The lovely and spicy Thai red curry paste from yesterday's post was put to good use this afternoon in the form of my lunch. Since the wee little one has been sleeping so poorly (translation: up every hour screaming) and I've been the one up with him, my dear husband stayed home to help me with our sick, overtired, totally emotional, monster child, since I feel like someone has been playing pingpong with my head all week.
That meant Thai red curry for lunch. With the paste ready to go, the rest was easy. Some chopping and slicing and (im)patient waiting for it to be ready.
I added chicken, onion, bell pepper and potato because that's what I had on hand. The great thing about red curry is any meat tastes great- beef, fish, shrimp, chicken, it really is totally up to you. You can also make it meatless and simply add extra vegetables. However, when my husband saw me adding potato to the pot he argued that potato only belongs in green and yellow curry.
uh, yeh, whatever. In the potatoes go.
Actually, it was either that or the potatoes go bad (plus, I hate being told what to do), so for today, we ate red curry WITH potatoes. Correction, my husband ate Thai red curry with potatoes, I ate Thai red curry and snuck my potatoes into my husband's bowl (remember, i'm missing the white potato-loving gene). If you love potatoes, though, do it! I have never heard any rule saying white potatoes do not belong in a red curry. Next time, however, I will be tossing in sweet potatoes (my favorite). Additional curry veggies include bell pepper, carrot, peas, bok choy, Thai eggplant (if you can find them) and squash!
Along with the meat and veggies, to all Thai curries, you need coconut milk. The full fat, creamy coconut milk. I've made curries in the past with low fat coconut milk and they just are not the same. They are not bad, but I don't feel like I am eating a delicious Thai dish on a beach in Thailand; I feel like I am eating a good lowfat Thai dish from a restaurant down the street.
Some days I just really need a trip to the beach.
Speaking of beach, I really needed a trip to the beach today. Since I couldn't make it to the real thing, a bowl full of this curry served alongside sticky white rice was the next best thing.
While Octavian's symptoms seem to be improving (no more fever of 104), his sleep has gone waaaayyy downhill. He now wakes up hourly screaming and crying for no reason at all. I've been sleeping with him on the floor in his room to monitor his temperature (transition to big-boy bed coming soon) and clearly my presence is no longer comforting enough.
So back to the doctor we went.
No ear infection. Symptoms improving. Lungs sound good. All good news.
So, very kindly, the pediatrician explained that while Octavian still isn't 100% better, he is a very clever and smart little boy and knows what to do to get the attention he wants.
Translation: He's manipulating you.
You guys, she's totally right.
While that news totally sucked because I have no idea how to get my kid back to sleeping in his bed and me back to sleeping in my bed, this sweet, amazing, wonderful pediatrician said to me and my husband, Sometimes when kids are so attached to the mother, it's best for the mom to just go away for the weekend and let the dad stay home and figure it out with the child. This way the child knows that Mom won't always come rushing in, that sometimes it will be Dad, and Mom can get a couple days away to rest and relax.
Ahhhh, music to my ears.
Thai Red Curry with Chicken
Prep Time: 10 minutes / Cook Time: 30 minutes / Total Time: 40 minutes
Yield: 4-6 servings
2 tablespoons oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
1 pound boneless/skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into chunks
3 tablespoons Homemade Red Curry Paste
1 white potato, chopped into cubes
1-2 cans full fat coconut milk (depends how much sauce you prefer)
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 kaffir lime leaves
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1-2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Optional garnishes/sides: cilantro, red pepper flakes, additional fish sauce, fresh lime juice, sriracha
Heat olive oil in a large skillet with deep sides (or a wok if you have one) over medium high heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook until the onion starts to soften, approximately 5 minutes. Add the garlic and fresh ginger and sauté for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the chicken and mix well with the onions. Cook for approximately 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently, before adding the red curry paste- don't worry if chicken isn't fully cooked. Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook stirring continuously for a minute or so. Add potato.
Slowly add coconut milk and mix well. Add green bell pepper and red bell pepper and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a low boil. Immediately reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.
Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Taste and add any additional seasoning you see necessary- the trick is finding a balance between sweet (the sugar) and salty (fish sauce/soy sauce).
Remove from heat and serve over fluffy white or brown rice and garnish with cilantro and crushed red pepper.