I have no idea what Panang means but it's a safe assumption that it's Thai for "really fucking good."
Panang Curry Paste (Adapted from Bon Appetit)
note- you only need 2 Tbsp of this for the curry, so freeze it and use it later. Win Win.
2 dried chilies de arbol, stemmed
2 dried guajillo chilies, stemmed
2 fresh lemon grass stalks, only the bottom 4 inches. Peel the tough outer later and slice.
3 Tbsp roasted peanuts
2 Tbsp galangal- fresh is best, but jared is okay too.
6 keffir lime leaves- again, fresh is best, but jarred/frozen works too
1 large shallot- chopped
4 garlic cloves- chopped
2 serrano chilies- fresh or dried, chopped.
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp black pepper
-Place the dried chilies (including the serrano, if dried) in bowl of hot water, let sit for 15 mins. Drain.
-Throw everything in a food processor. Process until a paste forms- it takes a while.
-Save 2 Tbsp for the curry, freeze the rest. Handy homemakers tips!-use an ice cube tray for handy cubes!
Panang Vegetable Curry (Adapted from Bon Appetit)
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 large shallots- sliced
2 Tbsp Panang Curry Paste- see above
2 Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
2 1/2 c canned, unsweetened, lite coconut milk
1 1/2 c (at least) vegetable broth
8 keffir lime leaves- fresh, frozen or jared.
2 dried chilies de arbol
1 4-lb Kabocha squash- seeded, peeled and cut unto 8 wedges (or 2 acorn squashes, peeled, seeded and quartered).
1 small head of cauliflower- cored and broken into small florets
1 lb carrots- peeled and diced on a diagonal
2 red bell peppers- cut into small squares
1 potato- chopped
1 zucchini- sliced
1/4 c tamarind concentrate (or 2 Tbsp tamarind paste mixed with 2 Tbsp water)
1/2 c thinly slices basil
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 12 oz package firm tofu- drain, press for 15 minutes, marinate and then chop into cubes.
1/4 c chopped peanuts
- Press the tofu for at least 15 minutes. Create the marinade of your choosing- I did soy sauce, tahini, ginger, garlic and siracha. Let sit for at least 1 hour.
-Heat oil in a heavy wide pot (very important!) over medium heat. Add shallots, curry paste and ginger. Stir until shallots soften. Add 1/3 c coconut milk, stir until browned, 4 mins. Add remaining coconut milk, 1 1/2 c vegetable stock, lime leaves and chilies. Stir to blend.
-Add squash, set on sides so that all pieces fit in a single layer. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer until squash is tender, 15-20 mins.
-Remove squash from pot, add throw the remaining vegetables in, return the squash to the pot, on top of the vegetables. Cook until tender, 10-15 mins. Take the squash out again, let rest on a plate.
-Stir in tamarind concentrate, half of the basil, lime juice and tofu. Cover and simmer until heated through, about 2 mins. Add more vege stock if too thick.
-Divide curry among bowls, top each with a wedge of squash.
- If you're feeling fancy (let's face it, you can't say no to fancy pants), sprinkle with basil and peanuts. Serve with rice.
This recipe was a little stressful, there are a lot of moving parts and I didn't have a ton of time to bring this masterpiece together.
In times like this, only one thing can calm me down, the dulcet tones of Ira Glass and This American Life
I can't explain it, listening to Mr. Glass automatically brings my heart rate down. I listen to it on the subway now.
I've been listening since I could comprehend language; hoping, scheming and praying that one day I'll have a story weird enough to be on that program.
Plus this allows me to plug the following awkward giggle.