Saturday, February 10, 2007

Gastropod News

You might be wondering what these apparently unattractive green packages have to do with anything in the realm of culinary delight. It turns out I couldn’t be bothered taking a photo of my efforts in the kitchen after I came home from work on Friday, so I’ve just had to take one now. It’s unfortunate for this green curry paste that I’ve done it absolutely no justice by photographing after it had been frozen into handy packages.

I had a particularly frustrating day on Friday, and since I’d been drooling over recipes in Charmaine Solomon’s Thai Cookbook, I’d had visions of making a curry paste in the most violent way possible, in a stone mortar and pestle: ‘Take that you long green chilli! Don’t think you’re surviving coriander root! You’ll be nothing but pulp when I’ve finished with you galangal!’ Fortunately for everyone concerned, by the time I got home with my ingredients, I began to doubt the strength of my pestle wielding skills and chose the far less flat-shuddering option of the food-processor (still going strong after all other hand-me downs have died).

I’ll make a green chicken curry with at least one of those packets in a couple of days time. Meanwhile here’s a photo of Thursday’s dinner and Friday’s lunch, while it was still in the wok.

It’s another dish I’ve made lately which signals the end of my vegetarianism. There’s some pork mince in amongst the silken tofu, and I’ll admit I’ve been eyeing this recipe from Kylie Kwong Recipes and Stories for some time now. I’ve made all the other silken tofu dishes in that book on a regular basis—can’t get enough of them—and this was the only one I hadn’t tried because it had meat in it.

I have to say it was very tasty. I think I’ve become addicted to black vinegar because of this cookbook, and it seems to combine particularly well with the pork taste and together they made for a wonderful syrupy gravy. I don’t have a picture of the final dish but the whole taste was set off with some sliced green spring onions and a home- ground Szechuan pepper and salt mixture that I have also become addicted to thanks to Ms Kwong.

(Have I ever mentioned that I have jars of different varieties of peppercorns? Black, white, green and Szechuan. Does this seem excessive?)

In other Gastropod news from chez Galaxy, I’ve resurrected the bread-maker. I’ve never been very thrilled with the bread from it, but that’s probably because I need to experiment more, be a more vigilant bread maker and eater. I’ve always excused its imperfections thinking I couldn’t expect too much of it because if it wasn’t quite a hand-me-down, it was purchased never-used for only $50. That and my main reason for wanting it was for the dough setting to make hassle-free pizza bases. As you may know, I’ve been relying on pita bread bases for my pizza for a while now, but since I had some flour that it didn’t seem I was otherwise going to use, I’ve made four pizzas over the last week or so. In addition to using the flour, I’ve managed to use up some other ingredients that might have been relegated to the garbage bin if I hadn’t put them on pizza, including some roast pumpkin and a tomato pasta sauce. I’m glad I didn’t have to waste anything—these peasant cuisines know how to make the best of things, don’t they?


Clare said...

Ha - I hadn't thought of cookery as a way of relieving tension before but now see the attraction thanks to your post. Made me laugh...and hungry. And it is far too late for a curry.

Kirsty said...

Yes, there's something about wielding a knife that I find strangely relaxing... I might end that thought right there ; )

I made a chicken and snow pea curry with the curry paste shown here for dinner last night. It was just divine and there's left overs for lunch today. Hooray!

JahTeh said...

I've been vegetarian for 6 years but just lately I've drooled at the smell of roast chicken and pork. It seems to be just a longing for protein that isn't tofu so I compromised and had a free range chicken breast or two and now I want chicken curry, damn.

Kirsty said...

Sorry about that, Jahteh. They were organic/free range chicken thighs I used. I do understand your dilemma--although my shift has been inspired by depleted iron stores--I'm trying to find the 'right' meats to eat too. I had some kangaroo, because it has a really high iron content apparently, so I could eat less and it was organic etc. But now my supermarket has stopped selling it, as has the local butcher : (