There's three inches of snow on the ground, it's twenty-one degrees Farenheit outside, with a breeze blowing. I just made myself a nice cup of cranberry apple herbal tea, and it's rapidly growing cold in the ambient temperature.
Why did I get out of bed again?
Oh, yeah, there's a red curry waiting for me!
Well, maybe not for breakfast, but certainly for lunch. Or maybe brunch. Elevensies? Second breakfast??
Who, me? Obsessed?
If you'd like to know how to make this delectable NOM-worthy meal, read on:
1/2 medium yellow onion
a pat or two of unsalted butter for frying
2 cooked chicken breasts, shredded
1/2 of a box of 32-oz unsalted beef stock (Swanson's is good, but there are others)
1 28-oz can no salt added crushed tomatoes (Furmano's is good, but there are others)
1 6-oz. can tomato paste
spices: powdered onion, powdered garlic, turmeric, curry powder, cumin (we are spice snobs, and we use Penzeys as much as possible. Their line of no-salt blends is also a must-have, expecially their Sunny Spain lemon pepper awesomeness. Commercial over, moving on...)
lemon juice, a spash or two
one 10.8-oz. bag of frozen broccoli & cauliflower (we use the Steam Fresh from Birdseye because it's so dratted convenient)
one pint of heavy whipping cream
one 10-oz. bag of frozen rice (we use the Steam Fresh long grain white rice from Birdseye, because, again, convenient)
Heat a steep-sided pan over medium to medium-high heat, depending on how finicky your stove is. Ours is a diva, and acts like it. And our steep-sided pan is a square-sided copper pan with a four-inch lip. Toss in the butter to melt and prepare for an onion incursion.
Roughly dice the onion. If you have to speak sharply to it beforehand and hurt its feelings, well, maybe that's a bit too rough.
Toss the onion in the hot pan, and move it around with a spatula to get those beauties nice and soft. Make them sweat for making you cry.
Turn the heat to medium if it was higher earlier for the onion fry. Add the chicken, crushed tomatoes, stock, and tomato paste. Stir it to get everything mixed together.
Start heating the bag of frozen veggies.
Now, this is the subjective portion of the recipe. We use a lot of spices – a LOT – because we don't add any extra salt at all. Can't use MSG either, I'm quite the allergic, and there's a lot of tomato in this recipe just waiting to react with any salt to make its own MSG. (Yes, I have to watch my tomato intake for this reason.) So, when I say I use about two heaping tablespoons of powdered garlic, and two heaping tablespoons of powdered toasted onion, and two heaping tablespoons of turmeric, and a moderately heaping teaspoon each of both curry and cumin, I'm not kidding. We're heavy on the turmeric over the cumin and curry because we like the sweetness it brings to the mix without getting bitter. Your mileage will certainly vary, it's just a matter of adjusting to your taste. If you're slightly uncomfortable with the amount of spice you've just added, it's probably about right. If it's too much, hand it off to a neighbor and ignore my recommendations and put in about a teaspoon of each, then adjust up or down as you experiment.
Mix it in well, then add a splash or two of lemon juice.
The veggies should be steamed in the microwave about now, so pull them out CAREFULLY because steam burns are UNpleasant. Give it about a minute to cool down, open the bag CAREFULLY, and place those hot veggies onto a cutting board. Chop 'em down to bite size, in the half-inch to inch size, and dump them in the pan with the rest. Throw the bag of frozen rice into the microwave and start steaming that, because the race is now on between your stomach and your follow-the-recipe ideals.
Add the cream, and stir it in.
Stir for about a minute, then you might as well turn off the stove, because your stomach has been giving you the FEED ME IMMEDIATELY WHY IS THAT NOT IN YOUR MOUTH YET SERIOUSLY COME ON! treatment for that last minute.
Pull out bowls in anticipation. Again, when the microwave beeps, please be careful in pulling out the steam-hot bag. Tell your stomach to shut up for a minute, let the rice cool down, and put about 3/4 cup in each bowl. Ladle some of that orange-red goodness on top, and see if you can make it to the table before digging in.
This makes about 14 servings. We eat it for a full week's worth of lunches, because NOM. When we run out of rice, we just microwave another bag. (Or sticky rice, we're not fussy.) For leftover rice in the fridge, we microwave for two minutes, add the curry, microwave for another 2 1/2 minutes, test the temp, and it usually needs another additional 2 minutes for NOM-worthiness.
You have chicken stock instead? Sure! No cream? We've used whole milk. Forgot to cook chicken? Oh, well, it's veggie time! We've been known to sprinkle pine nuts, or if they're too expensive, peanuts on top. We've added shrimp a few times, and shredded pork on other occasions. It's versatile, so feel free to play with it.
How much sodium? About 500mg for the whole pot. Yes, that low! About 35mg a serving, for us. It doesn't take very long at all for your taste buds to get used to the lower salt content of food to the point where many processed or commercial foods taste like salt blocks. I don't miss it at all, and my body likes not swelling up like a balloon.
Enjoy! If you have any questions, feel free to poke me in the comments.
About the Creator
Mix equal parts anthropologist, biologist, geologist, and artisan, stir and heat in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country, sprinkle with a heaping pile of odd life experiences. Half-baked.