Slow It Down

That’s exactly what we need to do – in a week or so – slow down. Right now we are in the midst of an all out crazy few weeks. Last week was a major event at work – that came off with much success, then we rolled into a great weekend – a girls’ trip for me (more on that another time) and a busy, tiring weekend of chasing the kids for Mike. I have mentioned how much I love this man, right?! And this week, well it’s tech week for Mr. N. In theater-speak that’s when they begin practicing on stage, with lights, sound effects, costumes, etc. They are perfecting all the technical aspects of the show before the big performance this weekend (five performances that is).

So what’s in order when things get crazy? Easy cooking – low and slow. And we just so happened to find a fabulous Thai recipe that fit the bill. Not only that, it happens to be #1 on CNN’s “World’s 50 most delicious foods.” meat and potatoes

There are many recipes for massaman curry, the most common including beef, potatoes and onions. It also features coconut milk, massaman curry paste, tamarind concentrate, and for our version we opted to add a little bitter orange. flavor

Another common ingredient – peanuts and Mr. N was in charge of toasting those for us. In fact, this was Mr. N’s first lesson in how to use the oven. He’s very interested in learning to be self-sufficient in the kitchen. cooking peanuts

Mike managed the cilantro. cilantro chopping

And as for our other sous chef. Well, she despite our schedule (actually likely due to our schedule) still managed to find a way to slow down. Chipper doesn’t often get to see Miss A when she’s motionless – because she’s never motionless – so he decided to see what she’s all about. sleepy girl

In the meantime we prepared the remaining ingredients for the massman – cinnamon, bay leaves, palm sugar, fish sauce, tamarind concentrate, massaman curry paste and our bitter orange juice. curry ingredients

As I mentioned there are many, many recipes for Massaman Curry so we blended together a few to make this dish. First we toasted the peanuts. Then we heated a bit of the coconut cream (The creamy stuff that rises to the top of the can of coconut milk – so don’t shake the can!) and tossed in the massaman paste. Next we browned the meat and added the remaining coconut milk and water. Then, everything else went into the pot. massaman boil

Once the pot reached a simmer, and this is not common to all massaman recipes, we covered it and transferred it to the oven where it baked at 375F for 2 hours. (Enough time to get some things done around the house!) And lastly, once finished, the massaman was garnished with toasted peanuts and served over rice. massaman curry

Now I will say this – our house smelled amazingly good! How Miss A slept through that I don’t know. Mike and I were pacing through the kitchen salivating. Even Mr. N was hooked by the smell. beef curry

So how did it rank among the troops? Well, many of you know, I’m not a big meat and potatoes gal. So take my vote for what you will. I came in at 2-1/2 spoons. While it wasn’t something I’d choose to eat often, it’s not a bad way to eat meat and potatoes. The flavors are incredibly complex – sweet, savory, spicy – and the textures are widely varied too. This dish really has it all. Thai curry

In fact, Mike was over the moon about our massaman. He gave it the full 4 spoons – and you know he doesn’t hand those out lightly. He said he could eat this all day long, every day. It was right up his alley. Massaman Beef Curry

The kids, well, they were a little less enthusiastic. Mr. N felt about how I did – he liked it, but wouldn’t put it on his list of must-haves. And Miss A…simply put, she was not a fan. So 2-1/2 and 1 spoons respectively. This one was really a mixed big for our house, but one we’re glad we made. The process was easy and fun, and it really did smell amazing!

Print this recipe: Massaman Beef Curry

Have a great week everyone! We’ll have our final Thai recipe for you next, and I can tell you this one was a fan favorite. In the meantime, here’s hoping you all have the opportunity to slow down a little – however you can. sleeping Miss A

38 comments on “Slow It Down

  1. lifeisanadventure says:

    Mmm my absolute favourite curry!

  2. […] Thai Shrimp Curry with Peanut Noodles from Half Baked Harvest Massaman Beef Curry from Eat, Play, Love Light Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps from Pinch of […]

  3. how fun to watch your kids in a play- GO Mr.N! You will do a great job and poor Ms.A- she is a trooper and what a fabulous dinner you four put together. I love curry and don’t cook it nearly as much as I should. Will definitely be trying this recipe next time! Hope you have a great weekend

  4. sylviadewy says:

    Awww… love the picture.. and the recipe looks too tempting.. thanks for sharing it!! :)

  5. Congrats on your successful work event, Kristy! Wow your life is really busy! Our family is on the similar track, which is why I’m a bit behind here (and everywhere) reading favorite blogs. I forgot that massaman curry was the #1. That’s right, I read it somewhere before. I love this curry. I don’t even eat it spicy but love the flavor and order it asking it to be mild…lol. I didn’t know there is a paste for it. I’m going to print out your recipe after this. Good luck Mr. N! Although it’s so much going on, it’s always pleasure to see your happy family. :)

    • Kristy says:

      Oh Nami, believe me, I wish my life was less busy! One of these days I’ll find the right balance. ;) We found the massaman paste at an Asian market here. :) Good luck with your schedule too Nami. Sounds like you’re getting more and more busy too.

  6. Best of luck to Mr N in his play, I am sure he will do a brilliant job :)
    I laughed at your caption about sleeping Miss A, it is indeed rare to see them slowing down.It makes you miss them because they leave a big gap and the house suddenly goes quiet. But it takes 5 minutes after they wake up for you to miss the peace :)

  7. Caroline says:

    Holy yum, this dish sounds fantastic. Hope you guys get a chance to breathe soon…sounds like it’s been pretty hectic! Miss A looks adorable sleeping on the couch. Glad someone got to slow down for a bit. ;)

    • Kristy says:

      One of these days we will slow down. ;) In the meantime, I’m thinking I should take a page out of Miss A’s book and just take a nap today.

