This entry comes to us with thanks to two adventures…
First, my unending adventure find a good curry paste. I’ve been searching for a good curry paste for years. I’ve been disappointed with every store-bought brand I’ve sourced. So I thought … gosh, why not make it from scratch?
Second, with thanks to Ironwoman Laura, a bottle of Diemersfontein Pinotage, 2007 from Wellington, South Africa. Back in 2008, Ironwoman Laura was in Africa climbing Kilimanjaro and attending a conference in Cape Town. There she bought a bottle of this rarefied wine – which the LCBO sadly does not stock – and gifted it to G and I.
Yesterday, after meeting up with Ironwoman Laura and Blee to see “Young Frankenstein” at the Princess of Wales Theatre (a fabulous stage show by the way), we finally married these two adventures at a dinner comprised of:
- Cucumber Caesar Salad with Feta Croutons and Black Beans (with thanks to Quebec chef Laurent Godbout) – served with a GORGEOUS bottle of d’Arenberg Viognier Marsanne); and
- Lamb Shank Braised with Green Curry and Vegetables (with thanks to the one and only Jean-George Vongerichten) – served with the Pinotage
Noting that the folks at Diemersfontein suggested curry as a great match to their Pinotage, which is a heavenly combination of coffee and chocolate married into a wine, I consulted with Jean-George who kindly suggested I try a homemade curry, fresh homemade curry; homemade curry made from scratch.
Adding to this adventure was time constraints as I was away Tues/Wed, ensconced with the powers that be in the Ministry rewriting Ontario’s Building Code, and Thurs/Fri in Niagara Falls attending a conference on child resiliency.
While preparing curry from scratch is a chore, yes, you know what … damn, it’s worth the effort!
2) the Sheraton on the Falls where I spent two days; 3) looking across to the American Falls
4) for the curry paste you need to mix lemongrass stalks; 5) cumin seeds you’ve toasted
6) a cup of cilantro stalks; 7) an inch of galangal
8) 4 green chilies; 9) a couple cloves of garlic
10) a shallot; 11) lime leaves
12) fish sauce and stinky shrimp paste; 13) blend it all together and you get ….
14) green curry paste that you should coat your lamb shanks in overnight before; 15) searing on all sides
16 & 17) add a satchel of more lemongrass, chili and galangal to the meat while it braises in coconut milk and chicken broth
18 & 19) blanch cilantro leaves and then puree in blender to create….
20) a cilantro paste you’ll add into the curry at the last moment; 21) onion
22) saute onion; 23) add in about 1/4 cup of curry paste you did not use to coat the lamb shanks
24) add in coconut milk; 25) chicken stock and the satchel and simmer about 3 hours till the meat is falling off the lamb bone
26) add in another 1/2 cup of coconut milk; the cilantro paste … you’ll see Thai eggplants cooking in this as well
27) serve! … we served with buttery peas, carrots , asparagus and rice. Make sure you plate properly … at this point we had had several cocktails and a bottle of Viognier so plating was … well, haphazard … embarrassing yes, but damn, it tasted good with; 28) the Pinotage
29) boil some black-eyed beans; 30) cut the feta into 2cm cubes and …
31 & 32) break in corn flour
33) mix: anchovy, egg yolk, parmesan, dijon, parsley, capers together and add in oil to make the dressing
34) dress some salad greens and cucumber you’ve sliced very thin and then top with beans and feta croutons