Tuesday, May 8, 2012

She's so hot...like a (green halibut) curry - BOOM!

They're so hot, they're making me sexist. Bastards.
This post wasn’t actually brought to you by Flight of the Conchords, but it was brought to you by several things, including but not limited to: Bota Box Shiraz, two lovely ladies and fellow contributors to assist me, and Milo the Cat.

The Lovely Ladies

Alright, down to business. Like I said, WINE. Pour yourself a glass. Or three. Or pour yourself a whatever; I don’t care, just get it done. This curry doesn’t take a whole lot of effort, or even super-complex ingredients, but it does need a little time so you’ll want to be sure you have something delicious to sip on. I almost always make a green halibut Indonesian-style curry. It’s not that I don’t enjoy or appreciate other curries (well, that’s a lie. I’m actually not really down with Indian curry. I just don’t care for it, ok? Give me a lamb-something that’s Indian and lots of garlic-cilantro naan to eat it with, and I’m fine. Otherwise, I don’t care for it) but I’m really just partial to this particular curry. Furthermore, The Wife (Margaret) requests it just about as often as she requests my pork adobo - another time, kids - which is to say, constantly.

If you don’t remember my last post, here are a few ground rules:
1. Don’t sass me.
2. Pour yourself a draaaaaank before you get underway. It helps. Swearsies.
3. Understand that there is a lot of room for variation in these dishes, so adapt it for your own tastes/whatever you have on hand, within reason.

Ingredients, assemble!
Green Halibut Curry
Oil, such as canola or peanut oil (olive in a pinch; something with a higher smoke point is better if you’ve got it)
1-2 large shallots, halved and sliced thinly
1 ½ to 2 tblsp green curry paste, Mae Ploy if you can get it (for the love of Christ, stay away from Thai Kitchen)
½ a yellow onion, sliced in to ½ inch chunks
¾ lb crimini mushrooms, quartered
2-ish crowns of broccoli
1 bell pepper; red/yellow/orange are best to add some color
1-ish lbs of small red or Yukon potatoes with the skin on
2-inch chunk of ginger, sliced thinly (peel it with a paring knife or leave the skin on)
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans of coconut milk, preferably light
1 – 1 ½ tblsp fish sauce (this is some smelly stuff – be wary and keep it in the pot or else you will smell of The Fermented Sea Apocalypse forever and ever)
4-6 lime leaves
1-2 lbs of halibut, depending on how many you’re feeding and how much you have
Handful of cilantro, chopped roughly
Small handful of Thai (or regular, if you can’t find Thai) basil, chopped roughly
A lime or two, sliced for squeezin'

Heat up a wok, a really wide and deep skillet, or a Dutch oven - whatever you’ve got that’s closest. It needs to be pretty dang hot. Throw some oil in there, about a tablespoon. Once it’s hot, throw in your shallots and move those suckers around in the pan with your stirring implement of choice. After they start to get translucent and then a bit crisp, add the green curry paste. Obvs adding less will make it a little more mild and adding more will make it more spicy, but green curry is meant to be an herbaceous, medium-heat curry. Get the green curry incorporated with the shallots, add a little more oil if necessary, and then throw in your mushrooms and onions with just a sprinkle of salt to help draw out the moisture.

I put the bell pepper in a bit early; I'm a rebel like that.
 You can leave those on their own for the most part – move them around a bit so that the onions don’t get too brown but you can finish your last minute prep right now if you need to, such as cutting up the fish. I like to do large chunks, about an inch square, but you can do them a bit smaller if you prefer. Halibut will flake nicely so you’ll end up with bite size pieces anyway and keeping them a little larger will help you control the cooking process better, especially if you’re not totally comfortable with cooking fish. Put the fish aside in a bowl with some salt & pepper.

Many thanks to Margaret's dad, who doesn't know he contributed this delicious halibut.
 Put your potatoes into a bowl with some water and toss some plastic wrap over the top, then put it in the microwave for about five minutes. You want to par-cook the potatoes so that they cook faster in your curry while absorbing the flaaaavas. Throw your broccoli and bell pepper into the pan and get it moving around with all the other goodness; after a couple of minutes, throw in the garlic and ginger. After about thirty seconds, empty your cans of coconut milk into the pan and add the fish sauce, stirring well. Throw the lime leaves in, turn the heat to low, and throw a half-cocked lid over that bad boy. I recommend eating rice with this (I guess you could eat it as-is, but I’m all about shamelessly doubling up on the carbs) or maybe some kind of rice noodle, so get your rice or whatevs going while your curry slightly simmers away.

Don't be a bunch of filthy perverts (like Liz). It's just coconut milk in slow-motion.
 While that’s all doing its thaaaang and getting happy, slice some limes into squeezable chunks, then chop up the cilantro and Thai basil. I happen to have some nice little ramekins that I put each of these into, because I’m fancy as fuck like that. However, you can literally throw it all in a bowl or pile it on a plate or do whatever you gots to do. If you’re working with larger chunks of fish, put it into the curry about ten minutes before the rice is done, gently folding it in so that it gets covered with yummy, thickened coconut milk.

Mmm...like so.
FINALLY, once the rice is done (man, seriously, rice and I aren’t friends. Half the time I totally eff it up – like I did this time – and have to start over. Rice and frosting: they are both a culinary Waterloo for me) and the curry has been getting happy for awhile, put that good stuff in a bowl.

Sprinkle your lovely additions over it with maybe some soy sauce/Braggs amino acids, perhaps some Sriracha, and then put your face in that bowl. For real.

We played the new Santigold album, Master of My Make Believe, which I have been digging on for the last week or so because NPR had it up on their First Listen site, along with new Rufus Wainwright, the new Royal Headache, and the new Norah Jones/Dangermouse collaboration.

After a couple glasses of wine, we also listened to some Pitbull. Keep your shade to yourself, haters.

No comments:

Post a Comment