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!
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
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.
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.
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.