Focus in on the delights of the kitchen and the table with ...
Apr
09
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This beautiful photo from my new book Simply Vegetarian Thai Cooking: 125 Real Thai Recipes, by Nancie McDermott, (Robert Rose Inc. 2015) was taken by Colin Erricson.

Today I teach my first cooking class based on my new cookbook, Simply Vegetarian Thai Cooking: 125 Real Thai Recipes. I’m thrilled to be returning to CLASS at Southern Season, which is a cooking teacher’s dream of a place to teach, with dedicated and knowledgable kitchen crew who prepare my recipes to serve beautifully while I am talking and demonstrating each recipe in detail. It’s a little like an open kitchen restaurant experience except that the chef is focused on sharing the recipes and lessons with you, not fixing up other people’s dinners! It’s right here in Chapel Hill, NC, which means I get to come back home rather than to a hotel, and that I will know some of the class members. All around a wonderful experience coming up. I’ll be teaching this same class at Southern Season’s Richmond VA store on May 7, and I look forward to getting back to that extraordinarily food-focused and beautiful city.

Here’s a recipe from my new book, for yellow curry made with tofu, pineapple, and peas. Remember that Thai curry recipes are interchangable in terms of the curry paste called for. There are certain classic combinations, but the pastes are made the same way, and while a red curry won’t taste the same as a green curry or a mussamun curry, and butternut squash won’t taste like potatoes in said curries, you can mix and match just as you would the ingredients in a sandwich. It’s a template for an array of satisfying and speedily prepared dishes, with extraordinary flavor, the Thai way. Check back tomorrow for more on my new Thai vegetarian book and Thai cuisine — I’m posting daily this week to celebrate the book, and gear up for Thai New Year on April 13! Happy cooking, Happy eating!

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Thai green curry paste, made in the food processor, with a little trio of wild lime leaves which make any finished curry divinely fragrant and delicious.

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Nancie’s Thai Yellow Curry with Tofu, Pineapple and Peas

Here is a scrumptious curry with spicy notes and moderate chile heat. Green peas punctuate its sun-colored sauce, drawing everyone to the table. If you like, add a little of the Indian spice mixture called garam masala or a mixture of freshly ground black pepper and ground cinnamon and cloves, along with the curry paste. For more chile heat, cut a few fresh serrano chiles in half lengthwise and add them along with the pineapple and seasonings.

Serves 4 to 6

1                can (14 oz/400 mL) unsweetened coconut milk (about 13⁄4 cups/425 mL), divided)    1

2 tbsp       Yellow Curry Paste, homemade or store-bought              15 mL

12 oz           potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks             375 g

1                   can (8 oz/250 g) pineapple chunks, drained                 1

1⁄2 cup         vegetable stock, store bought                                           125 mL

1 tbsp          palm sugar or brown sugar                                              15 mL

1⁄2 tsp          soy sauce                                                                              2 mL

1 tsp            salt                                                                                         5 mL

8 oz            firm tofu, cut into 1⁄2-inch (1 cm) cubes                         250 g

1                  red bell pepper, cut into long, thin strips                      1

4 oz           snow peas, trimmed                                                           125 g

3⁄4 cup     frozen green peas                                                                175 mL

  1. Shake coconut milk can well. Spoon out 1⁄3 cup (75 mL) into a medium saucepan and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and fragrant, about 3 minutes.

  2. Add curry paste and cook, mashing and stirring often to soften paste and combine with coconut milk, about 3 minutes. Add potatoes and pineapple chunks and stir gently to coat with curry paste. Add remaining coconut milk, vegetable stock, sugar, soy sauce and salt and stir well. Bring to an active boil. Reduce heat to maintain a gentle boil and simmer, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.

  3. Add tofu, pepper and peas and stir gently. Return to a boil and remove from heat. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve hot or warm.

Thai cooks traditionally offer curry with rice and an array of complementary dishes, offering variety in flavor, color, texture, and temperature. You could serve this curry over noodles, from rice noodles to linguine to shiirataki yam noodles, or a baked potato, with quinoa or faro or barley, or enjoy it as a creamy and satisfying soup. Sliced cucumbers or a simple refrigerator pickle with sweet and tangy flavors makes a fine curry companion, as does salsa, chutney, or a crisp green salad with chunks of apple, avocado, and pecans.

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For the scoop on where to find me on tour

and where to buy my new book,

Simply Vegetarian Thai Cooking: 125 Real Thai Recipes, 

click HERE.

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About the Author
Nancie McDermott is a food writer and cooking teacher, and the author of ten cookbooks. Her passion is researching and celebrating traditional food in its cultural context, and her beloved subjects are two seemingly different places with much in common: the cuisines of Asia and of the American South. Nancie gained her Southern kitchen wisdom as a Piedmont North Carolina native,and her Asian culinary research commenced soon after college, when she was sent to northeastern Thailand as a Peace Corps volunteer.

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