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CHICKEN RECIPES

Phat Phrik Khing With Tofu and Long Beans (Thai Dry-Curry Stir-Fry) Recipe

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A mortar and pestle is key to great flavor in this dry Thai curry.

Stroll by a curry vendor in a Thai food court and you’ll likely see one curry that stands out from the rest: phat phrik khing. Unlike most other curries, which are served with plenty of liquid—be it coconut milk or broth—phat phrik khing is served dry, its intensely flavored curry paste coating each morsel of food. It can be made with any number of vegetables or meat, but I particularly love the common combination of long beans and tofu. The simplest recipes start with store-bought red curry paste. (Some, like the one just linked to, contain shrimp paste, but vegan red curry paste is easy to come by.) It’s not a bad way to turn out a 10-minute meal, but, so long as you have access to fresh Southeast Asian ingredients, a few simple tools, and some elbow grease, you can make something much, much more spectacular.

Why It Works

  • A mortar and pestle draws out flavor from fresh aromatics.
  • Stir-frying in batches ensures that the tofu and green beans sear properly instead of steaming.

Ingredients

  • 6 dried guajillo, California, or pasilla chilies, stemmed and seeded (45g)
  • 6 medium cloves garlic, roughly chopped (30g)
  • 2 medium shallots, peeled and roughly chopped (60g)
  • 2 to 6 red Thai bird chilies (to taste), roughly chopped
  • 1 large bunch cilantro stems (about 1 ounce; 30g), roughly chopped
  • 3 fresh or dried makrut lime leaves (see note), hard central stem removed and discarded, leaves roughly chopped
  • 1 stalk fresh lemongrass, bottom 3 to 5 inches only (40g), tough outer leaves removed and discarded, tender core thinly sliced
  • 1 (1-inch) knob galangal, peeled (see note)
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2g) freshly ground white or black pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons (45ml) vegetable oil or coconut oil
  • 1 (12-ounce; 340g) block firm tofu, cut into 1- by 1- by 1/2-inch squares, pressed firmly between paper towels
  • 1 pound (450g) green beans or long beans, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths
  • 1 tablespoon (14g) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) soy sauce
  • Steamed jasmine rice, for serving

Directions

  1. 1.

    Place chilies in a heatproof container and cover with boiling water. Cover and set aside for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, place garlic, shallots, Thai chilies, cilantro, lime leaves, lemongrass, galangal, ground pepper, and 1 teaspoon salt in a mortar and pestle. Pound into a rough paste. Drain chilies, add to mortar, and continue pounding until a rough paste has formed. Alternatively, chop all ingredients in a food processor (see note).

  2. 2.

    Heat 1 tablespoon (15ml) oil in a wok over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add tofu, spread into a single layer, and cook, occasionally shaking pan gently, until crisp on first side, about 3 minutes. Flip tofu and continue cooking until second side is crisp. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Add another tablespoon (15ml) oil to the wok and increase heat to high. When oil is smoking, add beans and cook, stirring and tossing occasionally, until blistered and tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer to bowl with tofu.

  3. 3.

    Add remaining tablespoon (15ml) oil to wok and return to high heat until lightly smoking. Add curry paste all at once and cook, stirring continuously, until aromatic and sizzling, about 1 minute. Return tofu and beans to pan, along with sugar and soy sauce. Stir and toss to combine and coat tofu and beans in curry paste. Season to taste with more salt if desired. Serve immediately with steamed jasmine rice.

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CHICKEN RECIPES

The Crisper Whisperer: How to Glaze Root Vegetables Recipe

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One of the first lessons you learn in culinary school is the unyielding power of mispronounced French words. Culinary French don’t sound purdy, but it can inspire a vast range of emotion, from dread to desire, among the clog-wearing set.

Few words wield more fury than the unassuming-sounding tournage, the name for the meticulous cutting of vegetables out of hand into small, seven-faced footballs, often for hours at a stretch. If the ability to tourne carrots, turnips, and potatoes is not particularly relevant for the vast majority of professional chefs these days, schools don’t see that as reason to cancel the plumage-fest that its teaching inevitably becomes.

You might not think this topic bears heavily on the home cook, but it does. Because of tournage, home cooks have been robbed blind of one of the simplest and most delicious methods of cooking winter’s abundance of root vegetables. The classic French practice of glazing is quick and rewarding and produces a surprisingly elegant result (which bears little resemblance to the cloying dishes sometimes called glazed vegetables in the United States).

More Whispers

For whatever reasons to do with peacocks and machismo and what have you, the perfectly proper way to glaze root vegetables requires that you tourne them first. But chopping them into bite-sized pieces gets you 99 percent of the way to perfection with maybe one percent of the effort. I’m no Good Will Hunting, but that looks like 100 to me.

French glazed vegetables are cooked in a shallow bath of water fortified with small amounts of butter and sugar. One of the few tricks to glazing (and it’s a trick home cooks should learn anyway, since it’s widely applicable and cheap as hell) is to cover the cooking vegetables with a cartouche, a circle of parchment paper with a hole cut out of the middle. This method makes the cooking liquid evaporate slowly, giving the vegetables time to cook through gently and leaving you with just the right amount of glaze. Unlike tournage, cartouche is the kind of poorly pronounced culinary French that you’ll want to keep in your vocabulary.

