Green Curry...Sort Of.

I tweeted about a week or so ago about necessity being the mother of invention.  I'd like now share my "invention."  It started with the Rachel Ray Magazine's soup recipes tear-out from the April issue of familiar soups and not-so-familiar versions.  For example, you get a recipe for classic chicken noodle and then four other variations you make with simple add-ins.  The other soups are tomato, potato, black bean, and onion.  For my two soup hounds, these were perfect recipes.

Sunday I roasted two chickens for our post-church big family dinner.  I have fond, albeit vague, memories of big family dinners with my cousins at our Me-me and Pa's house.  To say I am happy about hosting a growing tradition at our home so Evie can play with her cousins is an understatement.  So, after everyone had their fill, Mark and I de-boned the chickens, threw the bones in water with spices and veggies to make stock, and stored the chicken meat.  The next day, Mark took the stock and chicken and made the classic chicken soup.  It was a great Monday evening meal. 

Roasted with Aunt Kathy's famous recipe.  Maybe someday I'll share...

We then set out to choose the variation we wanted for Tuesday.  It should surprise no one that we chose the Thai inspired version.  Mama stopped at the grocery store on the way home from work to grab the additions we needed: coconut milk, jalapenos, basil, peanuts, green curry paste, and rice noodles.  I found everything except the green curry paste.  After checking in with the hubs, we decided I'd wing my own green curry paste.  Which was odd, given neither of us had any idea what went in it...and I had already left the grocery store.

Turns out, at least from cursory research...that green curry paste is like a basil pesto.  Oddly enough, no curry was used in the recipe I adapted mine from, but we like our curry, therefore, in it went.  So, with apologies to purists, and real chefs, here is my version of a green curry.

Green Curry Paste

1 cup fresh basil leaves
2-3 jalapenos, seeded
1 tsp white pepper
1 tsp corriander
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp ginger (or, few slices fresh ginger)
2 tbsp brown sugar
4-5 garlic cloves
3 dashes fish sauce (vegans/vegetarians use soy sauce)
2 tsp (or more, to taste) curry powder
1/2 one lime, peeled
4-5 tablespoons coconut milk (enough to reach paste consistency)

Measure out ingredients, add to blender (This is another recipe that makes me thank Mark for my Mother's Day gift of a year ago: the Vitamix).  I'm not going to lie to you, I didn't actually measure anything.  I tried to approximate amounts for this recipe best I could. Whir until blended and smooth.  Taste often, adjust ingredients to your taste as needed.  You now have curry paste!  Here's what we did with it when I tried to recapture the recipe a week later:

Chicken Noodle Curry

Take prepared paste, saute in warmed pan with a little sesame oil until fragrant.  Add cubed chicken, cook through.  Add most of the rest of the coconut milk to the pan, mix.  Add softened or leftover plain rice noodles to the saute, mix until noodles are al dente.  Plate, add slices of lime, chopped peanuts, torn fresh basil, and sliced jalapeno for garnish.  This has now been added to the list of "favorite family meals."  I added a little more plain coconut milk to Evie's portion to tone down the heat, she loved it.


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