Thai Massaman Beef Curry “Stew”

Those who've been around for a long time probably remember that I have lots of uses for Massaman Curry Paste. You should be able to easily find it at any Asian market or grocery, or, Amazon has several brands. Aroy-D also has it (not in Amazon for some reason) but that's what I'm using now and can't tell a difference.

So here's a search link for all the stuff I've done with that paste. Here's a classic beef stew using it (no rice, typical peas, carrots, and potatoes...and tenderloin). How about wild kill elk? Hamburger Helper?

Massaman Meat Balls, anyone? Of course, if you're going to try that, then you must also try my Blue Cheese Meatballs, as well as the au Roquefort variation.

Ok, so let's do Thai Massaman Curry.

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Ingredients
  • About a pound or so of beef (stew meat is fine)
  • 2 TBS Massaman curry paste (+/- to taste)
  • 1 can coconut milk (not the "light" stuff; you'll make soup)
  • 1-2 cups beef stock, as needed
  • 1 yellow sweet potato
  • 2 carrots
  • 1/2 - 2/3 yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup raw unsalted peanuts (preferred, but whatever you can get)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • A dusting of the meat with cardamon (or 5 crushed pods)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 TBS Thai fish sauce
  • 2 TBS brown sugar

Preparation

  1. I do a slow cooker variation in order to get the meat tender. I don't bother browning the meat, just into the slow cooker, set to high, dust with cardamon, add curry paste, cinnamon, bay leaves, and brown sugar then add beef stock until just right at the level of the meat (don't cover the meat with stock, you'll have too much to reduce later). Cover the pot. In about 2 hours, your beef should be fork tender.
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    Tender chunks of beef
  3. Strain the meat, remove the bay leaves and cinnamon, then set the broth to reduce in the wok while cooking your onion and peanuts. Let it get pretty thick.
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    Reduce until thick
  5. Then add everything else in (coconut milk, fish sauce, carrots and potato), bring to a boil, reduce to light simmer for about 20 minutes while the carrot and potato get tender, but don't become mush. Important: this is where you want to test for flavor, adding more curry paste if you need.
  6. Serve it with rice on the side, and please don't put your curry over the rice. Jasmine is the go-to, but I use parboiled rice for its far lower glycemic index, cooked in chicken stock. Preferred eating method is with a tablespoon (the way Thai people do). The spoon serves as a knife to cut the meat and as a scoop for the rice and sauce.
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Go give it a try. I've been eating Massaman regularly, in any Thai restaurant I go to, and even off street carts in Thailand for over 20 years. I fist discovered it in 1989 at a restaurant name Beau Thai on Cannery Row in Monterey, CA (no longer there). It's my favorite Thai dish and I like a lot of them.

Channeling my Oma: Open Face Sandwiches

Growing up very near my Oma and Opa, the only sandwich she ever made me was a plate of sandwiches, all of them different. Always open faced, always from a loaf of French bread she sliced by hand. Always butter, never mayonnaise...some had various cold cuts, some had liverwurst, some had fresh sliced tomatoes on top of cold cuts or the latter, and some were just the tomato; some had thin slices of onion, some both, and all with black pepper. It was a cornucopia of delicious open-faced sandwich heaven.

I used to do it myself, but never in years. Now, with gluten free bread it's a cinch, and I feel absolutely great afterward. No heartburn, no coma. Plus, I'm very interested to know what levels of resistant starch might be in Udi's Gluten Free White Bread (given potato starch and tapioca flour as primary ingredients...and that it's frozen in distribution which ought form retrograde RS). I submitted a Q via their website, but typical fucking company: no response; not even a more typical bullshit response that begins and ends with "thank you for....and blablablablaBanalNoRealAnswer."

Fuck you, Udi's. You're lame. You're not paying attention to what matters, and particularly with a very legit sciency request, from someone who's been promoting your product to tens of thousands—and I even gave you the links to that, dumshits. Hope you go out of business and get supplanted by competent people. Don't put up a "Contact Us" link and invite inquiries unless you fucking intend to answer ever fucking contact, assholes. This was over six weeks ago.

...There, let's see if Google alerts can do its job and we can get an answer.

So, 4 slices for Bea & I, lightly toasted.

