Tuesday, October 17, 2006

shades of atkin's farm

It's fall here in Stockholm, and the sweet smell of the leaves I trample makes me long for New England and cider and cider donuts.

As much as I yearn to go out to Amherst, MA and gobble down some cider doughnuts brushed with cinnamon and sugar goodness, dunking them in cold cider, I cannot.

So I made myself some apple cider oatmeal. Not the same thing, but chock full of apple cider-y goodness.

To make this very simple breakfast just use half cider for the amount of water you would normally use. After oatmeal is finished sprinkle the top liberally with dark brown sugar and cinnamon and some crushed pecans.

Monday, October 16, 2006

how to eat a yellow curry

Sometimes you have to go "old school." On a chilly fall day, there's nothing better than a steaming warm plate of yellow curry.

My sister and I discussed how homey the taste of yellow curry is to us. We were raised on the stuff. Curiously enough, there is both a Chinese and a Thai version of yellow curry. I'm pretty certain it was adopted from Chinese culture to Thai culture since yellow curry is seldom very spicy (hot). Yellow curry is a perennial favorite in our family and we often tried to eat as much of it as possible.

Here's my best version. I'm going to need to insist that if you do try this recipe, it's very important to use dark chicken meat, otherwise the curry won't taste right. White meat gets too tough, whereas dark meat only becomes more tender. Like with many other stewed dishes, the curry will taste better on the next day.

Thai Yellow Chicken Curry

1 t salted butter
1 t olive oil
1 lb of chicken thigh or chicken drumstick, skin on, bone in
2 large potatoes in 1 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 13 oz can of coconut milk
1 inch of fresh ginger peeled and minced.
2 fat cloves of garlic minced
1 small white or yellow onion minced (or 4 shallots)
1 red pepper sliced into thin slices
2 T yellow curry powder (or 1 T of yellow curry paste)
3-4 c chicken broth
(optional: 1 t sugar, soy sauce or fish sauce to taste, cayenne pepper)

Heat a heavy bottom pot to medium high and melt the butter and olive oil. Then, place chicken thighs and or drumsticks skin down. The key to getting a nice browned crust is using completely dry meat and to leave the meat in place long enough (about 5 minutes on each side). Brown on all sides and remove meat.

Instructions for curry paste:

Over medium heat fry the curry paste in the same pot until it is quite fragrant and heated through and then add the minced onion. Be careful that it does not burn.

Instructions for curry powder:

In the same pot, sautee the minced onion in the juices left in the pan. Once the minced onion is translucent, about 6-8 minutes, making sure they do not burn, add the curry powder.

Add the minced garlic and fry for another minute. Add the chicken broth, chicken, red pepper and ginger to the pot. For the coconut milk, do not shake or mix, but divide the coconut cream on top out and add only half the liquid part. Save the coconut cream.

Bring curry to a boil and then lower to a simmer. Simmer for at least one hour. I usually simmer the curry for at least 2-3 hours before eating.

Add the potatoes half an hour before serving.

Before serving, add half of the reserve coconut cream and make certain that the curry does not boil since this makes the coconut cream separate.

Taste the curry adding sugar or soy sauce or fish sauce and/or cayenne pepper and season it to taste.

Serve over jasmine rice. Approximately 3 servings. Obviously, it is also good to double this recipe in order to be able to fight over the leftovers.