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Posts Tagged ‘Thai’

Thai Turkey Meatballs with Coconut Curry Sauce | Relishing It

I know I’ve mentioned here– on several occasions– how much I love the meatballs from my childhood.  Today’s recipe is a meatball that I wouldn’t have recognized as a kid.  There was nothing ethnic about the versions we would gobble up in my early years.  Fresh ginger?  Nope.  Never had it back then.  Fish sauce?  Are you kidding me?  I guess these Thai meatballs reflect how different my culinary life is now with access to different styles of food and ingredients.  I still love those German meatballs from my childhood– I ask my mom to make them every time I get back to North Dakota– but now, I love this ethnic version as well.  In fact give me ALL of the ethnic food.  And make it extra spicy, please.

Thai Turkey Meatballs with Coconut Curry Sauce | Relishing It

Thai Turkey Meatballs with Coconut Curry Sauce | Relishing It

These meatballs definitely have some fantastic Thai flavors to them.  Fresh ginger and garlic are noticeable right from the start.  Ginger is one of those flavors that I can’t get enough of.  It brightens the food, and oddly, my mood.  Just smelling it puts me in a happy state.  The cilantro adds a vibrant freshness to them, as well.

Thai Turkey Meatballs with Coconut Curry Sauce | Relishing It

The sauce is simple, but tastes extraordinary.  Using homemade chicken broth adds great depth.  The spices are subtle.  This is not an overpowering sauce and please keep in mind that it is not thick whatsoever– this is a thin, soup-like sauce.  The cinnamon, star anise, coriander seed, and cardamom marry perfectly with the coconut milk.  The beautiful color comes from the ground turmeric, which also imparts such a lovely flavor.  And though simmering for a half hour is wonderful, if you have even a bit more time, more of those wonderful flavors from the spices will be released.

Thai Turkey Meatballs with Coconut Curry Sauce | Relishing It

Thai Turkey Meatballs with Coconut Curry Sauce | Relishing It

A couple of things to think about.  I realize that not everyone can find kaffir lime leaves very easily.  I found mine at an Asian grocery store. And even lemongrass might be difficult for some, though decidedly more available than the lime leaves.  If you can find these items, just know that they can be stored in your freezer for future use, so stock up!  They are wonderful to use this way during the winter months and they add a brightness to your soups and meals.  However, if you’re living in an area that does’t carry these items, don’t fret.  Please, still try the dish and substitute a bit of lime zest (from 1-2 limes) in it’s place.  Though not a complete substitute, the flavor will get you there and you’ll still be able to fully enjoy this delicious meal.

Thai Turkey Meatballs with Coconut Curry Sauce | Relishing It

We eat this meal with brown rice.  It becomes a nice bowl of goodness with the meatballs and the coconut curry all swimming in the bowl together.  It’s warm and comforting.  And yes, in my spice-loving opinion, I think you should add a few drops of sriracha sauce onto the top of your meatballs.  It is pure bliss.  Making Bánh Mì meatball sandwiches with the leftover meatballs, pickled vegetables, cilantro, and spicy peppers is a fantastic variation on this meal. Hope you enjoy!

Thai Turkey Meatballs with Coconut Curry Sauce | Relishing It

The Recipe: Thai Turkey Meatballs with Coconut Curry Sauce

(makes 39-40 meatballs)

For the Meatballs:

2 pounds ground turkey (humanely raised)

2 1/2 tablespoons fresh minced ginger

1/3 cup finely chopped red onion

5 garlic cloves, finely minced

4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons fish sauce

2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce

zest of 2 limes

1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs (or gluten-free bread crumbs, if you prefer)

1 egg, lightly whisked

For the Coconut Curry Sauce:

2 1/2 cups homemade chicken broth or purchased

15 ounces coconut milk (not lite, please)

2 teaspoons coriander seeds (toasted, if you have the time)

6 cardamom pods

2 star anise

1 3-inch cinnamon stick

5 kaffir lime leaves

3 1-inch knobs of fresh ginger, peeled and bruised

2 4-inch stalks of lemongrass, bruised (green parts removed)

2 teaspoons fish sauce

1 tablespoon ground turmeric

juice of 1 lime

salt and pepper, to taste

extra cilantro, hot peppers, and sriracha sauce for serving

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.  In a large bowl, combine the meatball ingredients and gently mix together using your hands.  Try not to over-mix meatballs, or they tend to be somewhat tough.  Using a small scoop (1 tablespoon), form the mixture into balls and place on the parchment-lined baking sheet.  You will end up with about 39-40 meatballs. Refrigerate for about 1 hour.  This will give the flavors time to develop a bit.

Preheat oven to 350°F.  After that hour, place the pan of meatballs into the oven and bake for 30 minutes.

Place the coriander seeds, cardamom pods, and star anise into a piece of cheesecloth and tie it with cooking string. Gently pound on the sachet with a rolling pin to crush the spices a bit. This will release more of their flavors.

