Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Week 1, Day 3: Crock Pot Thai Curry

So far, so good. Three days down, not a major complaint about any dinner, and we've spent time as a family while we eat talking about different cultures and geography.

Tonight's dinner comes from my good friend, Colleen. Adam and her husband, Pete, have been best friends since middle school, and Colleen and Pete were married the week Adam and I met so we've always been friends as couples and families. I love spending time with them, and Colleen is such an inspiration to me in achieving great things. She's an intelligent woman, talented videographer, crafty genius, amazing athlete, supportive wife, and all-around awesome mom (check out her blog to see what she's up to today, it always inspires me). Frequently, she'll post a recipe on Facebook (usually from here, I'm becoming a big fan), and I'm always dying to try them, only to be shot down by Adam because he's not much for vegetables or healthy stuff in general. I got my way this time. Here's what it looked like when I got it into the crock pot this afternoon:

As it was cooking, Adam was rubbing his head a lot, and I asked him if he was tired. He said, "No, I've got a headache from smelling the vegetables." In the end, though, even he gave it a thumbs up! Here's a link to the original recipe.

Crock Pot Thai Curry

13.5 oz can coconut milk
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp Thai red or green chili paste, or more to taste (I used 1 1/2 tbsp)
1 tsp fish sauce (optional-I didn't use this)
1 yellow onion, chopped (I used about 2/3)
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 red bell pepper (I used about 2/3)
1 green bell pepper (I used about 2/3)
1/2 large eggplant
1 sweet potato
5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I used 4)
1 inch knob of ginger, peeled and grated

1. Combine the sauce ingredients: coconut milk, soy sauce, brown sugar, chili paste, and fish sauce in the bottom of your crock pot stoneware. Taste. If you think you need more chili paste, add some carefully. (It's hot stuff!)
2. Add the chicken pieces to the sauce, flipping them over a few times so they get nice and saucy.
3. Wash and cut the vegetables, and add to the crock.
4. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 4-6. This is done when the chicken is fully cooked and the vegetables have reached desired tenderness. (I cooked it for 4 hours on high and the chicken and vegetables were plenty done.) Serve over white rice.

I don't know why it takes me so long to chop vegetables, probably because I'm clumsy and nearly cut off fingers every night, but it took me a long time to prep this because of it. Also because I had skin-on, bone-in thighs, and spent time removing the skin and bones. Either way, give yourself some time to get it ready. I cooked it 4 hours on high, and my chicken was falling apart and the sweet potatoes and eggplant were extremely soft. Which actually turned out to be great!

The Verdict: 4 thumbs up, 1 thumb down. We really liked the texture and the flavor, although Adam and I both had to add salt, which we very rarely do with Asian food. We usually add soy sauce and it just didn't do it for us this time, but the salt did great. Adam didn't feel like he was eating a plate full of vegetables, because it became a nice creamy sauce, and the peppers and onions were chopped fairly small. Max was shoveling handfuls into his mouth. I'll definitely make it again, probably with just a bit more Thai chili paste to add a bit more kick.


Hippy Goodwife said...

Looks good! Adding the fish sauce would up the salt and the umami factor. Fish smells disgusting in the bottle but is actually really useful stuff.

As an you ever worry about the chemicals in the plastic liner leaching into your food? Such a long cooking time with so much plastic contact would make me really nervous. Someone has probably done some research somewhere.

Congratulations on trying new things! I'm looking forward to hearing about the rest of the dinners.

Colleen said...

Aw, crafty genius, amazing athlete? Wow, thanks! :) I'm so glad you guys liked this, we really did too! I forgot to tell you to add salt, I had to do that too. I think when I did it I just put some frozen boneless skinless chicken thighs in so that saved some time in prep, but you've got to use what you've got.

BTW You're doing great so far with your challenge!

CzaMama said...

Oooh that sounds really good! I agree with HG...the fish sauce smells terrible in the bottle, but it really does wonders. It's kind of like anchovies...while I won't eat them straight, they are an amazing addition to sauces and such.

I have to wonder about the liner too. I cannot say that I have problems cleaning my slow cooker since there's so much steam in the cooker while cooking it doesn't have the ability to get really crusted on.

Good luck with your challenge! It's fun, isn't it?

Rachel said...

Oh, thanks for the tips, girls! It hadn't occurred to me that fish sauce might have helped the flavor since I dislike most seafood. It also hadn't occurred to me to be concerned about the liner. I have had to soak my crock for more than a day sometimes (a ring above the liquid line), and it just makes me irritated not to be able to wash the dishes right away. I'll look it up, though.

Becky said...

That looks really good! I'll have to try it. I'm a big fan of vegetables...especially eggplant and yams/sweet potatoes. And then the curry; I love curry. I love how you give a commentary about the people who gave you the recipes; how you know them and what they mean to you. I know your comments about me made me smile. Thank you! You are so sweet!

Molly said...

This looks really good, we will have to try it!

I think I am against the plastic liners, except for throw up bowls as I have previously mentioned. It would make clean up awesome though.