Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Babes in Thailand

Efficiency was the name of the game this weekend. Between sleepless nights, friends visiting from out of town, time changes and the amount of time it takes to stuff a toddler into a costume two days in a row, there wasn't a lot of time for cooking over the past few days. Matter of fact, I served microwave popcorn for dinner on Saturday night, much to the utter delight of Odd Toddler, who parked himself between me and The Carnivore and grinned alternately at us as he stuffed kernels into his mouth for the better part of the evening.

On Monday evening, much as I tried to convince myself we would stay home and stick with our usual routine, I was smart enough to extend the Efficient Meal Schedule one more evening and serve a new stir-fry recipe, thus allowing Odd Toddler and I to make the eleventh hour decision to attend the firehouse shindig with my mother and her always entertaining vanload of circus clowns.

For the second evening in a row, I brought home a glassy-eyed, overtired, party-pooped toddler who skipped his bath in favor of going straight to bed. I can't remember another evening when he actually ASKED to go night-night.

  • 1 Tbs peanut oil (I used two Tbs - no need to scrimp here)
  • 3 tsps Thai red curry paste (found at Publix)
  • 1 small onion, sliced into rings
  • 1/2 lb tofu, cut into cubes (blech! - I skipped this ingredient for obvious reasons)
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeds removed, cut into strips
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeds removed, cut into strips
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Thai basil leaves (no luck finding basil of this particular ethnicity - settled for regular Southern American basil)
  • 1 (14-oz) can coconut milk
  • 1 Tbs brown sugar
  • 1 Tbs soy sauce (needs two Tbs)
  • 1/4 lb snow peas
  • 1 small zucchini, cut crosswise into strips
  • 1 can bamboo shoots, drained
  • I also added: 1 can baby corn, drained...
  • ...and 1/3 head napa cabbage, shredded
  • 2 cups cooked jasmine rice
  1. In a large skillet or wok over medium heat, stir together the oil and curry paste until well-combined.
  2. Add the onion and that nasty tofu (if using), and cook until the onion is translucent or that godforsaken tofu begins to sear.
  3. Remind me to tell the story of how my mother traumatized me with a tofu recipe when I was a kid.
  4. Add the peppers and the basil. Cook and stir until the peppers start to get tender and their colors brighten.
  5. Add the coconut milk, brown sugar and soy sauce and stir to combine. Let simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Add the snow peas, zucchini, bamboo shoots, corn and cabbage. Cook for about 4 minutes, until snow-peas are just crisp-tender.
  7. Serve over rice. I found the creaminess of the sauce to be much less overpowering if drained slightly before ladling the veggies over the rice.

The tweety-bird-disguised-as-a-pumpkin costume was an incredible thrift-store find of my sister-in-law Georgianne. The recipe is courtesy of the AJC Food Section, along with the usual tweaking from yours truly. And yes, my constant repetitious recipe-sourcing has made me consider renaming this blog "Cooking My Way Through the Atlanta Newspaper."

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