Gustavore: What To Do With All That Curry Paste
Did you make that curry paste recipe I gave you back in May? Here’s what to do with the 20 servings you still have in your freezer.
You could, of course, make curry:
- In a wok, heat oil (canola, peanut or sesame). Add minced garlic and/or ginger and/or hot peppers. Sizzle for a few seconds, not letting the garlic burn.
- Add onions and/or sweet peppers and/or cabbage, stir-frying until they start to soften.
- Add meat, if using, and stir-fry until almost cooked through.
- Add curry paste. Stir-fry another minute or two. Add coconut milk and/or vegetable stock and/or chicken stock.
- Add steamed vegetables (carrots, broccoli, bell peppers, bok choy, green beans, snow peas, etc.) I like to steam these vegetables beforehand so I can get the degree of doneness I want on the vegetables and not let too much curry sauce evaporate in the process. Add water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, baby corn, if using. Add cubed tofu or steamed dumplings, if using. Simmer all together for a few minutes to warm and infuse the ingredients with curry. Toss in a couple handfuls of cilantro or Thai basil. For a Thai flavor, stir in some fresh lime juice and fish sauce. For more heat, stir in some sriracha hot chili sauce.
- Serve over rice or noodles. Garnish with more cilantro and/or green onion, and/or toasted sesame seeds or peanuts.
All those “ands” and “ors”? Opportunities for endless curry variety, my friend.
But, wait, there’s more.
Curried Chicken Salad
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
- ¼ cup curry paste
- Juice from 1-1/2 lemons
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 1-1/2 cup shredded cooked chicken (or turkey or pork)
- 2 carrots, shredded
- ¼ red onion, diced
- 2 green onions, sliced thin
- ¼ cup dried currants, or chopped raisins
- ¼ walnuts, roughly chopped
- 1 14 oz. can chickpeas
- Fresh ground pepper, to taste
Heat a tablespoon of sesame oil in a small fry pan. Add garlic and 2 tablespoons of the ginger and cook gently for a few minutes until the ginger softens. Add the curry paste and cook a few minutes more. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
In a large bowl, make the dressing: mix the curry paste with the lemon juice, turmeric, cinnamon, salt and mayonnaise. Stir in the remaining minced ginger and all the other ingredients.
This will make about 4 cups of salad. Scoop a cup onto a mini pita, top with sliced avocado and serve. Also good served as lettuce wraps or on a tortilla.
Steamed Mussels and Clams in Curry Sauce
For two, as an entrée.
- 1 lb. mussels and 1 lb. clams, scrubbed
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 tomato, diced
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- Pinch of saffron threads, steeped in a little hot water
- ¼ cup curry paste
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- ½ cup white wine
- ½ cup chicken stock or clam juice
- 2 tablespoons chopped basil
- Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot or cataplana. Sauté onion, tomato and bay leaf until tomatoes get pulpy. Add garlic and curry paste, sautéing another minute.
- Deglaze the pan with the saffron and its steeping water, lemon juice, wine and stock. Bring to a simmer and add the clams, which take a bit longer than the mussels. Cover and steam a couple minutes. Stir and add the mussels. Cover and steam, stirring a couple times, until the shellfish open.
- Remove shellfish to a large serving bowl, pour on the sauce, and set it in the middle of the table along with a baguette and a bowl for shells.
Alternately, you could spoon some white rice (perhaps cooked with a pinch of saffron) and steamed green beans into individual serving bowls, then top with shellfish and sauce.
So. If you didn’t already make that curry paste, maybe you should do it now.