I like to cook. Sometimes my daughter likes to eat.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Dinners Week of 11/8: Chicken Sweet Potato Curry!

Shopping on Fridays means the week of menus starts on Fridays, ahh Shabbat, ahh the weekend. In these weeks of school tours, that time is more welcome than ever. Weeks are frantic right now with 2-3 tours eating into our work days and the constant catch-up that entails. We've been trying to keep it simple and healthy, and I've been relishing the chance to be more elaborate on the weekend.

Fri: Grilled steak, potato-stuffed pasilla peppers

Sa: Date night! Velvet Cantina is a good spot for groups

Su: Vietnamese pork chops, stir fried bok choy and brown rice

M: Out for meetings, MZ home with M&P

Tu: School Open House, Mac 'n' Cheese and Peas for MZ

W: Chicken Sweet Potato Curry* over Brown Rice
I made double the rice on Sunday to have some to reheat tonight

Th: School Open House, lamb steaks and string beans w Bubbe for MZ

* Chicken Sweet Potato Curry
I recently picked up Mark Bittman's Kitchen Express. It's organized by season, and touts 404 recipes that can be made in 20 minutes or less. More than a cookbook, it's really a series of ideas, it doesn't offer ingredients lists so much as a series of steps you might take in pulling dinner together. I thought I'd hate it, but I'm finding it really suits the way I cook. I find Mark Bittman's recipes tasty and dependable, and felt pretty confident leaving this for R to put together. I did all the prep the night before, and left the dry ingredients out on the counter along with a more detailed take on the recipe.

I'm the primary cook in our household, but R has been picking up Wednesday nights as my commute is so hideous. Truth be told, he has a much better palate than I do. When I came home, he had made the most delicious, comforting curry, and some significant changes to the recipe. This is definitely a keeper, and absolutely perfect for a chilly Fall or Winter night. I could eat this every week. MZ loved it, too. Yellow curry is mild enough for most kids, and the addition of fish sauce, ginger, lime juice and lemongrass peps up the prepared curry paste nicely.

This would be perfect with a cucumber and red onion salad, if you have time.

1 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 cans coconut milk (do not shake the cans!)
1 can-full low sodium chicken broth
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced ~3/4" pieces
2 handfulls string beans, cut to 1" lengths
Juice of one lime (or more to taste)
1 T fish sauce
2 t. minced ginger
1 stem lemon grass, pounded and cut to 1" lengths (optional)
2-3 Keffir lime leaves, slivered (optional)
1 lb. chicken breast tenders, cut to 1" pieces

Open the coconut milk and heat a saucepan over medium heat. Skim the thick coconut milk from the top of the can and put in the saucepan. When it liquifies, add the onion and garlic and cook till just softened. Turn heat to medium-high and add the curry paste. Stir and fry till fragrant, about 60 seconds, then add the rest of the ingredients through the lemongrass, if using. Stir, bring to a simmer and cook 7-9 minutes till the sweet potato is tender. Add the chicken, stir and simmer 6 minutes. Adjust flavors, adding more lime juice or fish sauce as needed. Serve over brown rice.


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