Woke up with a horrible migraine this morning, called in sick to work, and hoped an afternoon Bikram yoga session would work out the tension in my temples.
The heat and poses relaxed me, but I was left feeling hollowed out and drained. I needed dinner. Preferably something simple and familiar.
Once in the kitchen, of course I decided tonight was the night to stretch my culinary brainpower and do something exotic.
Mumsies was kind enough to give me this can of curry paste when I moved out in January (read: I stole it), and since the fridge was pretty bare, I decided to throw a few pantry staples together and make a Thai curry.
Once I opened the can, a whiff of extremely intense lemongrass mixed with spices wafted out. And I mean intense - it almost brought tears to my eyes. There was no way I was going to taste it by itself so, fingers-crossed, I dumped in half.
And yes, black beans are totally found in Thai curries. A can of tomatoes too. I never said it was going to be authentic.
I discovered tonight while peeling my first potato that potatoes are ridiculous creatures to peel. First, maneuvering the peeler around all the irregularities and eyes takes some serious ninja skills. And second, the skin is so thick and tough I thought my peeler was going to quit and break halfway through. Third, once you peel half of it and turn it around to do the other side, holding onto the slippery naked first half is like holding onto a watermelon seed. Impossible.
All potato peelers should be given a raise.
Back to dinner prep.
I chopped four cloves of garlic, the last of a three-week-old limp celery bunch, diced the potato, and put everything into a pot with the curry paste, a can of tomatoes and half the black beans.A huge pot of jasmine rice awaited in the rice cooker.
Once the potatoes were soft, I added half a can of coconut milk and stirred.
One of my least appetizing and most barfalicious creations ever. Poor M looked so suspicious when he walked in the kitchen.
It actually turned out pretty good. The curry was warm, comforting and the spice level, smoothed out by the coconut milk, was perfect for me. M said it needed something else though. I agreed, a huge bunch of Thai basil or cilantro or both would kick up the flavor and make it taste fresher. But for a dinner made almost completely out of pantry items, it was definitely respectable.
M goes to Arizona tomorrow and has already hinted about all the terribly greasy, roadside eats he plans to feast on.
“For the good of the blog.”
Not an excuse!