Friday, June 05, 2009

Better Than Take Out!

Oh summertime in San Francisco, how I love you. It can be hot -- or not. There may be fog, wind, rain, even a thunderstorm or two.

What is a girl to do?

I visited the farmer's market in the Castro on Wednesday just to remind myself what is in season. Most mornings the weather tells me it is still time to bundle up a bit and sip big mugs of hot tea while I work on the book. But at the market there were apricots and pluots and berries in addition to tons of fresh lettuce, favas, and asparagus.

Getting used to the seasons in my new home has made me be a bit inventive at times. Earlier this week we had beautiful asparagus to use. I was imagining it roasted with a green salad and poached egg -- one of my very favorite early summer meals. But then it was cold and gray and windy and a salad seemed cold and unsatisfying. So I made this. It was good and quick and green and healthy.

The leftovers were pretty awesome too, especially since the boyfriend is gone all week and I have been hunkered down in writing mode.

Green Curry in a Hurry
Adapted from 101 Cookbooks
4 teaspoons green curry paste*
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk -- light milk is ok
1 large onion, sliced
14 ounces vegetable broth
6 ounces of firm tofu, cut into cubes
1 cup peas, fresh or frozen
2 cups asparagus, fresh or frozen, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
juice of one lime
1/4 cup cilantro
2 cups cooked rice

In a large pot over medium heat whisk the curry paste with salt and a small bit of the coconut milk. Simmer for just a minute. Add the onion and saute until it softens up, just a minute or so. Add the rest of the coconut milk and broth and simmer for another five minutes. Taste and adjust for flavor -- you can add more green curry paste at this point if you like it stronger.

Stir in the tofu and just before serving, the peas and asparagus. Simmer for a minute or two, just long enough for the vegetables to cook a bit. Finish the pot with the lime juice and the cilantro.
Serve alone, like soup, or over rice for a heartier dish.

*About that curry -- Heidi recommended starting with two teaspoons of green paste and going up from there. I found two teaspoons was not close to enough, so I upped the amount to start with and actually used five teaspoons when I made it. But each curry paste is different, I imagine, so go with your taste buds. You can always add more. If you do, mix the paste with a tiny bit of water before putting it into the pot. This prevents clumping.
Serves 4+

No comments: