Saturday, February 26, 2011

Thai Duck Curry with Shiitakes and Pineapple

You knew I wasn't done with that duck.  I think I used everything but the quack!

Thai curries are a huge favorite of mine, and I decided to create my own.  If you haven't a duck, you could substitute chicken or shrimp.

A friend, recently returned from Thailand, said she loved the food, but after a while it all started to taste the same.  We have Thai food only occasionally, so always love its distinctive coconut/spicy/ginger/lime flavors.

In this curry, the pineapple provides a zingy sweetness, and the shiitakes and duck are good, earthy complements for each other. 

I HIGHLY recommend getting everything chopped and ready to go before you start cooking.  This dish goes together quickly.  I actually prepared the vegetables and pineapple the night before.

1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 red onion, chopped
1 red pepper, diced
1 cup diced cabbage
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
1 tablespoon Thai green curry paste

1 14-ounce can coconut milk, plus one small can coconut cream or coconut milk
1-1/2 cups duck stock (you can use chicken stock)
1 tablespoon almond butter (you can use peanut butter)
1 cup diced fresh pineapple
2 kaffir lime leaves

2 cups duck meat, sliced from roast duck
15 shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and halved
1/2 cup whole raw cashews

1/4 cup Thai fish sauce
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 cup sliced basil
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Heat coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Toss in the onion, pepper, cabbage, ginger and garlic, stir-frying 'til everything has a glossy sheen and has started to soften, about 5 minutes.

Add curry pastes, using caution with amounts.  Curry pastes vary wildly in heat strength.  Stir and fry so that the pastes are distributed throughout.

Add coconut milk, duck or chicken stock, almond butter, pineapple and lime leaf and stir well.  Bring all to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.

Stir in duck meat, mushrooms and cashews, and cook for 5 minutes more.

Stir in fish sauce, lime juice, basil and cilantro, and return to simmer.  Serve with braising greens and rice, if desired.  Warn people to watch out for the lime leaves!  Their flavor will deepen in the curry if they are left in, which is one reason not to remove them.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

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