A while back you may remember me talking about how my thai yellow soup came into being. This is the very recipe where that chilli mishap occurred. You see, my beloved Elly is not a big fan of “spicy” food so I was trying to create a thai curry that she would at least like, so I could have a curry more often without feeling guilty that I was torturing her.
Honestly it had nothing to do with me wanting to slowly increase her tolerance for spicy food
On that fateful day the particular green chili I had decided to use was (unknown to me) not terribly hot and as I was cooking with Elly in mind I also removed the seeds. Since that incident I now cut a tiny amount of chilli off the end and touch my tongue with it to get an idea of heat. If I don’t feel a burn I use the seeds in the dish.
But that’s just me – I’ve known people who put lots more chilli in their cooking than I do, it’s all down to personal taste so it’s always a good idea to experiment with the strength and amount of chilli in a curry if it’s not to your liking.
1 stick of lemongrass
3 cloves of garlic
1 green chilli (seeds optional)
Half an onion
Thumb sized piece of ginger
Handful of fresh coriander (leaves and stems)
Handful of fresh basil leaves
Handful of fresh mint leaves
Half teaspoon ground coriander
Half teaspoon ground cumin
Half teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons fish sauce
Juice of half a lime (zest the lime first and save along with the remaining juice)
1 teaspoon brown sugar
Roughly a quarter can of coconut milk
and the rest
1 and a half onions, finely diced
4 chicken breasts, diced
2 bell peppers, diced
Three-quarter tin of coconut milk
2 kaffir lime leaves
The Curry Paste
To make the curry paste, roughly chop the ingredients and add everything except the coconut milk to your blender. Give them a few pulses to break it down a little. You are looking for a this to become a thick but smooth paste, so add the coconut milk a little at a time and try to blend. As soon as it starts to turn into a paste stop adding coconut milk and blend to a smooth paste.
Now you have your curry paste, you can store this for a day or two in an airtight container in the fridge. Or you can use it fresh, which is always my preference. It’s nice to know that you could make this up in advance if you were going to be a little pushed for time.
and the rest
Next, you’ll want to heat a frying pan over a medium to high heat and when it is up to temperature add a little oil and then your paste. You just want to release the aromatics from it so don’t wait too long (about a minute) before adding the rest of the onions and allowing them to soften a little (about 5 minutes). Add the diced chicken and stir fry until sealed (about 5 minutes).
Now increase the heat under your pan and add the coconut milk, diced peppers and the kaffir lime leaves. As soon as the mixture begins to boil, reduce to a simmer for about 20 – 25 minutes and serve on a bed of pilaf rice.
Remember the lime zest and juice I said to save? Well, here’s a great way to use it up and add a real subtle zing and punch to this dish. When making the rice pilaf, add the lime zest and juice instead of the turmeric and cook as normal. Hey presto, zingy rice!
4 cooked chicken breasts, shredded or finely chopped
Small tin sweetcorn (260g)
2 carrots, julienned
1 leek, cut in fine rings (or substitute 1 onion)
Half a bag of beansprouts
Thumb-sized piece of ginger, finely diced
1 red chilli, finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, finely diced
Toasted sesame oil
Juice of 1 lime (or 1/2 a lemon)
Packet of spring roll pastry (or substitute filo pastry)
Makes between 8 – 18 spring rolls, dependant on the size of your pastry sheets and amount of mix placed in each one.
Prepare all ingredients as described above. Heat oven to 200C.
Heat a wok, then add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Stir fry the ginger, garlic & chilli for approx 2 mins, stirring all the time so it does not burn. Add the carrots & leek, continue stirring for 2 mins more.
Add 1 tablespoon oyster sauce, 1 tablespoon soy & half a teaspoon sesame oil, along with the juice of the lime, stirring in well. Add in the sweetcorn & chicken and stir until well coated, remove from heat. Stir through the beansprouts.
Place a sheet of spring roll pastry on a clean surface, with the corner towards you. Spoon on filling in the centre, then fold up corner nearest you over the filling. Fold in the two sides, then roll entire piece over to finish sealing. Place on a non-stick baking tray and repeat until filling is all used.
Baste the finished spring rolls with some vegetable oil, then bake for 20-25 mins in the oven, until crispy to the touch. Serve as a meal or a snack.
4 chicken breasts, diced
2 medium onions, finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, finely diced
2 chilies, finely diced
A thumb-sized piece of ginger, finely diced (or half a teaspoon of ground ginger)
1 teaspoon turmeric
500ml of hot water
Half teaspoon of ground coriander
50g salted peanuts
I like to use those “generic” chilli peppers you see in most supermarkets these days as they don’t give a lot of heat. This brings all the other flavours to the forefront and allows you to really enjoy them more than any curry I’ve ever tasted.
If you prefer your curry a little hotter, then you can adjust the strength of the chilli that you use, we’ve made this same recipe with Scotch bonnets and found that the extra heat changes the flavours and gives you a curry flavour not unlike the chicken curry you’d get down your local Chinese restaurant.
Fry the onion, garlic and peanuts in the butter until they start to colour (approx 10 Min.). Then add chili, ginger and turmeric and stir well.
Now, add the chicken and allow this to cook until it starts to brown. Follow this with the water and raisins, cover your pot and bring to a gentle simmer. Keep simmering until the sauce has reduced by half, stirring occasionally. (approx. 20-30 Min.)
Once the sauce has reduced then you’re ready to serve on a bed of fresh boiled rice.
Chop chicken breasts into decent-size chunks. Stir in pesto until chicken is completely coated.
Shallow fry chicken in a hot pan until cooked through.
Roughly tear up romaine leaves and plate. Sprinkle over croutons, chicken and parmesan shavings. Drizzle with Caesar Salad Dressing to taste.
Peaches are always in plentiful supply in the southern US states so it’s no surprise that they’re in a lot of Soul Food recipes. This is a great tasting and easy to make dish. I love the way the Pepper on the chicken bounces off the peaches, it’s like a party on your taste buds
Heat your oven to 180 C. Rinse the chicken breasts and pat them dry with some kitchen roll. Place them in a baking dish.
In a small bowl, combine the lemon pepper and salt. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with the lemon pepper mixture and let stand for at least 20 minutes or, even better, overnight in the fridge.
Drain the syrup from the peaches into a small bowl. Stir the lemon juice and soy sauce into the syrup and pour it over the chicken pieces.
Pop it in the oven for about 15 minutes and turn the chicken about half way through. Then add the peach slices and cook for another 10 -15 minutes or until the chicken is done.
This is great served with some Mashed Potatoes and a lightly buttered corn on the cob. Oh and I almost forgot here’s a great track to play in the background while cooking this recipe…