Saturday, 10 December 2011

Thai Duck Red Curry: Saturday dinner of Fusion Cuisine

I finally had the chance to cook dinner for my family after a long year of teaching tuition. So excited! I cooked my husband's favourite Cordon Bleu or he calls it "Coq Dame?"
Clockwise from the garlic bread on the top left corner:
1. Homemade Garlic Bread
1 stick of butter
3 cloves of garlic (pass through garlic mincer)
2 tablespoons of oregano
1 tsp of sea salt
1 tsp of pepper
Foccacia loaf (cut into slices)
Mix all ingredients except foccacia loaf
Spread the garlic herb spread onto foccacia loaf
Toast for 5 mins

2. Sashimi (bought from supermarket)

3. Thai Duck Red Curry
1/4 Cup Thai Red Curry Paste (2 tbsp more if you like the heat!) (See recipe below)
 400ml of coconut milk (500ml if you dislike it too spicy)
 1/2 cup chicken stock (125ml)
2 fresh kaffir lime leaves, torn (Make sure you really tear it!That's crucial in releasing the fragrance. I use like 8 leaves for the real flavour though)
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp lime juice
1/3 cup firmlu packed fresh thai basil leaves (you can find them in Sheng Siong or wet markets. Usually its described in Chinese as Jing bu Wang)
1 whole barbequed duck (chopped into 12 pieces) (I used roast chicken)
1 can of lychees (discard syrup)
225 g can bamboo shoots, rinsed, drained (I use the packet ones from supermarkets. One packet and slice it)
3 fresh long red thai chillies, sliced thinly (for garnish)

1. Heat up a large saucepan. Put in the curry paste and stir over heat until fragrant.
2. Add coconut milk, stock, lime leaves, sauce and lime jucie. This is the stage you should taste and adjust the ingredients to decide how spicy or salty or sour you like your Thai curry. The recipe gives a rather mild taste. So you can adjust to your liking
3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer, stirring, 5 minutes
4. Reserve about 8 small whole basil leaves for garnish; add remaining basil leaves with duck, lychees and bamboo shoots to the curry mixture. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes or until heated through.
5. Place curry in s serving bowl, sprinkle with sliced red chilli and reserved thai basil leaves

4. Salmon nigiri sushi (bought from supermarket)
5. Cordon Bleu (Chicken cutlet stuffed with ham and cheese)
I'll share the recipe another day. :P
6. Apple and Ham salad
I'll share the recipe another day
6. More Cordon Bleu
Signs of hunger... Touching food before photo taking!
Thai Red Curry Paste

20 dried long red chillies
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp hot paprika
2 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger
3 large gloves garlic, quartered
1 medium (170g) red onion, chopped coarsely
2 sticks fresh lemon grass, sliced thinly
2 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh coriander root and stem mixture
2 tsp shrimp paste
1 tsp peanut oil

1. Place whole chillies in small heatproof jug, cover with boiling water, stand 15 minutes, drain. (you can choose to use any bowl that is big enough to whole the chillies and keep the heat of the hot water warm enough to hydrate the chillies.
2. Meanwhile, stir ground coriander, cumin and paprika over medium heat in small dry-heated frying pan until fragrant. (I used cumin seeds)
3. Blend or process chillies and roasted spices with remaining ingredients, except for the oil, until the mixture forms a paste, pausing to scrape down sides of machine occasionally during blending
4. Add oil to paste mixture, continue to blend in machine or using mortat and pestle until smooth.

My student hopped over to join us for dinner. And took photo with us too. :)
How to store your curry paste?
USe what you need at the time, then place the remaining paste in a glass jar, cover it tightly and refrigerate it for up to a week. A better idea is to make the paste, then freeze the rest. Place tablespoons of curry paste in the compartments of an ice-cube tray; wrap the tray tightly in plastic wrap and put it in your freezer until the paste solidifies. Remove the blocks of curry paste, then re-wrap them individually and return to the freezer until required. This way you'll never need to thaw more than you need at any given time. You can store curry pastes this way for up to three months with no discernible difference in flavour.
Curry pastes are, as the name implies, an essential ingredient in the making of a Thai curry, but they can be used in any number of other dishes, from stir-fried and salads to soupd and marinades. Every dish you add them to, no matter how quickly it's prepared, will taste as though it's been slowly simmered for hours, such is its depth and complexity of flavour.

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