Friday, August 17, 2012

Thai Chicken & Mango Stir Fry

This is a nice little stir fry that doesn't require much planning and tastes delicious. Both ripe and underripe mango work well. If the mangoes you have are less ripe though, use 2 teaspoons brown sugar. If they’re ripe and sweet, just use 1 teaspoon or omit the brown sugar altogether.  The fresh herbs are really what make this great dish (if you don't have them though, don't worry - it'll still taste great). A little note that if you anticipate having left overs - I'd recommend setting those portions aside before adding your fresh herbs and then adding the herbs the following day. That way you won't lose the intense flavour of the fresh herbs and your dish will reheat much better.  Also - a word to the wise: do not add the mango until the very, very end - otherwise it will just disappear into the dish. Bon appétit!

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon fish sauce (see Note)
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1-2 teaspoons brown sugar
4 teaspoons canola oil, divided
1 pound chicken tenders, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1-2 fresh small red or green chile peppers, stemmed and sliced, or 1/2-3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 cups of red/green pepper, or broccoli, or maybe some nice snow peas
1/4 cup water
2 mangoes, peeled and sliced
1 bunch scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, preferably Thai
sprig of chopped fresh mint
1 lime, cut into 6 wedges
+ rice, vermicelli, naan or whatever you like to serve your stirfry with...

1. Combine fish sauce, lime juice, cornstarch and brown sugar to taste in a small bowl.

2. Heat 2 tbs. oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add chicken; cook, stirring, until just cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

3. Add the remaining 2 tsp. oil, garlic, ginger and chiles (or crushed red pepper) to the pan. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about a minute. Add veggies and water; cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the reserved sauce and chicken; cook, stirring, until the sauce is thickened and the chicken is heated through, about 1 minute. Add mangoes and scallions; cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Stir in cilantro, basil and mint. Serve with lime wedges!

Chicken Tikka Masala Curry

So unfortunately I don't have an actual picture of this dish because we ate it rehydrated on our week-long canoe trip through Algonquin Park. And all the credit goes to the amazing husband on this one - he did all the cooking and dehydrating and I just posed for the picture. This curry was incredible. Mouth wateringly incredible. Sweet yet tangy and it even dehydrates into a nice, light, cut-up-able sheet! On site, we added a brick of coconut solid because we needed the fat/proteins, but that'd be up to you. This recipe comes from Jamie Oliver - he recommends you marinate the chicken over night if you can, but of course we didn't do that (I'd be interested to know who thinks ahead to do these things!). Giles boys - another one you'll love. Bon appétit!

Ingredients (for 4):

• ½ fresh red chilli, deseeded (taste for spiciness!)
• 1 clove of garlic, peeled
• thumb-size piece of fresh ginger
• vegetable oil
• a pinch of paprika
• ½ tablespoon garam masala
• a teaspoon of tomato puree
• 3 sprigs of fresh coriander, leaves picked and chopped, stalks reserved
• 400g chicken breast, diced
• 1 small onion, peeled and sliced
• ½ red pepper, deseeded and sliced
• ½ green pepper, deseeded and sliced
• a pinch of ground cinnamon
• a pinch of ground coriander
• a pinch of turmeric
• 1 x 400g tin plum tomatoes
• 100ml plain yoghurt
• 100ml double cream (again, we used the coconut solid instead...)

For the curry paste:
Blitz the chilli, garlic, ginger and vegetable oil in the food processor. Add the paprika, garam masala and tomato puree, plus the coriander stalks, and blitz again to form a paste. Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl, coat them with the marinade and leave in the fridge overnight.

The next day…
In a little vegetable oil, on a medium heat, fry the onion, peppers and spices in a large saucepan. Cook gently for 10 minutes then add the tin of tomatoes and the yoghurt. Add the chicken and simmer gently for 15 to 20 minutes until cooked. Just before serving, stir through the double cream and chopped coriander leaves.