Thursday, March 04, 2010

Mar 4th - Thai Green Curry with Brussels Sprouts

Finished Brussels Sprout and Tofu Thai Green Curry.
The Browned Tofu and Brussels Sprouts set aside before adding to curry.

Oh yeah, you read right, Brussels Sprouts in a Thai Green Curry. D's away and I get my sprouts. I was tempted to have eggs tonight but I feel like rice and coconut, quite specifically. I would normally use an eggplant too but I have to get my Brussels sprouts in at some point. D has grown used to if not fond of Dubu (aka Tofu) on occasion to lighten up his diet. He will probably never change his taste on Brussels Sprouts though. I think it is the last of his childhood 'poison' memories that he refuses to grow out of.

It is understood, generally, that we have a limited recollection of pain but an indelible recollection for 'poison'. It goes back in human history to our hunter gatherer days where we imprinted upon ourselves those foods that were harmful. As a result, there are certain bitter vegetables that have compounds that trigger a similar reflex. Broccoli for example. Oddly enough, I read somewhere recently that often, even if, as a small infant, a child will eat these foods that when they hit the age when they start walking or crawling, they develop an aversion. The aversion stems from their impulse to stay nearer where it is safe and their 'poison' memory kicks in when they are able to move. But come on D! we're not cavemen anymore and we know full well that there is nothing harmful about brussels sprouts.

I did not grow up with them in Korean cuisine. I specifically remember thinking that I should hate them because all the kids on TV hated them. I had a similar affected aversion to cottage cheese that is until I tried it and brussels sprouts. I loved them. Granted, I was a teenager by then and had well grown past developing any 'poison' memories borne of my DNA. You can develop new ones. In fact, we all probably have. Have you ever gotten ill after a bad bit of shellfish? My friend J was served Shepherd's Pie in the hospital while going through chemo and she cannot go near it anymore. My ex boss said that the nurses in the hospital where her son was being treated were always eating microwave popcorn and no she cannot touch the stuff.

Well, I have tried baking, roasting, frying, steaming them for D and he is really still just putting up with them. I think I'll have to skewer a couple this summer and put them on the BBQ! That has got to be a winner!

What do we do when we are making a Curry tha you are going to eat with rice? Start the rice now.

Thai Green Curry with Brussels Sprouts
(for 2 people and a lunch)

1 small sweet potato
1/2 lb brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half (or frozen and defrosted) about 10
1 green bell pepper cut up (you can use half but what are you going to do with the other half?)
1/2 onion, sliced
1/2 lb tofu cut in 1/2 cm slices then in half (Extra firm or Firm)
2 cloves garlic
1/2 inch ginger
2 local chilies, hot. Slimmer than a jalapeno and white hot.
1 1/2 T green curry paste
1 tin coconut milk (well you could use half but what are you going to do with the other half?)
1/2 T fish sauce

I want to brown my brussels sprouts and tofu. To do the pan fried browned brussels sprouts you need to steam them first. Luckily I was planning on par steaming the sweet potato first too. In a sauce pan put finger tip's depth of water. Place in a veggie steamer tray and bring the water to a boil. Cut the sweet potato into 1 cm cubes. Cut the brussels sprouts in half. Put the sweet potatoes in first. The brussels sprouts on top. Cover and steam for 5 minutes. Take off the heat.

In a large non stick pan, heat some olive oil or butter on medium high heat. Place all the steamed brussels sprout halves cut side down. Add the tofu slices. Let sit for a good 3 minutes until they start to brown. Start to turn the everything over. The brussels sprouts you can start to just stir but be more careful with the tofu until crispy on both sides. Season with fish sauce. Set aside.

Fry the onions, ginger, chilies and garlic on medium heat until soft. Add the paste and fry a bit. HAVE THE FAN ON! It will smell and it will make you sneeze. Add the green pepper and the potato. Stir for a few minutes until the green pepper turns a brighter green. Add the coconut milk. Stir and add the Brussels Sprouts. Simmer covered for 5 minutes. Add the tofu back at the last minute. You can add it earlier if you want but I don't want it to fall apart or reabsorb water.

Serve over rice. Garnish with cilantro or sliced spring onion.

I had a Township Merlot 2005 with it. I know not your typical Asian pairing but it was great! It was not a heavy Merlot. Fruit forward and not fussy. It went very well.

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