Friday, September 11, 2009

Something Different (Thai Curry)

Today I'm going to try something different: I'm going to try to keep this brief. A lot of my entries have been far too long and, as I was reading through the updates of the food blogs I follow, I realized that I don't really like reading epically long entries. Most of the ones I enjoy most tell a quick story, get to the point, and call it a day. I'm not so good at that (this introduction is already getting long), but I'll give it a shot anyways.

I took the day off from work today, only my second day off in my more than 10 months of employment. I had no plans for how to spend the day and, to be completely honest, I didn't really do anything of significance, but it was nice to not have to go into the office all the same.

Usually when I have a good bit of time on a weekend evening, I like to try to cook something more difficult and demanding, since I can spare the time required. I was planning on making Red Curry Mussels, a dish I fell in love with at Ray's Boat House in Seattle, but the mussels weren't looking so awesome at my usual stores today, so I skipped out on that idea and settled for regular Thai red curry.

One thing I quite like about soupy-brothy type dishes like curries, mabo tofu, and the likes is that you can put pretty much whatever you want into them and it will be totally fine. Today, I loaded up my curry with onions, carrots, bell peppers, eggplant, and tofu. I've got a bunch of meat in my freezer that needs eating, but wasn't on top of my game enough to actually have any of it defrosted in time for dinner, hence the vegetarian-ness.

The recipe is based off of a basic red curry recipe from Rasa Malaysia, though as usual I didn't particularly stick to it beyond the rough ratios for the broth. I pan fried the tofu until it was golden brown (ok, that's a lie: I made one side a beautiful golden brown and thoroughly burned the other), then made sure the carrots and eggplant were cooked long enough to properly soften up. My mom will probably feint upon hearing that I voluntarily ate eggplant, but I've come to realize that it doesn't taste like much on it's own and absorbs other flavors quite well (making it great for a curry) and getting some extra veggies in my diet certainly doesn't hurt.

I love spicy foods, with much of what I cook lately coming out bright red from all the chili-based ingredients, and I tried to be generous with the red curry paste this time, but it didn't have much affect. I don't know if the base recipe is just quite mild, if it's the curry paste I'm using, or a combination of both, but this definitely could have done with more heat.

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