This meal was actually about a month ago, but the memory still remains. When we were visiting the girlfriend's parents, we made a Thai dinner to enjoy on the patio on a mild NorCal summer evening. Talking about isolated nutrients can get you into trouble because they are naturally part of a whole food. But the same is true for foods. They are normally a part of a meal. I want to share our entire meal (recipes) because I think that it was truly greater than the sum of its parts.
Grilled chicken with red curry sauce
- In a medium bowl, combine 10 oz. of coconut milk, juice from 2 limes and 1/2 tsp of lime zest, 1 tbsp fish sauce, and 1 tbsp red curry paste. In a heavy-bottomed sauce pan, heat 1/3 water and 1/3 sugar and allow to boil for 3 minutes - this will create a nice thick simple syrup. Remove pan from heat, add coconut mixture, and return to heat and allow to simmer just under 10 minutes; whisk frequently to ensure syrup does not lump together. Retain 1/3 cup of sauce for serving.
- Prepare 1.5 lb bone-in (1 lb boneless) chicken thighs by drying with a paper towel, and liberally seasoning with salt and pepper.
- Grill on a pre-heated grill to your liking. I personally grill chicken thighs on medium-high until a rich dark brown; turning relatively frequently. Cooking thighs until roughly 180°F will render them less gummy, and they will not dry out at this temperature like breast meat will.
- Once the chicken is a dark golden-brown, baste red curry sauce onto each piece, flip and cook for one minute, baste the opposite side, and then flip once again for another minute. Repeat if there is extra sauce.
4. Serve chicken with grilled zucchini (from the garden if you have it!) and the reserved red curry sauce. Garnish with limes and scallions.
Asian-style cucumber salad
- Peel and thinly slice 4 cucumbers. Set in the fridge to chill while preparing dressing.
- Simmer 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar until reduced to 2 tbsp; pour into bowl to cool.
- While vinegar is cooking, whisk in juice from 1/2 of a lime, 2 tsp. honey, 1 tbsp. fish sauce, and 2 tsp. olive oil.
- Mince 1-2 seeded serrano chiles, and finely chop 1/4 cup of fresh mint and 1/4 cup fresh basil.
- In a large bowl, combine cucumbers, dressing, and chopped chiles and herbs. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- I used this recipe. Garnish with cilantro and scallions. Full-fat coconut milk, please.
I occasionally eat white rice. But to mitigate its nasty effects on blood sugar, I drowned it in coconut milk and crowded it out with meats and veggies :)