Sunday, July 29, 2007

What's for Dinner

Last night I made Panang which is a Thai curry dish. It was delish! I didn't take pictures of the cooking process like I normally do, so sorry about that. But I did take a picture of the leftovers I ate for breakfast this morning!

Here is how I made it, which by the way is my own recipe and makes enough to feed about six hungry adults with plenty leftover for the next day.

You need:
One bottle of Thai Cuisine Red Curry Paste(I get it from Central Market here in Austin)
Ground Cayenne pepper to taste(this is optional...I like a lot of heat and add about 1/2 tsp or more)
two Knorr chicken bullion cubes
Kaffir Lime leaves(two medium to large sized ones)
Fresh Basil(I used five or six large leaves)
two cans of coconut milk
about a pound of skinless boneless chicken breasts
1 large yellow bell pepper and 1 large red bell pepper(gives the dish color when using two different colored bells, plus the yellow and red ones are sweeter than the green ones
3/4ths cup water...roughly.
2 cups Basmati rice (one part rice to two parts water. bring to a boil, stir, cut back heat to a simmer, and cover for exactly 12 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it sit until ready to use)

Now on to the fun part...this is a very easy dish to make!

In a large pot drop the chicken bullion cubes into about 3/4ths cup water. Dissolve over medium heat. To this add the two cans of coconut milk, the curry paste, and the cayenne pepper(optional), whisk together. Cover pot with lid and turn the heat down to low.

While the base is simmering do all the chopping. First julienne the kaffir lime leaves...make the strips very thin and add to the base that is cooking in the pot. Next julienne the peppers into 2 inch long strips. The peppers need to be wider than the kaffir lime strips, but remember you are julienning them so they should be strips no wider than about a 4th of an inch. After chopping, set aside in a bowl. Do the same thing now to the basil that you did to the kaffir lime leaves and set aside. It might be a good idea to stir the base every few minutes while all the chopping is being done.

Start the rice then begin slicing the chicken breasts into 2 1/2 inch strips...make the slices thin...about an 8th of an inch. Add the sliced chicken to the base and stir. Turn the heat up to medium and cook until the chicken turns white all the way through. Don't over cook the chicken or it will be tough. Before the chicken is done add the peppers. It takes about 8 minutes for the chicken to cook. The peppers should be tender crisp in this dish but not raw. Keep stirring the dish as it's cooking.

Add sea salt to taste if desired and the fresh basil. Stir again, turn down heat and let it all cook about 5 more minutes or until the rice is done. Once the rice is cooked, get out some bowls and put about 3/4ths cup of cooked rice in each bowl and ladle the Panang on top to the desired rice to Panang ratio. Serve and enjoy.


Ginny said...

One thing I meant to mention...the kaffir lime leaves can be found in Asian markets, Whole Foods, or Central Market. Panang's distinct flavor comes from this leaf, so it is key to making the dish work.

Atheist in a mini van. said...

That looks amazing. Good job!!
I was curious...have you ever tried making Jasmine rice? My kids love it--- I think Ben would, too. It's purple.

Here's the recipe I use:
2 cups purple jasmine rice (Whole Foods has it - under the Alter Eco brand).
1 cup, unsweetened coconut milk (I normally just bust open a fresh coconut).
1.5 cups water (if you want to add some kick and flavor--- put a stick of cinnamon and some cloves in a glass measuring cup...boil 2 cups of water on the stove and then pour over the spices... let sit for 10 minutes...this flavors the water).
1 tsp salt

4 small-to-medium shallots, thinly sliced
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup of cashews, chopped fine(if desired)

Start by rinsing the rice. You can do this by putting the rice in the thick-bottomed pan it is going to cook in. Fill the pot halfway with water, swish the rice around (the water will get cloudy), and pour out the cloudy water. Repeat 3 times. The water might still be a bit cloudy, and that is o.k.
To the rinsed (and drained) rice add the coconut milk, water, and salt. Stir to combine. Place the pot over medium high heat and bring the liquid to a boil (uncovered). Stir often to prevent the rice from scorching down at the bottom of the pot. Once the liquid comes to a boil reduce the heat to a low, low simmer, cover the pot tightly with a lid. Cook for about 15- 20 more minutes (resisting the urge to peek). Remove from heat (still covered!), and let the rice steam for another 10-15.
While the rice is cooking cook up the shallots in a small frying pan over medium to medium-high heat. Too hot and you'll burn the butter instead of browning it. Add the butter to the pan, then stir in the shallots and a couple pinches of salt. Stir every few minutes letting the shallots brown increasingly until they are dark in color. Transfer to a paper towel until ready to use.
I fluff the rice in the pot so I don't completely dirty up the edges of my serving bowl or platter. Transfer the rice to desired serving vessel and sprinkle with cashews and the crispy shallots.

Ginny said...

Thanks Pmomma! I'll definitely make this sometime. I'm racking up a lot of great recipes to try. I still haven't made the salmon nachos yet and there are some yummy vegan recipes on another blog I came across.

Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

Looks great.

Very similar to my Red Curry chicken and Pad Thai noodles.

Ginny said...

Thai cooking is really fun and I think it's totally easy. I'm pretty good at making Indian too, but it's not as easy!