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Thursday, October 10, 2013

It's that time of the year for....PUMPKIN BEER!!

Yes, it's true, I love a good beer. Fall beers are funny though- they're pretty hit or miss for me. Last week I was at Kennedy's having dinner with a friend and she introduced me to my new fall favorite- Big Boss Brewery's Harvest Time! It's brewed with just the right amount of spices and served in a cold glass with a cinnamon sugar rim. I am now obsessed!

Looks good, huh? Also, Birdsong is another great brewery- if you get the chance you need to try their jalapeƱo beer!




Tuesday, October 8, 2013

How to make Thai Green Curry

I have to say that I absolutely LOVE ethnic food- especially Indian and Thai! I've been trying to cut down on my expenses (look out for my Coupon post coming soon!) and thought that I would try my hand at one of our favorite meals- Thai Green Curry. This required a trip to the Asian market that was luckily not too far from our house (I went to the Oriental Market on Central Ave). I have to admit, I was a bit nervous about going there (would I even understand what things were??), but it was a great experience and I can't wait to go back! I will also never buy sriracha or chili paste from my local grocer ever again- they were so much cheaper at the Oriental Market! There was an assortment of goodies there- Indian curry powders, dried chiles, Thai curry pastes, quail eggs, fish, green tea ice cream....I walked up and down the aisles taking in everything, and can't wait to go back. So without further ado, here is the recipe to my Thai Green Curry- which my husband said was better than almost every restaurant he's ever been to!


Thai Green Curry (makes 8 servings)

2 cans coconut milk (when you open it you'll notice there is some cream at the top, scoop that out so you only use the milk. It's okay if a little cream gets in the curry, don't worry.)

2 stalks lemon grass, cut into 4" pieces and smashed (see below)

4-6 tbsp. green Thai curry paste

2 tbsp. fish sauce

1 can bamboo shoots (I like the shoestring ones)

2 Kashir leaves (These are essentially a type of lime leaf and give the recipe an extra zing. It's a staple in true Thai curry recipes. Freeze the rest of the leaves in a ziplock bag for future recipes.)

2 lbs cubed chicken breast or thigh, whatever your preference

1 tbsp salt

Jasmine rice (cook to directions)

Optional: Vegetables of your choice- eggplant, peas, carrots, etc. I chose peas.

Note- I didn't use those chiles, the curry paste was hot enough!


Ok, first of all, let me say that the amount of curry paste that you use will determine how spicy your green curry is. If you like your food medium with a bit of heat I would use 3-4 tbsps, but if you're like me and you like things Thai hot you should use 6-7 tbsps. Note**You can always add more curry paste, start with less and work up throughout the recipe!

To cut and smash the lemon grass you are going to take the stalk and cut the bottom 1-2' off and then anything leafy at the top. These parts are very tough, which is why we're cutting them off. My lemon grass already had the top cut off so I only had to cut the bottom.

Now you are just going to unroll the top 2 layers of the lemon grass stalk. It should come off very easily, revealing a fresh, meaty layer underneath:
All of the juices and oils are inside this nice meaty part of the stalk, which is why we are going to smash it. I don't own a meat tenderizer, so I used the bottom of my ice cream scoop. Just smash away and cut into 4" pieces:

Now you're ready to get cooking! In a large pot add the lemon grass, coconut milk, green curry paste, salt, 2 whole kashir leaves, and fish sauce. Stir to combine everything and simmer for a few minutes until you smell that nice curry aroma.

Then, add your cubed chicken to the pot. Let this gently simmer for 30-45 minutes, or until the chicken is tender.
By adding extra curry paste or kashir leaves you can adjust the seasonings and flavorings if needed. I found that one kashir leaf per can of coconut milk was enough for me, but you may want more- taste the curry towards the end to see what you think. If you think it's too spicy or thick you can add water to it (remember to add slowly!).
Once the chicken is tender just add your veggies and bamboo shoots. I steamed a bag of peas since they were frozen and added about 3/4 of the bag and about 3/4 of the can of bamboo shoots. Next time I'm adding eggplant!

Before serving take out the kashir leaves and lemon grass stalks. Or just tell your guests to refrain from eating them. Serve over a bed of rice and enjoy!!



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