If I had to pick one cuisine that has the most potential to create a Foodgasm it would have to be Thai food!! I kid you not every city I go to I always look for the best hole in the wall Thai spot to get my fix....ok I also look for wine stores but that's a whole different story!!
Now to the mentioned SPECIAL INGREDIENT.....have you ever had or made a curry with kaffir lime leaves and then had one without them?!?! HUGE difference.
For those of you who know what I am talking about, high five and you know what I mean.....for those who don't you REALLY need to find your own personal dealer, um I mean provider or sales person!! Kaffir Lime Leaves are needed in order to get to that next level of foodgasm, trust me, without them it's just a big fat tease. After living overseas, in Bangladesh where they sold kaffir leaves at the local markets I didn't expect to come to the states and either get the look of "what the hell are you talking about?" or to be asked 101 questions at the Asian stores like I was some under cover agent looking for "trouble" only then to be asked to come with them to the back of the store where this magical ingredient was handed to me in a undisclosed ziplock bag.....guess I passed the interrogation but won't lie it was....guess it pays to know your ingredients.
OK I have to confess something.....the first time I was asked to follow this guy to the back of the store after being asked 101 questions I was a wee bit nervous, probably from watching to many episodes of Criminal Minds LOL but comes to find out I scared them more by knowing so much about the ingredient.
Anyhow, once you have tasted a curry with this special ingredient you will know when it wasn't used and don't believe what anyone or any cookbook tells you lime zest will not produce the same flavor. Oh and the dried leaves, yeah do not waste your money on that crap it!!
|Mango Curry with Baked Flounder|
1 TBS coconut oil
1/2 onion, chopped
about 1 1/2 cups of Sugar Snap Peas, cut in half (green beans could be used as well)
1/2 unpeeled zucchini, sliced into 1 inch circles & then cut in half
1 roasted red pepper (the kind in a jar)**, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 TBS minced ginger
2 TBS red curry paste
1 TBS soy sauce
1 can coconut milk
1 cup chicken broth (use veggie broth if preferred)
1-2 mangos, peeled & cubed (I used 2 because I love mango!)
2-3 kaffir lime leaves VERY IMPORTANT AND IN MY OPINION CRUCIAL INGREDIENT!!
In a stock pot, melt the coconut oil and add the onions. Sauté until softened. Now add the rest of the veggies, don't let them cook too long and definitely don't let them burn SO remember to stir them. Now I know the ingredients doesn't state salt and pepper but sometimes you just have to know that they need to be added.....and if not....ADD SALT AND PEPPER to your taste and preference now before proceeding to the next step ;-)
After adding your salt and pepper and giving it another good stir it's time to add your garlic, ginger and curry paste. Once you can smell these awesome ingredients it's time to add the soy sauce, coconut milk and broth. Now cover it and let it come to a simmer. Once it is simmering you are ready to add your mango and those precious and oh so AMAZING kaffir lime leaves......if you decide to make this without the kaffir leaves I am begging you DO NOT TELL me about it because I am TELLING the results are NOT going to be the same!!!
Let this simmer for about 10 minutes, no more is needed.
As you can see in the picture I ate my curry with Flounder but you could easily eat this with something else. If tofu is your thing go ahead, chicken would work great too. If you need the carbs I would suggest a healthy serving of jasmine rice, I don't miss the rice but hey that's just me.
**I prefer using jarred roasted red peppers because bell peppers don't like me so much and I find it a bit of a pain in the a$$ to peel bell peppers to get rid of what causes me to burp so much.....yes it's the skin of peppers and tomatoes that make you burp!