When I first got into cooking it was to pick up chicks. It work(ed). Now, in a town where the Teriyaki Roll is comprised of cold rice with pieces of breaded chicken fingers wrapped inside, my skills have naturally blossomed.
So, Recipe #1 is my evolving basic, quick Thai curry that can be tweaked with almost anything available. This is easy easy easy, and I wish I knew it when I first started cooking. I would have picked up more chicks.
Basic Thai Curry
1 14oz can coconut milk - I like Arroy-D brand, cheaper stuff is too watery.
1 tbsp curry paste (green, red or yellow). Thai Kitchen brand is fine.
1 tbsp fish sauce
1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 kaffir lime leaves - shredded (use scissors) - I get these at Chinese grocers.
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock (I use the cubes)
1) Heat big pan or pot (which has a lid) at moderate heat (5).
2) Add 2-3 tbsp of condensed part of coconut milk. Add curry paste, mix together to ensure you have a consistent mixture without any clumps of paste.
3) Add remainder of coconut milk.
4) Add fish sauce, soy sauce and brown sugar. Stir. Add lime leaves and stock. Bring to a boil, cover, then simmer on low for ~20-25 minutes, depending upon what you add.
That's it for the basics. It now depends upon what kind of curry you want. I like to stick with two to three vegetables and a meat or tofu, and sometimes I will add caramelized onions as a topping. I serve it with jasmine rice.
Recommendations (add once the curry is simmering):
Paste - green
Veg - green pepper (add at end 5 minutes before serving)
Veg - mushrooms or eggplant
Meat - chicken or pork (add once you have the curry on simmer)
Paste - red
Veg - red pepper (same as above)
Meat - chicken, beef slices.
Paste - red + 1 tbsp peanut butter (crunchy is best)
Veg - red pepper
Veg - potato (cut into thin slices, these will take ~ 25 minutes to cook).
Meat - chicken or beef