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Coconut Chicken Curry

Since I went to India two years ago I have periodically craved curry and mangoes. Curry for obvious reasons. Mangoes because it was the first time in my life I had ever REALLY tasted a mango. They were so ripe we could peel them with out hands and they were so juicy wiping your hands was pointless. Occasionally I will find a mango that comes close to the flavor but close is as close as it gets…if you have tried a mango like this you know exactly what I mean.

Because I got my mango fix last week I also needed to satisfy my curry fix. We had a can of coconut milk in the pantry as well as some curry paste, so I figured I’d whip some curry together. This turned out delicious – we ran out of rice so I just ate the left over curry as-is 🙂

Ingredients
– 1 cup long grain rice
– 2 large carrots, halved and cut into slices
– 2 chicken breasts, chunked
– 1 big handful of pea pods
– 1 full stalk of broccoli, cut into florets
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– 1 tbsp minced garlic
– 3/4 to 1 cup peanuts
– 1/4 can coconut milk
– 1/4 cup skim milk
– 1 tbsp corn starch
– 1/4 cup mild curry paste

Directions
1. Prepare the rice as directed on the package. Instead of water you can use vegetable or chicken broth.
2. In a small bowl and the milks and curry. Whisk until well combined. Add more coconut milk if you want it really thick. Whisk in the cornstarch. Set aside.
3. In a large skillet heat the oil and garlic over medium heat. Add the diced chicken breasts and cook until no pink is visible. Add the carrots and continue to cook for 2-4 minutes. Add the pea pots and broccoli, continuing to stir. You don’t want to add these too soon or they will get mushy before the carrots are done.
4. Once the broccoli is bright green add the sauce. Stir well and let stand until it begins to bubble. At this point lower the heat and let simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until the sauce is thickened. Add more milk or curry if needed.
5. Stir in the peanuts just before serving.
6. Serve over rice. Use a ladle to cover in sauce.

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Posted by on August 3, 2009 in Chicken, Favorites, Sauce

 

White Sauce

Back in May, a friend of mine (Perky) was amazed to learn how easy it is to make a homemade white sauce. I told him I would be sure to post a recipe for it, but am just now getting around to it (sorry about that Perky).

When most people hear of white sauces, they instantly think of phrases, such as, bad food, high fat, taboo, off-limits, indulgence, and forbidden. However, this is far from the truth with homemade white sauces where you can tweak the ingredients as you wish. There are two kinds of white sauces. First, the traditional white sauce, which calls for starch (flour), fat (butter), and liquid (milk). More recently people have tried to make lower-fat versions of this white sauce; a common one is called the slurry-method. This method calls for starch (flour) and liquid (milk) and gives the option of adding a fat source at the end for taste and texture.

Looking for a lighter white sauce? Try the slurry method (see below) instead of the traditional white sauce, or make the traditional white sauce a little runnier. Also, you can choose skim milk to cut the calories down. If you are trying to limit saturated fat, but would like to use the traditional white sauce method, opt for canola or olive oil instead of butter.

Jason and I were in the mood for a childhood favorite: mac and cheese. However, I am not the biggest fan of the boxed varieties and Velveeta is too rich and heavy. Instead, I decided to make a slurry, add cheese and seasoning and serve over whole grain elbow noodles. The result: perfection! Jason loved it and the minimal leftovers were gone within 24 hours. This homemade version offers the traditional health benefits of macaroni and cheese (calcium and vitamin D) but also has added fiber with the whole grain noodles and less saturated fat than traditional varieties.

Traditional White Sauce (also called a roux)
Ingredients

  • 2 TBSP fat (butter, oil)
  • 2 TBSP all-purpose flour (or 1 TBSP cornstarch)
  • 1/4 tsp salt (optional)
  • 1 cup milk (preferably skim milk but a higher fat milk will offer a more creamy texture and mouthfeel)

Directions

  1. Melt fat in a saucepan or skillet
  2. Add flour, salt, and any additional seasonings (i.e. onions, pepper, garlic)
  3. Remove from heat
  4. Slowly add milk in small portions; blend thoroughly after each addition, until all the liquid has been added.
  5. Return to a medium heat and stir constantly. Bring to a boil and boil for 1-3 minutes until at 75% of desired consistency. The sauce will thicken more as it cools.

Slurry-Method
Ingredients

  • 2 TBSP all-purpose flour (or 1 TBSP cornstarch)
  • 1/4 tsp salt (optional)
  • 1 cup milk (preferably skim milk but a higher fat milk will offer a more creamy texture and mouthfeel)
  • 2 TBSP fat (butter, oil) – optional

Directions

  1. Blend the flour and salt with 1/4 of the cold liquid; stir until all umps of flour have been separated.
  2. Add the remaining liquid and stir thoroughly.
  3. Place the mixture in a saucepan or skillet on medium heat. Add any seasonings being used (i.e. onions, pepper, garlic).
  4. Stir constantly and bring to a boil. Boil for 1-3 minutes until at 75% of desired consistency. The sauce will thicken more as it cools.
  5. optional: as the mixture boils, add half of the desired fat and blend fully. If still desired, add the remaining fat.















Mac-and-Cheese
Ingredients

  • 2 TBSP all-purpose flour (or 1 TBSP cornstarch)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp Salad Supreme Seasoning
  • 1/2 cup Vidalia onion, diced
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 4 ounces Marble Cheddar Cheese, shredded
  • 4 servings, as stated on package, Whole Grain Elbow Noodles
  • Directions

    1. Boil noodles as directed on box. Drain and return to saucepan (be sure to place on a cool burner).
    2. Prepare the Slurry Method as stated above.
    3. Add seasonings and onion at step 3.
    4. While mixture is boiling in step 4, add marble Cheddar cheese and stir constantly until fully blended.
    5. Add cheese mixture to pot of noodles and stir completely.
     
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    Posted by on July 2, 2008 in Sauce, Vegetarian