Have I mentioned that Taylor is a curry addict? Needless to say he was really excited when I found this recipe, as I don’t really like or ever want to cook curry. It’s usually too coconut-y and/or spicy for me, but this was pretty darn good! Not to mention easy.
Salmon with Thai Red Curry and Bok Choy
Makes 4 servings (or 2 if one of them is Taylor). Recipe from Epicurious.
8 whole baby bok choy
2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon Thai red curry paste*
1 13 1/2- to 14-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk*
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh lemongrass or 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons fish sauce (nam pla*)
4 6-ounce salmon fillets
*Thai red curry paste and fish sauce (nam pla) are both available at Asian markets and in the Asian foods section of some supermarkets nationwide.
**Canned unsweetened coconut milk is available at Indian markets, Southeast Asian markets, Latin American markets and many supermarkets.
Cook bok choy in pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Drain. Set aside. Heat 2 teaspoons vegetable oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add curry paste and stir 30 seconds. Add coconut milk, chopped lemongrass and 1 tablespoon brown sugar. Boil until mixture is slightly thickened and reduced to 1 cup, about 5 minutes. Stir in 2 1/2 tablespoons lime juice and 1 tablespoon fish sauce. Set curry sauce aside.
Preheat oven to 400Â°F. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large ovenproof skillet over high heat. Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper; add to skillet. Cook salmon 2 minutes per side. Transfer skillet to oven. Bake salmon until opaque in center, about 6 minutes. Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add bok choy and sautÃ© until beginning to brown in spots, about 4 minutes. Drizzle bok choy with remaining 1 tablespoon fish sauce. Bring curry sauce to simmer and ladle onto 4 plates.
Arrange 1 salmon fillet and 2 pieces of bok choy atop curry sauce on each plate and serve.
Impressive looking, not so impressive tasting. These had the potential to be good, but somehow the combination of the rich, buttery puff pastry and the bitter asparagus didn’t go so well. If it weren’t for the curry salmon this meal could have been a bust.
Asparagus Napoleons with Oriental Black Bean Sauce
Recipe from Epicurious. Makes 6 appetizer servings.
For the pastry rectangles
1/2 pound frozen puff pastry, thawed
an egg wash made by beating 1 large egg yolk with 2 teaspoons water
For the sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/3 cup water
2/3 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons Scotch or medium-dry Sherry
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon fermented black beans (available at Oriental markets and specialty foods shops), rinsed well and drained
2 tablespoons fine julienne strips of orange zest
1 1/2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh gingerroot
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/2 pounds asparagus, trimmed and peeled
Make the pastry rectangles:
Roll out the pastry 1/8 inch thick on a lightly floured surface, cut out six 5- by 2-inch rectangles, and transfer them to a dampened baking sheet. Brush the tops of the rectangles with some of the egg wash, being careful not to let the egg wash drip down the sides, score them in a crosshatch pattern with the back of a paring knife, and brush them again with some to the remaining egg wash. Bake the rectangles in the upper third of a preheated 400Â°F. oven for 12 to 15 minutes, or until they are puffed and golden, transfer them with a spatula to racks, and let them cool. The pastry rectangles may be made 1 day in advance, kept in an airtight container at room temperature, and reheated. Halve the rectangles horizontally with a serrated knife and with a fork pull out carefully any uncooked dough.
Make the sauce:
In a small bowl dissolve the cornstarch in the water and stir in the broth, the soy sauce, the Scotch, and the sugar. In a heavy saucepan heat the oil over moderately high heat until it is hot but not smoking and in it stir-fry the beans, the zest, the gingerroot, and the garlic for 1 minute, or until the mixture is very fragrant. Stir the broth mixture and add it to the bean mixture. Bring the sauce to a boil, stirring, simmer it for 2 minutes, and keep it warm. The sauce may be made 1 day in advance, kept covered and chilled, and reheated.
In a large deep skillet of boiling salted water cook the asparagus for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the stalks are just tender but not limp, and drain it well. Arrange the bottom half of each pastry rectangle on a plate and divide the asparagus among the pastries. Spoon the sauce over the asparagus and around the pastries on each plate and top the asparagus with the top halves of the pastries.
Forgive me for posting all these at once. From the way I post, it seems like we eat three meals at once, then starve for the rest of the week. hehe. Apologies, I always take pictures of our meals, but sometimes get a bit behind as far as posting them. Maybe if Taylor would learn how to post things every once in a while… *ahem*
This was actually tonights dinner. We had this lovely salad with a side of asparagus and sourdough bread. For a salad, this one was excellent. Taylor said all it was missing was some hard-boiled egg. We’d never had pea shoots before, and just so happened they had them at the farmers’ market. I’ve never seen them anywhere else though. If you can’t find them, this recipe would be just as good with all spinach or even mixed greens.
Pea Shoot and Spinach Salad with Bacon and Shiitake
Makes 4-6 servings. Recipe from Epicurious.
1 (1/4-lb) piece smoked bacon
3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 lb fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps quartered
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
1/2 tablespoon coarse-grain mustard
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 oz fresh pea shootspea shoots (4 cups)
4 oz baby spinach leaves (4 cups)
1 bunch fresh chives, cut into 1-inch lengths
6 radishes, cut into matchsticks
Cut bacon into 3/4-inch-thick matchsticks and cook in a heavy skillet over moderately low heat, stirring, until crisp but still chewy, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.
Pour off fat from skillet and add 1 1/2 tablespoons oil, mushrooms, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are golden, about 8 minutes, then cool.
Whisk together lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, and remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large salad bowl until blended.
Add pea shoots and spinach to dressing and toss to coat. Add bacon, mushrooms, chives, and radishes and toss again.
We splurge every now and then. We eat pretty economically for the most part, and usually get one ‘special’ thing every week, usually that means shrimp or scallops, but this week, lamb. This is maybe the 3rd time I’ve ever had it, and I have to say it was pretty good. Not something we’ll eat all the time, that’s for sure. But if you want to try lamb, this is a good way to eat it. The sauce was very good, and might work with something else too, chicken maybe? Or even ice cream. Hehe.
We couldn’t find sour cherries… and ended up with a bag of frozen sweet cherries. So our sauce may have been sweeter than it should have been. The fresh mint is a must though… it really adds a lot and shouldn’t be skipped.
Lamb Chops with Cherry Balsamic Glaze
Makes 4 servings. Recipe from Epicurious.
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen (not thawed) pitted sour cherries (1/2 lb)
1 tablespoon sugar
8 (3/4-inch-thick) rib lamb chops (2 lb total), trimmed of excess fat
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup thinly sliced shallot (4 oz)
1/2 cup beef broth
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
Stir fresh cherries together with sugar and macerate while browning chops. If using frozen cherries, stir with any juices and sugar and thaw, about 1 1/2 hours.
Pat lamb dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sautÃ© 4 chops, turning over once, about 6 minutes total for medium-rare. Transfer to a plate and loosely cover with foil. Cook and transfer remaining 4 chops in same manner.
Pour off fat from skillet and add remaining tablespoon oil. Heat until hot but not smoking, then sautÃ© shallot, stirring, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Add cherries with juices, broth, and vinegar and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally and scraping up brown bits, then reduce heat and simmer 3 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, then add butter and 2 tablespoons mint, stirring just until butter is melted.
Spoon sauce over chops and sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons mint.