You know what is an ultimate dealbreaker for me? PIcky eaters. Can’t stand them, can’t deal with them. The minute someone tells me tis, I can’t help but look at them with wary eyes. Diet restrictions aside, why wouldn’t you want to taste new things and have fun with food? I’ve never considered myself an adventurous person but when it comes to food, I’ll try anything. And in the past, I’ve done just that.
But alas, not everyone enjoys my food fervor. Case in point- my best friend J. If she had it her way (and she normally does) she’d stick to the basics: grilled cheese, toast, bean burritos, pizza, and any kind of fast food (especially Taco Bell and McD’s). If she could live off toast and butter, she would. Go figure, the girl looks like a model too so maybe she knows a secret I don’t :)
For the past year, I’ve been trying to get her to try my new obsession: Thai food. While J has tried my mom’s Indonesian food, she refuses to try Thai food. “It’s just weird. And why would I eat that when I could get cheaper stuff @ McD’s?” she asks. I know, what am I going to do with her?
There’s this little Thai restaurant close to my school that I think is one of the best places to go in Sacramento. Warm and inviting, the restaurant has that nice vibe that makes you want to come here every night. If I lived closer, I probably would! And the food? Oh dear, it will make you groan. I had one of the best curries here. Ever. No joke. Silky, creamy, flavorful. It was perfect. Ever since then, I’ve tried to mimic that dish and that brings me to this recipe.
It doesn’t come close to heavenly yellow curry dish I had at that restaurant but I think it is a decent attempt. I know, I don’t sound too enthused but to be honest, I felt that it was more of an American take on Thai food. Next time I make it, I think I will amp up the curry paste as the curry didn’t have that kick that I wanted. If you are serving someone Thai food for the first time, then this might be the dish you want to start out with as all the flavors are slightly muted.
While nothing takes over and grabs your attention, it offers more like a brief glimpse in to Thai cuisine. It comes together really quickly, and I mean REALLY quickly. That might be why I didn’t necessarily fall in love with this dish. If the chicken and potatoes had been cooked longer and soaked up the sauce longer, I think this dish would’ve been awesome. I also left out the tomatoes and basil as I had none of these fresh ingredients on hand. But, word to the wise: try this dish out, cook it a little longer, and get back to me. Also, if you are a flavor addict like me, keep adding in the Thai curry paste to taste because the recipe doesn’t have enough of it in it.
● 1 14- ounce can unsweetened coconut milk, * whisked to blend
● 1 1/4 tsp. Thai curry paste*
● 1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/3-inch-wide strips
● 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
● 1 lb. chicken tenders, cut crosswise in half (I used chicken breasts)
● 4 small red skinned potatoes, boiled, drained, and diced
● 1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
● 1 tablespoon (packed) brown sugar
● 1 tbsp. fish sauce (nam pla)*
● 1 cup chopped seeded tomatoes
● 1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
● 1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
● 1 cup mixed frozen vegetables
Bring 1/4 cup coconut milk and curry paste to boil in large skillet over medium-high heat, whisking constantly. Add bell pepper, potatoes, vegetables, and onion; saute for 5 minutes.
Stir in chicken, remaining coconut milk, sugar and fish sauce. Cook until chicken is cooked through, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Stir in remaining 3 ingredients and simmer 1 minute. Season with salt.
*Available at Asian markets and some supermarkets nationwide.