Larders are great – they hold all the ingredients that you don’t use all the time and sit there winking at you every time you look inside the cupboard door. And you can add bottles, cans and jars of ingredients that you think you might like to try sometime! I doubt I could live without a stocked larder.
Problem – I haven’t any proper Green Curry Sauce that I have made (that story will turn up soon on another entry).
However, I did find a bottle of Thai Green Curry Sauce that I must have bought on the spur of a moment to give it a try. Well, it got its try tonight. I dipped a spoon in and tasted it and decided to add some Jalapeño hot sauce, some chopped up Jalapeños from a bottle I had in the fridge, some mashed coriander and some mashed Lemon grass.
Because I am the one who likes chilli, I tend to buy them in the sort of quantities that supermarkets will sell them in. Then I slice the chillies (leave the seeds in) and mix them in water, put them in an ice cube tray and freeze them. Then I can use however many frozen chilli cubes as I wish. And they keep forever. So I added in two cubes of frozen green chilli – the long green variety. Under other circumstances, I would use Scotch Bonnet chillies. But that’s another story.
White pepper and salt in some vegetable oil in the pan and in went the curry mixture. By this time I had decided one cannot have too much crushed garlic and ginger so that went in as well.
While it was all getting hot, I thinly sliced two pork steaks and added them to gently marinate in the ever increasing hot sauce.
The only onion I had was my last ciboule so I diced it thickly and added it. Once everything started to bubble away, I turned the heat down to a simmer and put a lid on the pot.
After about 15mins I added the coconut. Here’s my rave about the use of coconut. I have some gorgeous memories of coconut palms in our backyard at College Road in Singapore and our syce’s son climbing the palms and dropping the coconuts to the ground. His father then de-husked them and bored a hole in one end so we kids could drink the juice. Exquisite!! He did the same with the papayas as well. Good breakfasts in Singapore!!
Coconut is a wonderful ingredient. Never bother using coconut milk. It has been watered down and is so thin as to be pointless. Coconut cream on the other hand is worth using. You have to search it out during the shopping run. It is the pulverised coconut flesh including the juice that escapes during the mashing. There is no (or very little) added water.
When you want double cream, you have to pick the container up and shake so you know whether that advertising is true or false. It is the same with coconut cream. The thickness also depends on the temperature. The colder it is, the more solid the ground coconut flesh is. So give the tin a good shake to make sure that it is thick, then buy several tins and stash them – in the larder!
There are other coconut products on the market. A block of compressed mashed coconut is one such product that is storable for ages. All you have to do is cut off however much you want and dissolve it in hot water. Then there’s desiccated coconut that can be transformed into coconut milk, but, unfortunately, not into a thick cream.
Anyway, I added some thick coconut cream to make the sauce and let it simmer for another 20mins. If the sauce is too thick, add some crème fraiche and/or some cream. A little water will help to thin it so that everything pours over the basmati rice that you serve it with and makes a gorgeous, rich and wettish, thickish soup. Sometimes I add some chopped capsicum, some green peas or some broccoli. It depends what you have in that larder, fridge or freezer. Tonight I added half a red capsicum because I didn’t have a green one. Added some peas.
While there are traditional ways to make Thai Green Curry dishes, most people tend to use what is on hand and I really do think that it makes for individual dishes that tempt the palette differently every time that dish is made. Oh, and don’t forget to add some fish sauce at the end of cooking. Fish sauce is one ingredient that will enhance any dish – and Nigel Slater agrees with me!! Yay!
Maybe I should have called this blog – the eclectic cook!!!