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Half with a Kerrygold "Fat Barrier," Half Aged Cheddar
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So that's a sliced round of liverwurst or low-sodium bologna from Shaller & Weber. I rarely have bacon anymore, but my mom & dad dog sat while Bea & I were in Santa Barbara for the weekend, and she left some in the fridge. Bam! 2 slices longitudinally sliced further, and nuked just right.

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Then some thin sliced celery and thin sliced onion, and you've got yourself a deal. T'was wonderful. Don't forget the liberal sprinkling of black pepper. No salt. Plenty in the food.

...My Oma's diminutive for my Opa was Liebchen.

Chicken Fried Rice, Filipino Sinangag (Garlic Fried Rice) Inspired

When living in Japan throughout the entire late 80's I travelled a lot to the Philippines and Thailand; and all I ever wanted for a breakfast was some sort of rice dish with egg. In the PI, that was sinangag, and in Thailand, plain white rice and a couple of fried eggs on top—with a side of a very hot watery green chili condiment to dribble on the thing. Don't know what it's called.

Coupla weeks ago in my Resistant Starch posts, a commenter originally from the PI found it difficult to contain his elation over being able to eat garlic fried rice, again. And that's when I remembered having it many times. First time, I made it kinda classic, only with yellow and not green onion, and I like to do the egg Japanese fried rice-style.

So good. The garlic is to sinangag what fine ground black pepper is to many of the Japanese fried rice dishes I had.

So last night, this was my chicken fried rice, sinangag inspired. Sometimes, I like to stage everything before I start cooking. Here's your list of 'griedients, in a pic.

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Ingredients
  • Rice from the fridge. Uncle Ben's Original, cooked in chicken stock. It's parboiled, which does two things. Since parboiled in the husk before drying and polishing, it takes on some of the nutrition and second, it has far more resistant starch as opposed to fast digesting starch. This gives it a glycemic index in the 30s instead of 100. Feed your gut bugs, get more nutrition (plus, cooking in chicken stock for even more), and no coma.
  • Leftover chicken from a rotisserie (3rd part of a meal from that one bird, and now, the carcass goes into chicken stock to make soup).
  • 1 slice of bacon, diced up.
  • Kerrygold grassfed butter.
  • Leftover lightly steamed carrots, diced.
  • Diced yellow onion.
  • Diced celery.
  • Two eggs.
  • Star of the show: 3 cloves of garlic hand chopped and diced. You want the bitty chunks. Do it by hand with patience and love.
  • Sea salt, ground black pepper, and soy sauce for the final seasonings.

First, a couple nice pats of butter in the wok, then the garlic, just until they just begin to smoke from toasting. Take it off the heat, remove the toasties to a bowl. Then, introduce the bacon into the same oil, doing it the same way. You'll get a bit more fat from the bacon.

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Bacon to the left of me, garlic to the right. Here I am.

This goes back in...at the very end.

I added just a touch more butter (individual thing: eyeball it), then in went the onion. Normally, I'd put in the onion, celery and carrot at the same time...but the celery was already a bit soft from the fridge, and the carrot had been pre-steamed. Soon as the onion was translucent, in went the celery for a while, then the chicken.

Next was to dump in the rice and carrot. Plus, a decent dusting of pepper, pinch or two of salt. Mix it all up well, then spread it over the wok to heat, on high, getting a little crunch on some of the rice. Then, egg time.

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Push the rice aside, make a wet scramble, then mix it all together until the egg is all cooked. At the very end, toss in your bacon and garlic bits, toss nicely, and then just "rain" some soy sauce on it lightly to finish.

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Two complete meals

Another, artsy-fartsy, depth-of-fieldish?

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Click for Bigger

Give it a shot. For breakfast, I want the classic: just garlic, onion and egg. But this makes a great dinner with a few more veggies and a bit more protein.

My Off The Cuff “Taquitos” as a Sunday Night Football Pizza Alternative

Just now. For two of us. Still two left!

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Just a silly idea. Not a lot in the fridge, didn't want to go to the store.

Chopped up carrot, pinto beans, rice cooked in chicken stock, some bacon bits, BLUE CHEESE CRUMBLES, and cheddar.

Mash it all up, roll 'em up in a corn tortilla. I fried them all in a wok...in pure, lily white leaf lard.

OMG! I Ate BEANS….and, AND…A CORN TORTILLA! Call the Paleo Police

I told you I was going to do it. Well, I left out the part about the corn tortilla, fearing some zealot might try to stop me.

