Monday, January 25, 2010

Thai Green Curry with Shrimp, Bay Scallops and Calamari

After this weekend's epic grocery shopping trip to the Indian and Korean grocery stores I have been dying to make some green curry.  I had a bag of frozen seafood mix from Trader Joe's in the freezer and all kinds of wonderful Asian produce to throw in.  The one thing that I wanted but didn't have was Thai basil, but regular basil works fine in this too.  So after looking through all of my ingredients I realized that I didn't have a recipe to follow.  The Thai Green Curry with Seafood recipe from a recent issue of Bon Appetit looked ok, but I wanted to use different vegetables.  I wanted to throw in some of the beautiful produce I had purchased yesterday along with a few other things that I found in the pantry and the fridge.  So I looked at a few other curry recipes that I had bookmarked over the years, including this recipe for Jungle Curry with Pork and Thai Eggplant from Gourmet and Nigella Lawson's recipe for Thai Yellow Pumpkin and Seafood Curry.  None of them were really what I was looking for, but as always, I stole things I liked from each recipe and ignored everything else.

This curry has a great spice level to it.  It isn't "Thai spicy", but it is spicier than I know a lot of my friends would be able to eat.  The rice does a lot to soak up the spice on your palate but this curry isn't for wimps.  I would actually be perfectly happy to leave the seafood out of the curry because the vegetables were my favorite part as they soaked up the most flavor from the curry broth.  Next time I think I will try it with fresh shrimp, scallops and mussels and see if that changes my mind at all.  I am glad I decided to use the Asian eggplant, zucchini and baby corn in the recipe because they were all delicious.  If I had been in the mood to use red curry paste instead of green, I might have thrown in a few cubes of fresh pineapple for a little sweetness.  My one complaint about this curry is that it did turn out rather soupy.  I have changed my recipe to cut down a bit on the amount of liquid.

Recipe after the jump!
Thai Green Curry with Shrimp, Bay Scallops and Calamari

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
5 green onions, finely chopped, dark green parts separated from white and pale green parts
3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro, divided
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 slice dried galangal (or 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced)
6 tablespoons Thai green curry paste (an entire 4 oz. can of Maesri green curry paste)
1 13.5oz can unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 13.5oz can lite unsweetened coconut milk
2 small fresh green Thai chiles (or 1 red jalapeño chile)
2 kaffir lime leaves (either dried or fresh - if you can't find lime leaves, substitute 2 tbsp lime juice plus 1 tsp lime zest)
1 tablespoon Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce
1 Asian eggplant, halved
1 medium zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and then into 1/4 inch half moons
1 7oz package of enoki mushrooms
1 can baby corn, drained and corn halved lengthwise
1 16oz bag Trader Joe's frozen seafood mix
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
2 cups (about) steamed rice

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Cut Asian eggplant into 1 inch cubes.  Toss in baking pan with 1 tbsp vegetable oil.  Bake in one layer for 12 minutes.

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat.  Add white and pale green parts of green onions, 1 tablespoon cilantro, garlic, and galangal or ginger.  Sauté about 2 minutes.  Add curry paste.  Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add both cans of coconut milk, chiles, lime leaves, and fish sauce.  Bring to simmer.  Add eggplant and zucchini.  Cover and cook about 5 minutes.  Throw frozen seafood mix in pan.  Cover and simmer 3 minutes.  Add enoki mushrooms and baby carrots.  Stir to combine.  Cover and simmer 5 minutes.  Taste curry and add salt or more fish sauce to taste.

Stir in dark green parts of green onions, remaining cilantro, and basil.  Either serve in bowls with steamed rice, or serve on plates with rice on the side.

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