Saturday, August 16, 2014

Curry in a Hurry

Sometimes you just need to cheat a little. 

I was having such a relaxing afternoon reading "Cook's Illustrated" & "Vanity Fair"  that I didn't start dinner prep quite as early as I should have, so I turned to one of my reliable cheaters: Trader Joe's Thai Yellow Curry Sauce. I usually keep a bottle of it & the Red Thai Curry Sauce in the pantry. 

The technique is simple: steam or saute your ingredients until just tender & then put them together for a brief communal simmer in the sauce. My ingredients tonight: carrots, green beans, mushrooms, onions, and tofu. Don't pre-cook the mushrooms. 

I pressed the excess water out of the tofu by putting it between two layers of paper towels topped with my favorite "presser": a cast iron skillet.

The next step is "dry frying" slices of pressed tofu in the same skillet. 

Slice the browned tofu, & it's ready to go.

You can use chicken or other meat or shrimp--I just really like the veggie version, & I pretty much always have a package of extra firm tofu on hand.

Shortly before serving, I put the vegetables (except for the uncooked mushrooms) into a skillet with the curry sauce & simmered briefly. Then I added the tofu and mushrooms and simmered it bit longer.

With the curry on a low simmer, I decided to see how well zucchini noodles (this summer's obsession) paired with Indian spices. While the salted noodles rested in the colander (to remove moisture), I made a quick tomato sauce which I seasoned with a bit of chaat masala, an Indian spice blend & then tossed it with the zucchini noodles.

The zucchini noodles went great with the curry. 

Curry with French wine (a gift from my friend Marilyn Kallet)? 

Mais oui certainment! 

That's what we're having. 

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