During Lent, cooking vegetarian can be challenging if you aren’t use to it. I decided, last minute, to make tofu in a light coconut curry sauce with lots of veggies. It’s a light sauce because most recipes call for 2 cans of coconut milk, but I used 1 can and the dish came out great. What a comfort food this is…By the time my husband, Adam, came home, the house was filled with the aroma of Jasmine rice.
Rice and Kitchen Gadgets
Prior to having my little one, Elias, I would cook the rice on the stove, which I still do, if time permits. But, there is a relief, similar to that with the crock pot, knowing that you can stick ingredients in a pot, and when a specific amount of time has passed, you know your dish is ready. There is something to be said for that. I didn’t appreciate these wonderful gadgets before, but now, as a mom with a toddler, they are coveted in the kitchen. And on that particular night, I had zero stress playing with my son while the rice was cooking and once that warm button clicked, I knew dinner was done. Curry is a different story, but nonetheless, was done “in a hurry”, hence, “Curry in a Hurry”. I don’t think I could ever stick curry in a crock pot. To me, that is borderline “sacrilegious”. Leave the stews, soups, sauces, even roasts for the crock pot, if you must, but with Thai, keep it real.
This curry recipe was made with less coconut milk than most other recipes. Curry with coconut milk is like butter in icing, DELICIOUS! We eat very healthy in this house and if I want to have a Thai dish without feeling guilty, then something has to give. Coming from a family history of heart disease, there are certain ingredients we just don’t eat, but it seems for the past twenty years or so, coconut milk has had a bad rap. See this article on how coconut milk is making a comeback: http://articles.latimes.com/2010/mar/22/health/la-he-0322-nutrition-lab-20100322
This is the time of year that the markets have a barrage of peppers: red, yellow, green, and orange. For the this dish, I only used the red and yellow, but throwing in some more color would have been great.
Chef Martin Yan did a demonstration on the today show on how to “Chop bell peppers like a champion”. You can view Martin Yan’s demo by clicking here :http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26184891/vp/41585929 Go ahead and practice with 1 red and 1 yellow pepper. You can use these in the recipe.
The difference between this curry recipe and others is lemongrass. Lemongrass in curry? I had lemongrass spoiling in my fridge because I was lazy and didn’t soak it in water like you are supposed to do to preserve it. Why not experiment with some lemongrass? Here is some background information on lemongrass. Traditionally, you only eat the white parts, but, you can use the green parts for infusing flavor. I chopped up 2 stalks very finely and in hot oil, while the tofu was getting golden. When the tofu was ready, I just fished it out and left the tofu in the oil. If I noticed the Lemongrass starting to get really dark, I took it out of the frying pan.
Recipe for Lemongrass Tofu in Red Curry Sauce.
Makes 4 servings
Preparation time: 10 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes
- 1 -19oz package of refrigerated firm tofu
- 1 red pepper
- 1 yellow pepper
- 1/4 cup of canola oil for frying tofu
- 1-13.5oz. can of coconut milk (see note)
- 1/4 cup of chopped fresh basil (thai basil is preferred, but not needed)
- 1/2 cup chopped green onion
- 2 stalks of lemongrass
- 2Tbsp of Red curry paste
- 1 lime
Don’t pat dry the pan. Just pour out the oil and set the pan back on the hot stove on medium-high.