This week I’ve glazed carrots because that’s what we had in our crisper, but this method works beautifully with just about all root vegetables, from turnips to parsnips to beets to pearl onions. If you’re combining vegetables into one dish, classic technique would have you cook each separately to ensure perfect tenderness, but if you cut them all about the same size, it’s perfectly reasonable (I’d say a lot more so, in fact) to cook them all together. Just be sure not to crowd the pan beyond a single layer, or the veggies won’t brown properly.

Ingredients

    • 5 medium carrots peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (or other root vegetables, to yield about 2 cups)
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • 1/4 to 1/2 cup water
    • Salt and pepper
    • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley and/or chives, for garnish

Directions

  1. 1.

    Prepare a cartouche by cutting a circle of parchment the size of your sauté pan with a circular hole in the center. This is a good tutorial, except that you should snip off the pointy end of the triangle to make a hole in the center for steam to escape. (If this sounds like poorly pronounced French to you right now, it will make more sense after watching the short video.)

  2. 2.

    Melt the butter in a medium, heavy-bottomed sauté pan (preferably not non-stick) over medium-high heat. Add the carrots and toss to coat with butter. Sprinkle with the sugar and some salt and pepper. Pour in water to go about halfway up the carrots, not more than 1/2 cup. Cover with the cartouche and adjust the heat to maintain a brisk simmer. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until the carrots are just tender on the outside and still a bit too firm in the center.

  3. 3.

    Remove the cartouche, return the heat to medium-high, and cook the carrots uncovered, shaking the pan occasionally, until they brown in spots and the liquid is reduced to just enough glaze to coat the carrots, about 5 minutes. Garnish with chopped parsley or chives (or other herbs of your choice) and serve.

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CHICKEN RECIPES

Dinner Tonight: Broccoli Sautéed with Crisp Garlic Recipe

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Gordon Ramsay’s In the Heat of the Kitchen has been fun to look through, but I haven’t really been able to put it to much use. Most of the recipes seem rather complex for a hectic weekday night. So I was a little surprised to find this quick little broccoli recipe stuck between “Caramelized baby onions with beet jus” and “corn fritters with lime crème fraîche.” With only eight ingredients, seven of which I had already, this proved to be a perfectly practical side.

While the crisp garlic is fun and those onions sure do add a lot of sweetness, what really separates this dish from a standard accompaniment is the oyster sauce. It somehow binds all the ingredients and transforms this into an interesting side dish worth paying attention to. It’s such a simple addition, too. This, of course, all depends on whether you have oyster sauce just hanging around the fridge ready to go in to random dishes. I do. Its cost is so small, and it keeps surprising me with dishes like this one.

Ingredients

  • 1 head broccoli, thick stems removed, and cut into florets
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower or olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. 1.

    Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Also, get a large bowl of ice water ready. When the water is boiling, dump the broccoli in and blanch for 2 minutes. Drain the broccoli and transfer to the ice water. When cooled, dry the broccoli in a towel.

  2. 2.

    Pour the oil into a large pan over medium heat. Add the garlic slivers and saute until golden brown. Remove the garlic with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.

  3. 3.

    Toss the onions into the pan and cook for 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the broccoli and cook until hot, about 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat, pour in the oyster sauce, and sprinkle the garlic slivers atop. Season with salt and serve.

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CHICKEN RECIPES

James Peterson’s Pickled Chiles

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Pickled chiles are a versatile pantry staple. They can be used to add mouth-puckering tang to just about any place you’d ordinarily use hot peppers, they keep for weeks at a time, and they take all of five minutes to prepare.

While it is easy to throw just about anything into a hot pickle brine, James Peterson keeps his pickled chiles simple in Vegetables.

Encouraging readers to experiment with chile varieties (he recommends both hot jalapenos and mild poblanos), he provides a barebones description of the technique as well as a slightly more elaborate recipe. Still, even in the recipe, he adds only onion, garlic, and thyme to the chiles and covers them with brine made of nothing but boiling white wine vinegar and salt.

Ingredients

  • about 1 pound assorted large fresh chiles, such as poblano, Anaheim, or New Mexico, or 1 1/4 pounds small fresh chiles, such as jalapenos
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme or marjoram
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 3 cups white wine vinegar or sherry vinegar

Directions

  1. 1.

    Rinse off the chiles and remove their stems. Cut large chiles in half lengthwise and, wearing rubber gloves, pull out their seeds. Leave small chiles whole. Fill a 1-quart mason jar with the chiles, distributing the onion, garlic, thyme, and salt evenly among the layers or chiles. Bring the vinegar to a boil and immediately pour it over the chiles. Be sure the chiles are completely covered with the hot vinegar. Immediately twist on the cap and let cool without opening. Refrigerate the chiles and serve within several weeks.

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