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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.