If you’ve come looking for lovey-dovey Valentine’s stuff, I’m afraid you won’t find it.
I show my loved ones my appreciation everyday with good food, smiles and hugs. They don’t need heart-shaped chocolate/candy/cake, bunches of flowers or a garish red balloon to feel the love. OK, end rant!
Instead, I present you with this spicy, sweet and sour Thai red curry from a new cookbook I recently received: Wok, by Rachel Lane, which will warm you up from the inside out. Just like those fuzzy feelings on a first date (that’s going well).
See, I told you food is love!
Wok features 200 recipes and includes all the usual Chinese, Thai, Japanese and Korean favourites of fried rice, noodles, curries and soups.
However, there are also some fantastic unexpected gems from all corners of the globe such as Morocco (spiced rice vermicelli with chicken and fried almonds), the US (Cajun fried squid with aioli) and India (spiced cauliflower).
I found myself flicking through and bookmarking far too many recipes with the list topped by braised tofu stuffed with prawns and Chinese-style ‘bolognese’ with spiced pork. Swoon. Such drool-worthy titles, let alone meals!
In the end I gave the book to hubby and made him choose. We both can’t go past a good curry, or a good duck dish, so this recipe seemed our perfect match.
I always like to order duck curries when we go out to Thai restaurants, so I knew what a good one should taste like before I began. This made me both nervous and excited. I just love making homemade versions of takeaways! (Healthier!).
I needn’t have worried though because this recipe was dead easy (after I went out and bought a ready-cooked roast duck from the local chinese BBQ shop) and tasted, as my Dad would say, ‘just like a bought one’. (Inside joke, he usually says that when I cook him something and he thinks it’s really good. Meaning, you can cook like a pro.)
One last thought. None of the recipes are longer than a page so it is perfect for beginner cooks, or more aptly, bachelors. I think once I’m done with it, I’ll be passing it onto my 25 year old brother in law, so that he can get stuck in practising for his next dinner date.
I’m curious. Do you like quick recipes or long labours of love?
Fig & Cherry received the cookbook with compliments of the Penguin Publishing Group Australia. Thanks Heidi!
Roast duck and pineapple red curry recipe
- 1/2 cup (125ml/4 oz) coconut cream
- 4 tablespoons red curry paste (I used the Ayam brand)
- 1 x 400ml (13 1/2 oz) can coconut milk
- 1/2 cup (125ml/4 oz) chicken stock
- 6 kaffir lime leaves
- 1/2 chinese roast duck, deboned and cut into bite sized chunks
- 200g (7 oz) fresh pineapple, cut into 2.5cm (1 inch) chunks
- 125g (4 1/2 oz) cherry tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons (40ml/1 1/2 oz) fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon (20ml/3/4 oz) freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 tablespoon (10g/3/8 oz) coarsely grated palm sugar
- 1/2 cup fresh Thai basil leaves
- steamed rice, to serve
Pour the coconut cream in the wok and simmer for 5 minutes, to until the cream splits and a layer of oil floats to the surface. Add the curry paste and fry for 3 minutes, or until fragrant. Stir in the coconut milk and stock, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, add the lime leaves and simmer gently for 5 minutes.
Add the duck, pineapple and tomatoes to the wok and simmer for 5-10 minutes, until the duck is warmed through and the sauce has thickened. Add the fish sauce, lime juice and palm sugar and simmer for a further 2 minutes. Stir through the basil leaves.
Serve with the steamed rice.