Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Curry It Up

There's one thing that I've always wanted to make my own curry. I'm addicted to curry, either Indian or Thai, I'm really not picky and one of my favorites is Thai Massaman curry. So, when I came across this gorgeous mortar and pestle in a secondhand shop, my vision of pounding and grinding my own curry paste finnnaallly came to pass. First let me just say, for anyone who has ever tried to find galangal root and doesn't live in a large metropolitan area with a large Thai population, let me just tell you that you're going to have an adventure...and probably see things and meet people you might soon want to forget. Be that as it may, I did find the galangal root and the many other exotic ingredients required for my first curry experiment. And I just might want to add, it was due to no small amount of assistance from the very patient and oh-so-much-braver spousal unit (what would I do without that guy!).

So, ingredients procured,  I dove in. I chopped, pounded, grinded, whined, asked the spousal unit for a donation of his muscle power, grinded some more, calculated the calories I was burning while doing all of the aforementioned, sniffed, sighed, laughed giddily and finally produced my very own.......

 curry paste! Woohoo! Did I screw things up a bit? Duh, of course, but it was still delish...though not as delish as my favorite curry at Cham Thai in Billings, MT to which I measure all other curries (is it too weird that my favorite Thai restaurant is in Billings, MT? I swear it's better than any that I've tried, from Australia to New York! Try it and then we'll see who should be labeled "crazy"). So, I will call my curry making a minor success and I look forward to my next attempt...though I'm not sure the hubby would say the same. Hrmph. Maybe I'll just move on to my other desired use of mortar and pestle. Making my own chocolate! Now, if I could just get my hands on some cacao beans.....

And since I'm talking successful kitchen adventures, here's another that really knocked our socks off. It's a recipe for a Tomato Pie. Oh, stop it! Don't think I don't see you turning your nose up! I see you. But I swear this recipe is so good you'll get past the less than appealing title and be running to your computers to post your own blogs about this tasty little dish. It comes from one of my favorite bloggers, Nici, over at Dig This Chick.

 She made it as a pie, but due to my attempt to cut carbs, I turned it into a tomato tart, using only a half recipe of a Pate Brisee. Other than the fact I substituted a shallot for the garlic (and only because I had more shallots than garlic) and changed it from a pie to a tart, I followed her recipe exactly and came up with...

magic! And a favorite new dinner recipe. Hmm, and let's not overlook the fact I got to indulge in a little, um, BAKING! Thanks, Nici, I owe you one!


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