Posted in Dinner Party

Red Thai Chicken Curry

Another dinner party favourite of mine is Red Thai Chicken Curry.  This is a quick dish to whip up if you can take the heat of cooking in front of your guests, or it will reheat perfectly well also.  It’s easy to make the paste from scratch, though watch out for chilli burn if you wipe your eyes!  I love the smell when I cut into the fresh coriander leaves and stalks, as for the ginger could somebody please bottle this scent as a perfume.  Then there’s the zingy upliftiness of the lime and the heady waft of the garlic.  This is beginning to sound more like aromatherapy than cooking!  If you’re on a healthy stint then use low-fat coconut milk and serve with wholegrain brown rice though a nice fluffy basmati gives it a lighter feel. 
Red Thai Chicken Curry
The quantities I’ve given for the paste will make up about 6 generous tablespoons so enough for 2 or 3 curries depending on how spicy you like it.  (I have been known to throw the whole lot in but 3 chillies in one dish can be a bit overpowering for some palates.)  The paste will keep well in a sterilised jar in the fridge for a week to ten days so it’s something that you can make well in advance of a dinner party.  When you’re making the paste you need to use a mini chopper as a food processors blades will just fling everything out to the sides unless you add some liquid.  One final note on both the curry and the paste:  the addition of a finely chopped lemongrass stalk to each of them will raise the authenticity level, though I’ve left it out of the ingredients list here as it can be very hard to get hold of in an Irish supermarket.
Red Thai Curry Paste
Red Thai Curry Paste
You will need:
3 red chillies
3 shallots
Half a red pepper
1 lime (zest)
Small handful fresh coriander
3cm chunk of ginger
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp ground coriander.
Method:
Deseed and finely chop the chillies and red pepper.  Chop the shallots, coriander stalks and leaves, ginger and crush the garlic.  Zest the lime and whizz everything together in a mini chopper.
Red Thai Chicken Curry Close1

Red Thai Chicken Curry
You Will Need:
4 chicken breasts
2 or 3 tbsp of home made red thai curry paste or 1 tbsp of shop bought
1 medium onion
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp fish sauce (nam pla)
1 tsp brown sugar
400ml can coconut milk
Handful coriander leaves to serve.
Method:
Peel and chop the onion in half and then into slices.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a low heat and soften the onion for five minutes.
Cut the chicken breasts into bitesize chunks.
Add the curry paste to the onion and cook for 1 minute.
Raise the heat to medium and add in the chicken and stir well to coat with the paste.
Add the brown sugar, fish sauce and coconut milk and just bring to the boil before reducing the heat and simmering for 15 minutes.
Add chopped coriander just before serving.
Enjoy.
Red Thai Chicken Curry Close2
Til next time, Sheila

Posted in Events & Adventures in Food

On The Pig’s Back

I’m pleased to report that all went well with the catering side of the celebrations last Saturday ( & Sunday, & Monday!).  And having now made their communion Niall and Denny are happily contemplating how best to invest the loot that was bestowed on them by very generous family, neighbours and friends.  The sun shone all day Saturday and the doors and windows remained opened until Midnight with the kids happily running in and out to the bouncy castle.  Our family lunch was a lovely relaxed affair and the beef in red wine hotpot went down well.

The barbeque in the evening was equally successful and O’Crualaoi’s steak burgers were excellent (www.ocrualaoi.com).  Abina’s baking went down a treat as usual and her pavlova didn’t last long.

When I produced the NY cupcakes (see earlier post for picture) based on Magnolia Bakery’s classic cupcake recipe I was delighted to discover that  by happy co-incidence one of our New York based guests – Raymond Sicignano – had recently sold his painting of Magnolia Bakery (www.raizart.com).

In my preparation last week I travelled beyond my local supermarket and visited On The Pig’s Back in Douglas where I bought some lovely cheeses (manchego & comte) along with gubeen chorizo.  They are also based in the English Market and well worth a visit if you are after something special.  (www.onthepigsback.ie)

After a weekend of overindulging and living off leftovers on Sunday and Monday I decided it was time to cleanse the system with a bit of heat so I made up some red thai curry paste and enjoyed this tasty dish this evening.

Recently we’ve been dining on mushroom soup, red onion, cherry tomato & goat’s cheese tart, beef & red wine hot pot, tortilla chips with chilli jam, gubeen chorizo & tomato salad, frittata, red thai chicken curry, strawberry & lemon cheesecakes, pavlova and pear tiramisu.  Til next time, Sheila