Sunday, August 9, 2009

Weeknight Wonder: Thai-Style Ground Turkey

Ours is not a meat-and-potatoes household. It's strange, actually. Neither Ian's nor my upbringing was terribly diverse as far as cooking goes--my mother had to blitz the veggies in the food processor to hide them in meatloaf and sauces, while until recently Ian sincerely believed that red meat was one of the best things for you--but now that we are adults, we rarely eat anything run-of-the-mill American. Our favorite foods are generally Asian, Middle Eastern, and Latin. We rarely ever eat red meat, with the exception of the occasional burger and the fantastic steaks Ian's mother occasionally sends in the mail (Kansas City filet mignon--yum, yum)--though lately Ian has been craving lamb. We often find ourselves almost unwittingly vegetarian, though those are not the dishes that Ian most craves. Every weekend, we try to plan our dinners for the week and do the shopping accordingly. If there's one thing that seems to creep onto the menu most often, it's curry.

Tonight, Ian and I will not be able to dine together. I have an evening class and he has been working exceptionally long hours lately. I will, however, whip something up and leave it for him. It's definitely a favorite, and it reheats very well.

Thai-style Ground Turkey (or Beef, if you like)

cooking spray
1 cup thinly sliced leek
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 lb ground turkey or lean ground beef
3 teaspoons red curry paste
1 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup light coconut milk
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon lime zest
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add leek; saute for 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add beef; cook 7 minutes until lightly browned, stirring to crumble. Stir in curry paste and tomato sauce. Cook until liquid is reduced by half (about 2 minutes). Add coconut milk, brown sugar, lime zest, lime juice, and soy sauce. Cook 2 minutes, until slightly thickened.

Serves 4. Serve over white rice.

This is a recipe I got from and then tweaked to my own liking. The original recipe calls for fish sauce instead of soy sauce, so you can use that if you like. The original recipe also only calls for one teaspoon of curry paste, but Ian and I both found the final product insufferably bland. Experiment with it. You might like less spice than we do.

The curry paste and the coconut milk might seem like exotic ingredients, but you can almost always find them in the Asian or international section of your grocery store (ask someone who works there--sometimes these things are tucked away in odd places). If they have them in Idaho, they'll probably have them anywhere.


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