  8. sallybr says:

    That is one tired little Princess! I confess to feeling just about the same right now (sigh)

    The curry sounds amazing, I am not much of a meat and potato kind of person, but I bet the flavors are spectacular!

    Good luck with all the adventures ahead!!!!

    • Kristy says:

      I think you might be able to substitute chicken in this recipe too Sally. I’m wondering if I would like it more that way as well. :)

  9. I’m totally making this recipe! I find Thai flavorings irresistible and I love the idea of popping the pot in the oven while I’m getting other things done. Yay, busy mommy food :). Good luck to Mr. N with his upcoming performances – 5, wow, he’s really going to have to pace himself ;-) – and how adorable is Miss A… great that you were able to capture those shots – Chipper in tow and all – xo. Very pretty presentation Kristy.

    • Kristy says:

      That was a fun shot to catch! I was photographing the food and turned around to see Chipper checking out Miss A. Had to snap it! :)

  10. Raymund says:

    I love that list, I guess you know it by now. Such a good inspiration.
    Your recipe looks fantastic

  11. This recipe sounds amazing! Would love to try it sometime and your daughter seems like a gem!
    xx

  12. I really like Thai, Kristy, but I’ve never had this combination. I think it may be due to the fact that I’m not really much of a meat and potatoes person either, but this sounds really exceptional to me. Because I’m more tofu and vegetables, I need recipes like this to serve when we have friends over who want more! And I’m not at all vegetarian, I just don’t indulge much. This is a must for me to try and I know it would be a treat.

    Miss A is just adorable. She simply passed out. I love it when despite their constant animation sleep just takes over! :-)

    • Kristy says:

      I wonder if this would work for tofu…I don’t have much experience with that, but you might be able to pull off the flavors. :)

  13. Eva Taylor says:

    Your new look is great, love how organized it is. I saw this type of recipe on my friend Charlie’s (Hotly Spiced) blog and it looked intriguing then, too bad we’re heading into lighter fare now, I’ll have to bookmark the recipe for the fall. With the flavours going on, I know that JT will love this curry very much.
    Mr. N is a splitting image of Mike. We had my brothers kids for the weekend (J is 13 and A is 10) and the resemblance to each parent was uncanny! J reminded me of my little brother at that age so much, except for his head deep in his laptop or smart phone all weekend.

    • Kristy says:

      LOL – yes, they are often head deep in the smart phones. We try to keep it to a minimum, but sometimes it’s a necessary evil. ;)

  14. hotlyspiced says:

    I love this type of curry. I think that seeing you’ve been so busy, letting it cook slowly in the oven so you can walk away and catch up on other things was an excellent choice. Looking forward to hearing all about Mr N’s five performances xx

    • Kristy says:

      Thanks Charlie! His play was a resounding success. :) And yes – the slow cooking time has been crucial lately. Hope you are well! :)

  15. Purely.. Kay says:

    I am totally a meat and potatoes girl but this may even be too much for me lol. I do know of someone that will love this which is why I’m saving this and emailing it over :). And I am shocked to see Miss A motionless too :).

  16. Charles says:

    Go Mr N! How did you get on toasting them in the oven? I always find they crisp up so fast that way so I usually do it in a dry pan on the stove (plus more yummy vapours can escape out into the home!).

    I never cooked with tamarind before – I guess I must have had it in dishes in restaurants but I just can’t place it at all. Should really try and get a hold of some. The dish looks so wonderful Kristy – really professionally done. Just like something you’d find in a good restaurant – I’m really impressed. It earned a great score from Mike I see. I think I’d be with you… I’d probably enjoy it, but find myself wanting an extra little something so although I’d definitely love to give this a try, I don’t think I’d be able to declare myself wanting to “eat this every day, every meal”, haha.

    I know just how Miss A. feels – After a week and a half of late nights and early(ish) mornings I’m clapped out. Hoping to catch up on a bit of sleep tomorrow, as it’s a national holiday here :)

    • Kristy says:

      You know I usually burn nuts in the oven too – mostly because I forget to set a timer. Mr. N did great though. Being his first time using the oven he was much more conscious of setting a timer AND listening for it. ;) I think I may put him on all oven duty. I hope you had a good rest on your holiday. We have our national holiday coming in a few weeks. Sleep sounds like the perfect way to start that day! :)

  17. Geni says:

    I am thinking I might weigh in with Mike. This does sound awfully good but I appreciate that you are honest with us so we know what we are getting into. Slowing down is always nice. I wonder if this could be made in the crockpot?

    • Kristy says:

      I was wondering that too Geni. I think it might be able to be done that way. I’ll have to experiment with that one of these days. The crockpot has become my good buddy as of late. :)

  18. ChgoJohn says:

    My, you guys have been busy! How exciting for Mr N. I’m sure he’ll do just fine. In fact, maybe he and Miss A should consider opening a dinner-theater.
    I’m definitely going to give this massaman a try, Kristy. I like the mix of flavors and love the effect of braising on beef. Besides, if Chef Dad give it 3 spoons, it must be good! Consider it pinned! Thanks for sharing. I hope you all take a cue from Miss A and get a little rest, when you can.

    • Kristy says:

      Now there you go! I can see it now! Mr. N already has a name for his restaurant, “Seasons.” He’s had that since he was three. :) They are actually working on a mystery as I type this…perhaps a mystery dining theater!

  19. A_Boleyn says:

    Looks like a winner for me regardless of the lack of rousing spoon-awarding. :)

  20. Dawn says:

    Those pictures are too precious – I just love when I tire out the girls like that – the older one is pretty far past that stage, but my younger one still passes out every once in a while. Good luck with the plays, I know how that goes!! And, congratulations on your work event!!

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