Cover with a lid, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for approx 10 minutes. While the curry simmers, cook some jasmine rice. Add chicken to the curry and simmer, covered, for another 5-10 minutes until chicken is cooked. Stir in lemon/lime juice and basil. Serve on a bed of jasmine rice.

If you're wondering where to get some of the ingredients, such as kaffir lime leaves, red curry paste, fish sauce, etc.  I purchase these at a local asian grocery store.  They're all fairly inexpensive.  For example, a bag of 10-15 kaffir lime leaves is $1 and a large bag of thai basil is $1.50.  Just so you have an idea of what the items look like, here are a few photos.
Red Curry Paste
Kaffir Lime Leaves
Bamboo Shoots, Fish Sauce, Red Curry Paste

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