I’m in a serious rut. I’m trying my best to get out of it, and I’m hoping that since winter is looming and inevitably it will be time to switch from fruit salads and grilled meats to stews, soups and ragouts, I’ll finally be able to. This recipe has been my go-to for the last few weeks. It’s easy and I like it and most of all Jérôme can’t get enough of it. He requests it nearly every time we’ve got chicken to cook, and for now I’m not complaining. I’ve made several variations (with or without bell peppers, flakes of coconut, etc.) and they’re always great, a nice, fairly quick weeknight dinner. Continue reading
I discovered Indian food in Paris. I remember the first time I ate at an Indian restaurant being utterly lost amidst the curries and the kormas and the keema maters. I didn’t think I liked spicy, so I timidly asked the server what the tamest dish was on the menu. He kindly recommended the chicken korma, a mildly spicy dish teamed with cashews, coconut milk and heavy cream.
Of course I was immediately hooked. What was not to like? A deep golden color, tender chicken in a creamy sauce, just the right amount of spices, topped off with cardamom-infused rice and a light, chewy naan filled with tangy, melty cheese. Like the Thai before it and the Lebanese to come, Indian cuisine managed to find a way into my general rotation of must-eats.
Magic happens. Last night was chicken. It was good. Tonight, more chicken (bulk package on sale!). I asked Jé as we were on our way home what we should do with it. “Korma?” he responded. It was tempting, and I was pretty sure that we had an extra carton of coconut milk at home. But I’d already planned to go test the new Indian restaurant near work with my colleagues tomorrow. Plus, korma needs to be accompanied by freshly baked cheese naans, and we certainly didn’t have the ingredients for those.
I had fantasized earlier in the day about a soup made of prawns poached in coconut milk (perhaps my next class at the Chef’s Workshop?), and of course had soup on my mind as the temperatures have dropped so drastically in the last few days. So, I did what I always do when I’m not sure what to make. I opened my Epicurious app, typed in the key words “chicken,” “coconut” and “soup.” The result was 15 different recipes, 10 of which were for a classic Thai chicken soup called Tom Kai Gai. It was perfect. It was neither Indian, nor korma, but with all of the basic spices and flavors that I love in those types of dishes. The only problem? I only had about half of the ingredients on the list. I looked at two or three recipes, mentally noted the staple ingredients, and went to work tearing through my cupboards to see what I could find. Continue reading