10.25.2009

Another Belated Brother(in-law) Birthday Dinner

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My brother-in-law also turned 21 this year. But unlike my brother, his taste in food is a little bit more sophisticated. In celebration of his birthday, he asked for my chicken curry. And on the side, I decided to make the thai-style ground pork, which my friend had made for us before, both mentioned in a previous post.

I have to say, the pork was the true star of the dinner. The curry was tasty, but I made the mistake of buying coconut milk from Henry's Market. And as it turnes out, Henry's brand coconut milk is... not good. I mean I'm really to blame here. I should have known better. Henry can make some decent bread and potato chips, but it was asking too much of him to make a good coconut milk. I bet he's never even seen a coconut. Oh well, I've learned my lesson. And here's some advice, buy your coconut milk from the Asian stores. Also, that night, I forgot to add lemongrass. Oops.

Since I've mentioned these recipes before, but never in recipe format. I'm going to break things down today. Both took me about 2 hours to make, with prep and all.

Thai-Style Pork (Paht ka pow moo)
1 1/2 lbs of pork
5 cloves of garlic, minced (we like a lot of garlic, I started off with 3 cloves, but ended up adding more)
2 thai chilies, minced (or 1 serrano)
1 tbsp of grated ginger
1/2 lb of green beans, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 tbsp of oyster sauce
2 tbsp of soy sauce
1 tsp of fish sauce
red pepper flakes
handful of thai or purple basil
salt and pepper to taste (not too much salt, since all the sauces above are salty)
vegetable oil

1) Heat you skillet with some vegetable oil, and add the garlic and ginger for a minute or two.
2) Add the chilies and red pepper flakes, stir to release flavors.
3) Add pork, and cook through. Once meat is no longer pink, add the sauces, and stir to coat.
4) Add the green beans, and cook 3-5 minutes. Taste, and season if necessary.
5) Add basil before serving.

This can end up a little greasy. So if you'd like, you can drain some of the fat.

Chicken Curry
4 large chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch strips
4 small potatoes, peeld and cut in half, microwaved for about 5 minutes
2 cans of coconut milk
2 cans of chicken stock
3 carrots, cut into large chunks
1 (8oz) can of bamboo shoots
1/2 packet of frozen peas
thai or purple basil
1 stalk lemongrass (don't forget it), I grow some, but you can also use the dried stuff
1 aneheim chili or 2 thai chilies, cut into strips, or circles
3-4 tbsps of green or red curry paste
3 tbsps curry powder
1 inch piece of ginger, cut into chunks
vegetable oil

1) Heat your oil in a pan, and cook chilies for a couple of minutes. Then add chicken, and curry paste and cook until chicken is no longer pink.
2) Add potatoes and carrots and cook another couple of minutes before adding ginger, the coconut milk and chicken stock. If you notice there's a lot of liquid, don't use all of your stock. The liquid should barely cover the meat and veggies. Add curry power, lemongrass, and bring to boil.
3) Simmer with lid closed for 20 or so minutes, then remove lid and simmer for another 20 or so, until it thickens.
4) During the last 10 minutes, add bamboo shoots and peas.
5) Add basil before surving. (You can also use cilantro as well, which I've tried and it's pretty good).

Serve with rice. Taste as you go, you can also add more curry paste or powder or even tumeric if the flavor is not rich enough.

The leftovers the next day, with some kim chi, were even better.

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