Thursday, December 10, 2009

Waste Not, Want Not Curry

Even though we have yet to determine the final guidelines for 2010, we are moving forward with the project. In an effort to rid our pantry of "processed foods" -- however you may define them -- we wanted to use up ingredients that we knew would not fit into the plan. For this recipe, we used commercially produced coconut milk, pre-blended curry powder, chili paste, and fish sauce. While we wouldn't categorize these items as inherently unhealthy, we will attempt to make or substitute our own homemade versions in the new year. The result was far tastier than take-out and almost as easy.

The pork in this dish was left from a Sunday roast. Feel free to use other leftovers or a raw cut like pork steak. To make this recipe vegan, simply omit the meat and the fish sauce. We used Szechuan chili paste (to ban jan), but you may use Sriracha, Sambal Olek, or even fresh chilis. This recipe is best served with rice; we like brown basmati rice for its low glycemic index value. You may garnish with scallions, chilis, lemon juice, cilantro, or peanuts.

1 teaspoon canola oil
5 ounces pork, finely chopped
1 white onion, finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 piece (1-inch) ginger, minced
1 piece (1/2-inch) fresh tumeric, minced or 1 teaspoon ground tumeric
Zest of 1 lemon, finely chopped
2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon chili paste
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1/4 cup rice wine or dry sherry
1-12 ounce package firm tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 can (13.5 ounces) coconut milk
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a large wok or saute pan, heat the oil over high heat.
2. Add the pork, and saute for 5 minutes or until crispy.
3. Add onion, garlic, ginger, tumeric, and lemon zest. Saute for 3 minutes, or until the vegetables release their aromas.
4. Stir in broccoli, mushrooms, curry powder, and chili paste. Toss to coat.
5. Add fish sauce, rice wine, tofu, and coconut milk.
6. Bring liquids to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook for 5 minutes or until broccoli is tender.
7. Taste for seasoning, and add salt and pepper.
8. Serve warm with rice. Garnish with any of the following: lemon juice, peanuts, cilantro, scallions, and chilis.

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