Thai Curry Paste Saved My Week

The combination of five-day workweeks and a steady supply of CSA vegetables make me scream out for easy dinner ideas.  This week, a tiny jar of Thai curry paste came to my rescue.  Twice.

On a post-work grocery run, I impulsively bought a jar of red Thai curry paste from the grocery store nearest to our residence.  I was looking for an escuse to use the year-old can of coconut milk I had found in my cupboard.  I’m sure you can purchase more potent and flavorful varieties of curry pastes from Asian markets. This Thai Kitchen version was good enough for a quick fix, if a little tame.

I incorporated my CSA vegetables with whatever meat I had on hand.  On the first occasion, I added meat from our freezer, and on the second, leftover rotisserie chicken.  If you don’t have rice to steam, try serving the soupy curry over lightly buttered noodles.  The turnips, kohlrabi, Chinese cabbage, and onions from our CSA box all went into the curry pot.

Thai curry screams, “everyone in the pool!”  Use whatever you have in your kitchen and make as much or little as you’d like.

Ingredients
Vegetable oil
Meat, cut into bite sized pieces
Chopped vegetables
Optional: Hot chili (I used one red jalapeño, seeds and all)
Meat, cut into bite sized pieces
Thai curry paste, to taste
1 can of coconut milk (Add the whole can. The thicker substance will melt when cooked)
Water
Fish sauce
Brown sugar
Steamed rice or lightly buttered noodles

Directions
Sauté meat (if using raw).  Sauté vegetables until tender.  Add the curry paste and briefly cook.  Then, add the coconut milk and water and incorporate.  I added about 1/3-1/2 cup water for one 12 oz. can of coconut milk.  Add fish sauce and brown sugar to taste.  Simmer until the flavors meld together and the coconut milk begins to look and taste less “raw.”  It will begin to shimmer.

Serve over rice or noodles and garnish with fresh cilantro and sliced cucumber.

*I ended up using more brown sugar than I expected, a lot more curry paste than suggested, and only a few dashes of fish sauce.

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