Meanwhile, start the sauce while the meatballs are baking, or just before they go into the oven.  You’ll want it to simmer for at least 30 minutes for the flavors to mingle, but if you have more time than that– great!  In a large 12-inch skillet with sides, or something similar, add all of the sauce ingredients, except the lime juice, to the pan. Place the sachet of spices into the sauce, as well. Bring to a boil, then immediately reduce to a low-medium simmer with the lid on.  Stir occasionally.  Simmer for at least 30 minutes.  Add the lime juice when the sauce is finished.  Adjust seasonings, if needed.  Place the meatballs into the sauce or keep them separate– your choice.  Serve with brown rice, cilantro, spicy peppers, and plenty of sriracha!  Enjoy!

Source:  Adapted from Feasting At Home

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It!

Laurie

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Coconut Red Curry Soup with Brown Rice Noodles via Relishing It

Hello again!  I hope you had a wonderful weekend.  Ours went by far too quickly, and was… a bit of a mixed bag.  Friday night I made this tasty coconut red curry soup, we played games, and had a dance party in Aria’s room– flashing colored lights and blaring music included.  It was great.  I still smile when I think about how happy she was spending her birthday money on her own disco ball.  Saturday, on the other hand, was not so pleasant.  Do you ever have days where everyone in the family wants to do something different?  No one can agree on a plan, everyone is a bit “off”, and the day spirals into communal grumpiness.  That was our Saturday.  As we were putting the kids to bed that night, talking about how we had wasted one of our precious weekend days, my daughter (in her sweet four-year-old voice) said, “Everybody’s different.  That’s just how life is.”  So there’s a bit of wisdom.  Thankfully, by Sunday we had all learned our lessons and agreed to compromise, and it was fantastic.  The sun was shining, we went out-and-about, the kids were happy, the adults were happy.  We ended the weekend on a great note.

Guajillo Peppers for Red Curry Paste via Relishing It

Anyway…back to this soup that I threw together for “Friday Night Fun.”  It’s loaded with tons of healthy ingredients– brown rice noodles, bok choy, snow peas, turmeric, chicken, and homemade red curry paste.  It’s all in there, combining to make a warm and filling soup laced with those delicious Thai flavors that we love.  The idea for this soup came about awhile back when I was making some other Thai dish.  I realized that I was out of curry paste, so I took a look at the ingredients on the empty bottle in the fridge.  I was already familiar with making my own condiments ( here and here), so I decided to give homemade curry paste a shot.  And since the the first listed ingredient was sugar, I figured it was an opportunity to make a healthier version to use in other meals.  One of the things I love about making homemade versions is that there really isn’t a right or wrong way.  It’s fun to go ‘off-book’.  As long as you pay attention to how the flavor combinations develop as you add ingredients, you’ll be fine.  Cooking with this philosophy opens up so many possibilities.  Have the courage to take a chance, and rely on your taste, and it’ll be a game changer for your kitchen skills.

Ingredients for Red Curry Paste via Relishing It

At any rate, I love the result of this red curry paste.  I decided to not add anything sweet to the actual paste.  Instead, I made up for any needed sweetness by seasoning the whole soup.  Use your judgement to fit this dish to your family’s taste.  The same goes for the dried chili peppers.  Here, I used a mild one– Guajillo.  Penzeys carries all sorts of dried chili peppers in different ranges of heat.  Use whichever you prefer.  And don’t be put-off by the anchovies in the paste.  They add a little umami flavor, but you won’t taste anything fish-like.  Trust me on this one.  One final thing on the paste, it’s a nice idea to make this a bit ahead of time to allow the flavors to come together.  You will have leftovers that can be stored in the refrigerator.  Of course, if you decide not to make your own curry paste, this soup will still be wonderful with a store-bought version.

Homemade Red Curry Paste via Relishing It

I love cooking with coconut milk (the canned version, not the carton).  Here, I sweetened the soup with a bit of honey, but palm sugar (or regular) can also be used.  The vegetables are interchangeable, of course.  A couple of hefty handfuls of spinach are a nice replacement for the bok choy.  Red pepper (sautéed a bit beforehand) also goes very well in this dish.  You can roast your own chicken, bake some chicken breasts, or use store-bought rotisserie chicken for an even quicker meal.  Or you can leave the chicken out entirely for a vegetarian option.  If you happen to have kaffir lime leaves on hand, throw them in– they will be brilliant.  I didn’t this time around, but the extra lime juice worked just fine.

Coconut Red Curry Soup via Relishing It

A note about the bowl in the photo– isn’t it lovely?  You know I advocate using local ingredients as much as possible, but I also have a soft spot for local artists.  The gorgeous bowl in these photos is from Evla Pottery.  I fell in love with their work years ago when my husband surprised me with a large decorative plate.  Last week while on a stroll with Aria, I stopped in to have a look around and was smitten with these bowls.  Evla is run by a husband and wife who craft wonderful pottery and paintings.  They have a beautiful store, and I’m thankful that they’re just a few blocks from our home.  Stop by if you’re in the neighborhood, or take a look on-line if you need to treat yourself or another to something special.

