Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Dinner tonight, Re`chauf`fe´ tomorrow....

I tended to my herbs this morning, and I have harvested more than enough herbs than I can use for the day, thus I sent "Himself" with 3 bags of herbs to share in his office and kept enough of the Thai Basil for us, since I have been craving for red curry lately.I cook at least twice a day on weekdays, breakfast and dinner, and leftovers from dinner is usually packed lunch the following day. Most people will say that this is economical but not really. Come to think about it, if you count the opportunity cost of preparing and cooking food, it really is less expensive to just eat out. But like most people who love to cook, I find pleasure in cooking, and more so, it's a way for me to indulge myself -- making breakfast gives me the satisfaction of doing something I love for myself before going through the hussle and bussle of everyday life, and cooking dinner is my way of unwinding from the junk and stress of the day.I love Thai Curry, may it be red, green, yellow or anything in between. Done right, the heat from the curry leaves my mouth refreshed, not screaming for water.

I like having my "ingredients" available (Himself calls it hoarding). When it comes to food, I almost always have most things available in my pantry or freezer and curry paste is no difference. I prepare them whenever I can (when I start running low on it) and then freeze them by tablespoon serving, then I can thaw however much I need when I am ready to make curry.

Chicken in Thai Red Curry (Gaeng Daeng)

2 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp of Thai Red Curry Paste
1 medium size onion, sliced
1 lb skinless boneless chicken breast
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 can of coconut milk
1 can of young corn, cut 1 inch diagonally
1 cup green beans, cut 1 inch
1/2 of green bell pepper, diced 1 inch
1/2 of red bell pepper, diced 1 inch
12 pcs grape tomatoes
thai basil

Heat wok, add oil and saute the curry paste until fragrant, about a minute. Add onion and saute for another minute. Add chicken and stir fry until slightly browned on the edges. Remove chicken and set aside. Stir in fish sauce, give it a couple of stir in the pan and add the coconut milk. Simmer and reduce the coconut milk until thickened. Put the chicken back, add the vegetables and cook until vegetables are done. I like my vegetables half-cooked or crunchy, which I recommend, since the residual heat will continue to cook them even after you remove from heat. Add the tomatoes and thai basil, mix them in, then remove from heat. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.

Restaurant Week in Atlanta, yet I am resisting the urge to go out and splurge on good food prepared by the loving hands of other people. I normally would give my support to the food/restaurant industry by going out every night with the girls, but, I just bought my plane ticket for the Philippines for my yearly holiday and that did put a serious dent on my financial freedom. I, however, encourage you guys to go and check out the different restaurants in Atlanta offering prix fixe dinner for a very affordable price of $25.00. It's a very good way to sample these restaurants' fare, and support Atlanta's food/restaurant industry. My personal choices, if you may ask --
4th & Swift sample some modern American comfort food prepared by veteran chef Jay Swift. He is very talented and a very sweet & charming person.Engine 11, sit in the patio, drink some American Craft Brews and prepare to be entertained by one of their quirky and cute managers, my fav is Quickie.Ri-ra, check out this newly opened Irish Pub and enjoy some traditional Irish Fare. If you love dirty martinis like myself, head to their Harbour Bar and ask for Cyril to make you the meanest, dirtiest Garden Martini in Atlanta. They usually have live entertainment, and if you visit this Sunday (September 7), you will catch Irish Baladeer Kathleen Donahue.Table 1280 at the Woodruff Arts Center is another choice. And since you will be in the vicinity, visit the High Museum of Arts. My recommendation, start with their organic green salad with watermelon radish, pickled onion and Vermont goat cheese, work your way to the grilled sword fish and for dessert, lemon panna cotta, DELISH!The Oceanaire -- for a chain, it's a very good Seafood Restaurant.

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