The night before I left, Daiku and I had a farewell dinner. I got the recipe for this Thai-style curry from a British magazine called "You Are What You Eat" (Dec. 2006 issue, p. 94). Funny name for a magazine, huh? I had never heard of it, but this recipe, and many of the articles in the magazine, were really intriguing.
Here is their recipe for "Butternut, peanut, pea, and spinach coconut curry with cashew salad" with my modifications:
2 TB vegetable oil
1 large onion, sliced
1.5 TB Thai green curry paste
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 handfuls skinless peanuts, chopped
1 lemongrass stalk
400 ml. unsweetened coconut milk
600 ml. hot water
2 green chillies, sliced (I used Hungarian red chillies instead of Thai bird chillies)
600 g. butternut squash, peeled and cut into large chunks
3 TB Thai fish sauce (I omitted)
2 large handfuls peas (I used frozen peas)
250 g. small leaf spinach (not being used to metric measurements, I didn't realize that 250 grams of spinach is a LOT! so I used less, because I didn't have much)
handful of toasted cashews, chopped
2 spring onions, sliced
handful of coriander (cilantro), roughly chopped
- In a large pot, heat vegetable oil and sauté onion until it just begins to caramelize. Add curry paste and garlic, fry for one minute, stirring often.
- Add peanuts and fry another minute, stirring well to ensure mixture doesn't stick
- Meanwhile, remove base and head layers of lemongrass and thinly slice until you get to the woody part- but reserve the woody part
- Add coconut milk, hot water, chillies, lemongrass slices and the reserved stalk, and bring mixture to a boil. Add squash and fish sauce. Simmer until squash is cooked. Add peas and cook for another 3 minutes, taste and season. Stir in spinach and turn off heat.
- To make salad, mix the ingredients together. Serve curry with a little salad on top.
We ate the curry with a side of baby bok choi, steamed, then sautéed and sprinkled with sesame seeds. We also had some baked tofu (I gave Crystal's recipe another try, this time with firm tofu, and it came out beautifully)
Enough for leftovers on the train the next day. (Including Thai take-out leftovers) I had the coolest lunch on that Amtrak, hands down!
A lychee cocktail at Spice Restaurant. We all commented that the lychee kind of looked like a fetus!!
Sorry for the blurry photo: dinner at Spice. My friends Nicole (who was visiting from California) and Dorota were kind enough to order veggie things, so I could try them: spring rolls, potstickers, and Japanese Eggplant salad. Spice is a cute restaurant, with plenty of vegan options (including mock duck!)
Union Square Farmer's market. I used to walk through here every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on my way to work. Check out these Romanesco Cauliflowers!
Yours truly munching on a whole wheat sourdough baguette at the market. I basically ate my way through the city for the whole week. (Hello, free samples everywhere?!)
Speaking of samples, here is Dorota at the Max Brenner Chocolate by the Bald Man store. Not too many vegan options here, but it is a fascinating shop/restaurant to walk through- chocolate fountains, little plastic syringes for a "shot" of chocolate, chocolate truffles, pizza, ... They had samples of chocolate-covered pecans, the remains of which you see melting on Dorota's hands!
A crazy new Automat restaurant on St. Mark's place. There was only one vegan option (PB & J sandwich), but I was intrigued by the place: simultaneously old-school and futuristic. Fun to walk through.
These cups are among my favorite things that Dorota has ever brought back from Poland:
You'll be innocently drinking your Açai juice when you see something weird.
What is this?! You exclaim as you take a few more sips.
Ah! It was a froggy hiding in my cup! So cute.I have one of these cups too, with a puppy instead of a frog.
The frog wishes you Happy New Year's Eve! I hope the upcoming year brings everyone peace, health, and love. Daiku and I have a tradition of staying home and cooking for New Year's Eve. I better go help cook.
So long, 2006. It's been real.