Coconut Red Curry Soup with Brown Rice Noodles via Relishing It

The Recipe: Red Coconut Curry Soup with Brown Rice Noodles

(Serves 4-6)

For the Red Curry Paste:

4 dried Guajillo peppers (other peppers will work fine, too)

1 stalk lemon grass, finely chopped ( about 1 1/2 tablespoons)

1 knob fresh ginger, finely chopped (about 1 tablespoon)

1 teaspoon hot curry powder

1 tablespoon coriander seeds, toasted and ground

1 tablespoon fish sauce

3-4 tablespoons minced shallot

3 garlic cloves

2 anchovy fillets, finely chopped

3 tablespoons liquid from soaked peppers, more if needed

For the Coconut Red Curry Soup:

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

About 1 pound chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (rotisserie works well, too)

2 teaspoons coriander seed, toasted and ground

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped

1 stalk lemon grass, left whole

2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots

1 tablespoon hot or sweet curry powder

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

2-3 tablespoons honey (or more, to taste)

3 tablespoons fish sauce

3 tablespoons red curry paste

1 bunch green onions, finely chopped

2 heads baby bok choy, leaves separated  (or a couple hefty handful of fresh spinach)

About 1  1/2 cups fresh snow peas

1/2 chopped cilantro

1-2 limes, cut into wedges

5 cups water

1 can organic coconut milk

8 ounces brown rice noodles

To make the red curry paste:  Place the dried chili peppers into a small bowl, pour boiling water over them and cover the bowl with a plate.  Let sit for 30 minutes.  Reserve some of the soaking liquid.  Using  a small mini food processor, add the peppers, lemon grass, ginger, curry powder, ground coriander, fish sauce, shallots, garlic, anchovies, and 3 tablespoons soaking liquid.  Blend for a few minutes until very smooth.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

To make the coconut red curry soup:  In a large dutch oven, heat the olive oil.  Add the shallots and ginger and sauté for a minute or so.  Add the curry powder, turmeric, ground coriander, and red curry paste and sauté for another 30 seconds.  Add  5 cups of water along with the lemon grass stalk, fish sauce, coconut milk, and honey.  Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat to low-medium and let simmer for 15-20 minutes, or so.

Meanwhile, bring a large kettle full of water to a boil for the brown rice noodles.  When the soup tastes as if the flavors have melded, cook the rice noodles in the boiling water for about 8-10 minutes, or until they are al dente. Remove the stalk of lemongrass.  About 2 minutes before the rice noodles are done, add the snow peas , bok choy , and chicken to the soup.    Strain the noodles and add them to the soup.  Stir in most of the green onions and cilantro, reserving a bit for garnishing the top each bowl.  Be sure to serve a lime wedge or two along with each bowl– the lime really brightens the soup and brings all of the flavors together.   This soup is best enjoyed immediately when it is done.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by today! xo

Laurie

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That’s right.  Those are brussel sprouts.  Every child’s worst enemy.  And this dish is a way to enjoy them the way they were meant to be– fresh, healthy, and delicious.  Brussel sprouts are one of my Dad’s favorite foods.  I never understood that as a kid.  It’s not that I despised the flavor, but I was always a little annoyed by their shape.  Think about it:  while they’re beautiful to look at, they’re not fun to chew.

Several years ago, my ambivilence changed.  I discovered that when shredded, brussel sprouts become so much more palatable.  They still taste fresh and amazing, but it doesn’t feel like you’re chomping on a whole head of cabbage.  Since they’re not so densely packed, they take on the lightness and versatility of a good salad.  And that means you no longer have to eat solitary sprouts, but can add amazing ingredients to make them even better.

Which brings me to this Thai-Style Brussel Sprouts dish.  Honestly, I’ve eaten this at least five times in the last couple weeks.  It’s really not much of a recipe, but more a ‘suggestion of flavors.’  It hadn’t crossed my mind to mix Thai flavors with brussel sprouts, but the minute I read about it, it made sense.  And what a heavenly match it is!  The phrase ‘explosion of flavors’ is over-used, but that’s really what you get here.  There’s the salty tang from the fish sauce, the citrus from the lime, the creamy crunch from the peanuts, and that slow burning heat from the Sriracha.  And they all coat those beautiful, fresh, brussel sprouts.

The Recipe: Thai-Style Brussel Sprouts

(Makes about 4 servings)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound of brussel sprouts, shredded

2-3 teaspoons fish sauce, add more to taste

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1/2 cup chopped peanuts

Lime wedges

Sriracha chili sauce, to taste

In a large skillet heat the olive oil on medium-high heat.  Add the shredded brussel sprouts.  Sauté until they begin to soften and brown just a bit, about 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Remove from heat.  Stir in the fish sauce.  Mix in the cilantro.  Squeeze some lime juice over everything.  Adjust seasonings if necessary.  Top with chopped peanuts and a few drops of the Sriracha chili sauce.  Enjoy!  And remember to share.

Source: Adapted from The Kitchn

Thanks for stopping by to visit today!  Have a wonderful weekend!

Laurie

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