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Breakfast

Pinto beans, soaked for about 36 hours, a slice of New Zealand grassfed cheddar, a free range egg fried in Kerrygold butter, and a corn tortilla.

Here's my go-to recipe for pinto beans. After the soak (I use a standard small bag of beans), I rinse well, plop them in a large stockpot. I lightly sprinkle the whole surface of the beans with garlic powder, then black pepper, then dried onion flakes, then real bacon bits (I almost only ever use bacon as a small addition to other foods, or on a salad, etc. I don't just eat bacon anymore. Way too "Paleo" for me.). Then I cook it in a quart of Kitchen Basics beef stock and however much water I need to cover the beans enough. With the soak, should cook to soft beans in 1-2 hours. Bring it to a boil, turn down to a light bubbly simmer, uncovered, adding water (or stock if you like) as needed until tender. Reduce to the point you like it. Sometimes I like it more soupy, sometimes thick.

Did you see my post about the 60th wedding anniversary of my parents-in-law?

Sam and Lucia2
He's 84 and she's 80

Yep, 84 and 80, and they look pretty damn good to me. And guess what? They grew up eating Mexican pinto beans every single day of their lives—and plenty of corn tortillas, masa, and Spanish style rice too. They were poor. It was inexpensive and nutritious.

And they still eat all that stuff regularly and beans are a mainstay around the house, along with the other real food they consume.

Gluten Free Tuna Melt

Don't know how long since I've had one. Udi's gluten free white bread, buttered on the outside with Kerrygold unsalted.

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Tuna salad is just a standard toss together of tuna, mayo, splat of yellow mustard, chopped onions, pickles and celery—seasoned with a git of garlic powder, salt & pepper.

The cheese is the New Zealand grassfed cheddar from TJ's.

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The Cuisinart comes in handy.

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Et voila!
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There you go!

OK, that's the first of the day. All about quantity over quality—today and tomorrow—but it's sure to be a wide variety.

Slow Cooked Pork Roast and a Big Ass Salad

This was the deal for Sunday afternoon football with a couple of guests.

First, I wanted to showcase my gluten free chipped creamed beef on toast, but in a more elegant and refined way, since it's ghetto food. So I did it as an entrée round (BTW, please stop calling the main course the entrée—it's just fucking WRONG, ok?)

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  (click for hi-res)

I considered cutting the Udi's gluten free bread into triangles instead of squares, but I figured that would be pretentious. Didn't want to put too fine a point on it. :)

For the main, I did a pork roast in the slow cooker, low for about 6 hours. My preferred method is too simple, courtesy of my mom going way way back: plop a pork roast in the crockpot, fatty side up, season with a decent amount of salt & pepper, and that's it. No stock, no veggies.

To serve, I simply reduced a quart of Kitchen Basics unsalted chicken stock by about 3/4, thickened with a tsp of potato starch in a cold slurry at the very end.

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Too Simple

To accompany the pork, I did a Big Ass Salad (Mark Sisson coined the term), with some starchy stuff. But guess what? I rarely buy salad stuff anymore. Two much waste, and it's typically just the two of us. Fortunately, there's a Whole Foods in Los Gatos like 5 minutes away and I trust their salad bar. $8.50 per pound. Usually, I just get the salad and do my own dressing at home. No exception this time; though, while I usually do some version of a vinaigrette, I did a creamy blue cheese with the stick blender for probably no other reason than Sean at PragueStepchild inspired me via a twitter conversation. (Sean: I had some shallots on hand. About 1/2 was perfect.)

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BAS

So Here's The Thing. That salad cost maybe $12 by weight. Now, consider what it might have cost if I had to separately buy each ingredient, and how much of that might go to waste if I didn't happen to desire a salad for a few days.

  • Romain lettuce
  • Spring greens
  • Baby spinach
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Red onion
  • Green onion
  • Radish
  • Celery
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Kidney beans
  • Olives
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Sliced almonds
  • Dried cranberries
  • Yellow raisins
  • Red grapes
  • Cherry tomatoes

Any idea what it would cost to do a salad for four, having to get each of those ingredients? $50 minimum, I'd say, and you'd have waste.

So, 2-3 times per week this is what I do. I head over to Whole Foods and construct a BAS. Each one is a little different.