My New Year’s challenge is on. To include recipes each month with just six to eight ingredients or less (not including very basic ingredients like olive oil, kosher salt, soy sauce, etc.) My daughter thinks it should be every recipe, but hey I don’t want to set the bar too high and not be able to hurdle it. And while this will mean more streamlined recipes, it won’t mean taking shortcuts not characteristic of the standards I’ve set for the quality of recipes I give you.
Thai food fits my streamlined ingredient concept. And contrary to what you might think Thai food can be made quickly. Green curry paste is the only ingredient that you may have to travel to an Asian grocery store to locate (although I have found it in the Asian section of many grocery stores too.) It’s somewhat of a magical ingredient packing many different flavors into one package with a complexity that contributes depth of flavor in a hurry. A word of caution that a little goes a long way in spiciness so start with a smaller amount and work your way up to the amount you prefer. Green chiles, lemon grass, garlic, galangal and kaffir lime leaves are a few of the ingredients ground or pounded together to create this incredible paste. Open most any Thai cookbook and you will find a recipe for it. I encourage you to make it sometime to see what goes into it and to control the flavors you want to be most dominate.
A few tips on preparing the curry. Tofu can be substituted for the chicken and can be added after the sweet potatoes are tender. Fresh Thai or regular basil can be used instead of the cilantro. Drizzle in a tablespoon of fresh squeezed lime juice after you remove the curry from the heat. Remember the sauce is is supposed to be somewhat thin so it’s best to serve it in low sided bowls.
- 13.5 ounces canned coconut milk (lite coconut milk can be substituted)
- 1-1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth or stock
- 2 cups peeled and large chopped sweet potato (1 medium size - about 10 ounces)
- 12 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into bite size pieces (1 large breast)
- 1 to 1-1/2 tablespoons green curry paste (available in Asian section of many grocery stores)
- 1-1/2 cups chopped or sliced red bell pepper (1 medium size)
- ¼ cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro (fresh basil can be substituted)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce or fish sauce
- 3 cups cooked Jasmine or Basmati rice
- Bring coconut milk and chicken broth or a boil in a large skillet; add sweet potato and chicken, reduce heat to simmer and cook just until potatoes are tender and chicken is cooked, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in curry paste and add pepper; simmer to soften pepper about 3 minutes.
- Stir in cilantro and soy sauce.
- Serve over cooked rice.