My oldest son’s good friend who is a girl, but not a “girlfriend,”(don’t teens seem complicated these days?), is going away to college soon so we celebrated with a good-bye dinner. My son requested Ceviche or Thai Green Curry. I chose Green Curry since I think Ceviche tastes better when the weather is more Peruvian, (which actually occurs in Seattle from time to time).
I used Jamie Oliver’s “Fragrant Green Chicken Curry” recipe from his first cook book, The Naked Chef. Click here for the recipe link: Fragrant Green Chicken Curry
Two kitchen tools make the job easier for me; one is manual and ancient and the other is electric and modern.
The first is our well-seasoned molcajete, a Mexican version of a mortar and pestle, made from volcanic rock that we brought back from Guanajuato, Mexico ten years ago. My six year-old son, who loves to help in the kitchen, ground the coriander seeds in the molcajete. The other helpful tool for this meal is our Vita-Mix high performance blender which smoothed the fresh herbs and other ingredients: cilantro, lemongrass, basil, green onions, garlic, ginger root, black pepper, olive oil and lime juice and zest into a paste. The fragrance of the fresh herbs that filled our kitchen was delightful.
In Thailand a typical green curry would include Kaffir lime leaves and galangal, but both are difficult to find where I live. Galangal, also known as Blue Ginger, is a root sometimes described as having an aroma of citrus and earth and a hot ginger-pepper flavor. In some places in Southeast Asia galangal is purported to be an aphrodisiac, so I suppose it is just as well it was left out of this family meal.
I added a small green chili to the paste, but in retrospect, I should have added two or three since the coconut milk cut the heat of the chili. The rest of the curry is easy to prepare: add the paste to a hot wok or deep fry pan where it will sizzle and spit, add coconut milk and chicken (or shrimp) and in about 10 minutes the dish is complete and ready to be served on steamed jasmine rice. Although the more exotic ingredients of galangal and Kaffir lime leaves add additional flavors to this curry, the combination of these easy-to-find ingredients and simple preparation makes a delicious green curry for a weeknight meal that tastes loads better than any green curry mix I have tried from a jar or a packet. If you try it, let me know!
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