Sunday, November 27, 2011
I really enjoy sauces and curries that use seeds and nuts as bases. There is just something about the creamy texture and earthy flavor that just makes me happy. I have been trying to make a safe curry for myself for quite some time, and I think that I finally got it with this recipe. When making this curry, there are a few things that need to be kept in mind.
The first thing, I have made the recipe easier by incorporating commercially processed foods. The grinding of nuts and seeds is a very laborious feat and not for those on timelines. Where I have used commercial products, for sake of time, they are completely devoid of any added sugars, preservatives, or additives. The peanut butter I use is JUST ground peanuts and nothing else. Read the labels.
The second thing for you to know is my concept for the flavor of this dish. I was really looking for more of a figure-ground situation for my tongue. I wanted there to be this back and forth between the sauce (ground) and something in the sauce (figure). The ingredients listed below are based on my first successful attempt at creating this situation. You can replace the chicken with whatever you want so long as that "figure" food can absorb some of the liquids and will allow the spices to adhere to it. I would think that firm or extra-firm tofu would have the proper consistency and allow for the adherence of the spices, but I am not familiar with how well it absorbs liquids. I would think that mushrooms would be great candidates for replacing the chicken so long as they are not overcooked.
The last thing to keep in mind is what you are going to serve with the curry. I can see the most common reply being rice. That is not a bad option and I think it tastes good with Jasmine Rice. It is always good to keep an open mind, though. The curry can be served with any sort of bread, naan, or noodles. In addition, you can serve it with whole, cubed or mashed squash. Try it with spaghetti squash. I think it tastes good with mashed butternut squash.
6med chicken breast, sliced thin (substitute with item of your choice)
4 green onions (optional)
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup sherry
1tbsp soy sauce
6 - 8oz natural peanut butter
12 - 16 oz coconut milk (no additives, not the same as coconut water)
1/2 yellow onion
4 tsp tahini (sesame paste)
4 - 6 Serrano peppers
4 - 6 finger hot peppers
1 cup almond milk (unsweetened/unflavored)
1tsp garlic, minced
1tsp ginger paste
2tsp chili paste
2tsp buckwheat honey
Thinly slice the chicken in to 1/8" - 3/16" thick pieces. Place the cut chicken in a bowl. Add all of the marinade ingredients. Let the marinade set for about 30 minutes. This time will have to be modified depending on whether or not you change this ingredient. I would let it set for about 60 minutes if you use mushroom. I don't know how long for tofu.
While the chicken is marinating, chop the yellow onion and peppers finely. If you do not have a hand-blender, or cannot handle any sort of piquancy make certain to remove the seeds from the peppers. Add the chopped onion and pepper to a pot with oil and sauté until they are soft. Do not brown. Add the chili paste, minced garlic and ginger paste and sauté the mixture a few more minutes.
In a large bowl, mix peanut butter, almond milk, tahini and coconut milk in a bowl and mix as much as possible. Once the onion/pepper mixture is sautéed, add the contents of the bowl. Simmer for about 10-12 minutes stirring constantly. Once the entire mixture is heated use a hand blender or a regular blender to meld all ingredients.The curry should be smooth and uniform at this point. Return to heat and let simmer. Add the buckwheat honey at this point. If you cannot find this type of honey. Do not let the curry boil.
Take the chicken and stir-fry it. If you don't have a wok to stir-fry, take a very small frying pan and cook the chicken on a very high heat in the pan. It will take several pan-fulls regardless of the cooking method. Set the meat to the side as you cook it all. Do not combine the chicken with the curry as the curry is still cooking. If you are going to add the green onion, you should cut it up at this point. Cut the bulbs so they are 1/16" thick. Cut the green stalks so that they are about 1" in length. Keep the stalks and the bulbs separate. When you have finished the chicken, sauté the onion bulb.
When the onion bulb is done sautéing, add the bulb, chicken and stalk to the curry and stir to mix. Let cook for another 2 minutes and then remove from heat. Serve the curry with whichever accompaniment you choose.
This recipe is IBD friendly so long as the nuts and seeds are fully pulverized and a hand-blender is used to make the curry smooth. This recipe is gluten free. If you are allergic to nuts, you are screwed; don't try this.