Jan 24, 2012

Cilatro-lime rice

For the longest time, Chipotle owned the ciltro-lime rice game. In fact, their white rice is still to die for. The problem? They never quite hit home with their brown rice. But there is a way to do it. This is how. All ratios are normalized for a single cup of rice. Add olive or corn oil to a decent sized pot. Add:

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Zest from 1/2 lime
  • Whole cumin
Toast that to extract the flavors into the oil.  Bring to high heat and add the rice.

Shortly after, add juice of whatever limes you used plus water to equal 1.75 cups.  Let the boil down to level, then turn the heat all the way down and steam for 35 minutes (at altitude; 30 might be enough at lower elevations).

Fluff the hot rice, then toss with 1/2 bunch of chopped cilantro and salt to taste.

Jan 3, 2012

A Return: Thai Curry

It's been a full year away.  Kind of amazing, but it was a pretty crappy year so go figure.  All that is fading into the past now, and it's back to cooking.

This is an attempt at a rich yellow Thai curry -- and it worked beautifully.  The flavors could probably be enriched by using tamarind over lime and a Thai basil over Italian, but all that just creates trouble getting it done with a visit to the local store.  And it's actually quite good enough as is.

In a dutch oven, melt 4 tablespoons of butter and immediately begin sauteing 1.5 medium red onions.  Add to that 4 sliced jalapenos, seeds and all.  You could moderate the heat here, but it's Thai -- so don't.  (Also note that these jalapenos are the only source of heat, so don't skimp.)  Dash on both raw sugar and salt here.

As the onions cook through, chunk up 4 or 5 potatoes -- russets worked fine and added to the overall sweet notes to the dish.  Also slice 4 or 5 large carrots.  When the onion is mostly translucent, add those and toss to coat.

While that is cooking down a bit, mince 4 (large) cloves of garlic and an equivalent amount of ginger.  Add those as you can with perhaps a bit more sugar.

When all that is combined, add 1 quart chicken stock and 3 stalks lemongrass (if using dried).  Juice 1 lime into the pot and heat to a simmer.  Keep cooking until the potatoes are done and have acquired plenty of spicy-sweet flavor.

To finish, add 1 can of coconut milk (just go for full fat) and a very generous amount of rough chopped basil.  Serve over rice.