From cold soup to a hot green curry, I’ve been feeling the pull of meals in a bowl lately. I usually never know what to make for dinner. I just let the ingredients attract me and the meal comes together with the hopes of building a grand structure on uncertain foundations.
Sometimes, when I see a recipe though, I know I must make it. Last week on 101 Cookbooks, Heidi Swanson posted a recipe for Summer Vegetable Curry, which was right up my alley. It had a few ingredients I was unable to find on short notice and some I had on hand. I added chicken to it and a seasoning of my own. I let hope and doubt play out their battle as I substituted here and added more there, but I let this recipe be the guiding force of the evening and it paid off tremendously. This green curry chicken is a keeper, where the citrus and ginger play upon the coconut base, infusing their perfume throughout the fresh vegetables so that every bite brings both spice and refreshment. This is a perfect meal for the summer.
Green Curry Chicken (adapted from Heidi Swanson’s Summer Vegetable Curry from 101cookbooks)
- 1 14-ounce can coconut milk (I used the light kind)
- 4 tablespoons sesame oil
- 4 medium shallots, chopped
- 2 tablespoons green curry paste, or more to taste (see below for Heidi Swanson’s recommended recipe, which I followed almost perfectly, modifying when necessary)
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 sweet potatoes washed and sliced 1/2-inch thick
- 1/4 pound green beans
- 1/4 pound broccoli florets
- 8 ounces chicken breast cut into 1/4 inch cubes
- kernels from 1 ear of corn
- 1 lime, halved or quartered
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 2 tablespoons ground coriander
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- chopped cilantro
- micro greens of choice and edible flowers for added flavor and garnish
Heat the sesame oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add chicken to pot and cook until brownish on both sides. Remove from pot.
Using the same pot, spoon a few tablespoons of thick coconut cream from the top of the coconut milk, place it in a large pot over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer.
Add 2/3 of the shallots and saute until they soften a bit, 2-3 minutes. Stir in the curry paste and salt, and cook for another minute or two. Adding more curry paste or salt if needed.
Squeeze some lime juice over remaining shallots and set aside.
Add the rest of the coconut milk to the pot along with the sweet potatoes, cover, and simmer until they are just starting to get tender throughout – about 10-15 minutes. At this point add the green beans, broccoli and chicken. Let simmer for a couple of minutes, the sweet potatoes should be completely tender by this point. Add the corn, cumin and coriander (seeds and grounded), stir for a few minutes and remove heat.
Serve each bowl topped with a sprinkling of the remaining shallots, cilantro, micro-greens and edible flowers if desired. Add more lime juice, to taste.
Thai Green Curry Paste
- 2 green hot chilies (Thai chilies)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 shallots
- 1/2 inch galangal root
- 1/2 inch ginger root
- 1/2 lime rind
- 1/2 inch lemongrass
- 1/4 teaspoon toasted cumin seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon toasted coriander seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
Put all the ingredients in a food processor and chop into a paste.