Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Vietnamese Chicken & Vegetable Curry

No, I haven’t disappeared! And thanks to those who have e-mailed me, wondering why I haven’t posted in over a week. It’s a nice feeling to be missed!

We had a stretch of decent weather, so I spent as much time outdoors as I could. There’s a ton of stuff to do and invariably I would come in the house around 6pm, make dinner, have a glass of wine, and collapse, unable to do much more than retrieve my e-mail.

Yes, I still manage to prepare the required three meals a day, but it is during these times I wonder why I don’t just break down and buy some convenience foods. Last night Jack said “I bet you wish we had a box of Stouffer’s in the freezer to throw in the microwave for dinner.” Astute, the man is. ;) But what I came up with was quick, and delicious, and took only about 45 minutes from start-to-finish.

A very generous friend gave me an electric wok for my birthday and I have found it is perfect for using in hot weather rather than turning on the stove.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Vietnamese Chicken and Vegetable Curry

Recipe By :Vicci

Servings: 2

Preparation Time:0:45

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method

-------- ------------ --------------------------------

10 ounces chicken breast, no skin, no bone, R-T-C -- (RTC means Ready To Cook in MasterCook lingo) cut into 1" cubes

1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder (I use Penzey’s mild)

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons canola oil

2 cloves garlic -- crushed

2 ounces onion -- sliced into small wedges

1 teaspoon fresh lemongrass -- white part of bulb only, minced

1/2 cup water

1 large carrot -- halved lengthwise, then cut into 1" pieces

6 ounces red bell pepper -- chopped into 1" pieces

6 ounces asparagus -- cut into 1" pieces

1/3 cup light coconut milk

1/2 cup skim milk

2 teaspoons fish sauce

1/2 teaspoon coconut extract

1 cup hot cooked rice

2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

2 lime wedges

In a small bowl combine the curry powder through salt, add the chicken cubes, toss to coat, and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for 1/2 - 2 hours.

Drizzle oil into a heated wok, toss in garlic for a few seconds, then add lemongrass and chicken cubes. Stir fry until chicken has browned a bit. Add the water and bring to a boil; add carrot, cover and turn down heat to low. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Stir; add the bell pepper, asparagus, coconut milk, skim milk, and fish sauce. Turn up heat until mixture comes to a boil again, turn down heat, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in coconut extract.

Serve over hot cooked rice. Sprinkle with cilantro, squeeze lime over.

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Per serving: 445 Calories (kcal); 11g Total Fat; (22% calories from fat); 40g Protein; 47g Carbohydrate; 88mg Cholesterol; 921mg Sodium

Food Exchanges: 2 Grain(Starch); 4 1/2 Lean Meat; 2 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 15 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates

NOTES : Other vegetables such as green beans, broccoli, etc. can be subbed or added . Chicken can be omitted if more veggies are used.

I have to note that since I have been exploring the cuisines of Asia, I have found it difficult to keep fresh lemongrass on hand. Our local grocery store carries it only sporadically. I had a plant for 2 years which did well enough, but I didn’t use it as often as I should have and it became overgrown and crowded the pot and died. So I found, in the produce section of the grocery store, lemongrass-in-a-tube. I tried not to look at the ingredients, but did anyway. In addition to lemongrass is canola oil and dextrose, and a few other things. For as infrequently as I need lemongrass, I now forget about the added ingredients and use the tube. I keep it in the freezer, and take it out when I start to make dinner. In about 15 minutes it’s thawed enough to squeeze out a teaspoonful. Jack’s comment was “What next? Already peeled potatoes?” :)

A big plus about working outside has been the sounds emanating from our little pond. I
turn on the waterfall and, accompanying the sound of falling water, our resident toads and frogs trill and croak. Here’s one relatively friendly little one:

Just floating among the rush plant... I would have liked to join him!

Yes, my back feels like I have a knife stuck in it, my hands are dry and need constant applications of lotion, and I am so tired that I’m dragging by the end of the day, but the sounds of nature finally awakening make it all (almost) worthwhile.

I will try to keep up with this blog better than I have lately. I have lots of recipes to post, but need to type them into MasterCook first and hope that I will be able to do so in the next few days.


Anonymous said...

This looks awesome. How do you think it would work with tofu? I do not eat chicken but love to get the protein via tofu. Just wondering about the marinating?

jenni said...

Glad you're back to posting, Vicci! I look forward to your recipe adventures, but didn't want to harass you about your lack of posting last week. :-)

Kitchen Queen Victoria said...

anonymous, I think that this would be really good using tofu and thanks for the idea. When I try this, I will use extra-firm tofu (and freeze it first since that freeze-thaw process firms it up even more because my husband hates "mushy tofu"). I definitely will toss the tofu cubes with the spice mixture before cooking, but probably not allow it to marinate for more than 15 minutes or so. Let me know if you try it, and I'll post if I try it. :)

Jenni, like you could ever harass me!!! ;)