a very fulfilling WeHangsDay

So…. a little backstory before I dive into my culinary adventures of today.

I spent the majority of January 2008 in South Africa.  The trip was a turning point for me on many levels, and there were some amazing highs and some pretty low lows.

But … as my parking attendant mentioned to me today ~ we should always be focusing on the positive (if I haven’t mentioned it, one of the best parts of my work day is seeing my parking attendants ~ they are amazing people and never fail to make me smile).

One of my fondest memories of my time in South Africa was the food, and among the many dishes I enjoyed was Green Curry.  As you may have read, I was thrilled beyond belief to receive Green Curry paste and biltong when I visited my parents (mailed to me by a friend from S.A.).  And I was saving the experience of re-inventing the Green Curry I remembered for WeHangsDay.

Additionally, I JUST COULDN’T WAIT until tomorrow for Homemade Brownies.  So this evening I undertook two completely unknown dishes.  Yowza.

Let’s start with dinner.

First, I assembled my ingredients.  Having never even looked for coconut milk before (let alone bought or used it) that’s where my nerves began.

It continued throughout the making of dinner.

First, I prepped my ingredients.  I defrosted and cubed up a breast of chicken (I somehow overlooked the fact that I only had one breast left).  I cubed the gargantuan zucchini procured from Levinwood Gardens (our great friends and WeHangsDay partners-in-crime).

I followed the directions on the packet to a tee (well, sort of).

Ingredients:

1/2 packet Green Curry Paste

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 1/2 cups coconut milk

1/2 cup water

1/2 pound protein (I used 1/4 pound chicken)

1/4 pound veggies (I used 1/2 pound zucchini)

1 1/2 teaspoon sugar

*** 2 tsp. flour

Pasta:

1/2 box linguine (cooked for approx 10 minutes in boiling water, then drained).

I definitely estimated my conversions from the package directions (given in grams and mL, which we frequently use in the good ole USA), and it turned out A-okay! (Although I really think that there’s a secret ingredient I’m missing … I have some ideas, so I may re-post an updated version).

1.  I combined 1/2 packet of green curry paste with 1 tbsp veggie oil over medium-hot heat, and after it mixed together sufficiently, I added 1 cup of coconut milk.

curry paste & veggie oil

curry paste, veggie oil & coconut milk

2.  When all that was combined, I added my diced up chicken, and continued cooking.

3.  I added another 1/2 cup coconut milk and 1/2 cup water, and brought to a boil.

4.  After it bubbled a little, I added my 1/2 pound cubed zucchini, and cooked it all until the veggies were soft. 

5.  ***At this point, I realized that my sauce was separating.  Having only had it a few times three years ago ~ I started to panic.  Luckily, John, Josh and Jess were there to talk me through my crisis (yes, if you noticed, I’m the only one whose name doesn’t begin with a “J”).  We drained some of the sauce and whisked in two teaspoons of flour, then re-added the thickened sauce back into the saucepan. Voila, problem solved!

Finally, I stirred in 1 1/2 tsp. sugar.  I didn’t use any seasoning, but feel free to season away!  (Since meeting John I have become much more intimately aquainted with salt and pepper, prior to which I never really used). **I might suggest that seasoning the chicken a little before putting it in the saucepan would be a great idea.  I just am not sure what seasoning would be best.  The Green Curry has a definite kick to it!

With the delish Green Curry, we served a diced garden fresh tomato combined with diced fresh mozzarella, chopped fresh basil, a grind or two of salt and pepper and a drizzle of EVOO.

Minda's dinner (hers looked the prettiest!)

For dessert, I brought out the brownies.  They were definitely yummy, but I think I have a challenge ahead of me ~ experimenting until I create the most deliciously moist, chewy, chocolately, melt-in-your-mouth decadent brownie ever.

Tonight’s were good, but my tendancy to panic definitely affected their baking.

Assembled ingredients:

1 cup butter (2 sticks)

2 1/4 cup sugar

1 1/4 cups cocoa powder

4 large eggs

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

1 Tbsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 cup flour

2 cups semi-sweet morsels

*** optional: 1 tsp espresso powder

Pre-cooking: Pre-heat oven to 350, and grease a 9 x 13 baking pan.

1.  Melt butter completely over low heat in medium saucepan.  Once completely melted, fold in sugar, and stir constantly for 1-2 minutes (making sure not to burn sugar).

2.  Once the sugar and butter are combined, transfer to mixing bowl and beat in cocoa, eggs, salt, baking powder (** optional espresso powder), and vanilla extract.

3.  Once the mixture is smooth, fold in flour and chocolate morsels.

4.  Pour mixture into baking dish, and cook for approximately 30 minutes.  (The edges should be done, and the middle should look moist but cooked.  A toothpick should come out mostly clean).  Cool on wire rack.

5.  I panicked, and left the brownies in a little too long (the toothpick just wasn’t coming out clean!).  But … John, Jess, Josh and I enjoyed them anyway.  (John and I enjoyed the batter, too!).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All in all, a great food, wine and company night.  Jess also wrote me a running plan for the gym ~ to help with training for a 5K.  Since she’s a rockstar, she’s agreed to let me share it.  Which I will do … manana.  Right now, I’m gonna go enjoy the end of the evening with my man.

Happy Wednesday!

**Thank you to Jess & Josh for being on my blog and allowing me to document some of their time and efforts, too.  Jess & Josh also have the most amazing pup-ster on the face of the planet, and soon will be joined by a new member.  Very exciting business!  Mucho love always.

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