I took an unintentional break from the blogosphere due to the general craziness of life i.e. stepping up into some new responsibilities at work as well as dealing with the last two weeks of the spring quarter of classes.
I’m happy to announce that I’m down to only 7 weeks before I’ll be the proud owner of an MBA and I’ve finally started to catch up at work.
This means I can now turn my attention to all the stuff I actually want to do – like read blogs and write about the various dishes I’ve been serving up. So my apologies if I just seemed to drop off the map and you’ve been wondering why I haven’t been by lately (or maybe haven’t even noticed I’ve been gone *sad face*). I am working on my back log of posts to read.
Fear not, just because I haven’t been writing about it, doesn’t mean I haven’t been testing new recipes and cooking. In fact, I just had my family over for a big dinner this previous week where I got to try a lot of new recipes i.e. use them as my guinea pigs.
But let’s turn our attention to a post I’ve been holding onto for a couple of weeks. We’ve been working on doing more budget meals and using up every last scrap of food I could find hiding in my fridge and pantry.
This was a happy mix of me having boneless pork loin chops in the freezer, along with a head of broccoli and other odds and ends. One of the most important components is the bit of Thai red curry paste I had leftover in the fridge.
Alright so I’m going to hop up on my soapbox for a second. Important note – the Thai red curry paste you get at your local supermarket? Skip it. Seriously. I’m all for using what’s readily available but there’s a huge difference in the Thai red curry paste you get at the supermarket in a jar versus the kind you get down at your local Asian market in a can or packet. As in, the kind from the Asian market has tons more fragrance and flavor. I remember when I used to make recipes using the kind in the jar and I was always confused by the well, lack of real flavor even when I used the entire 4 oz jar in a dish! Maybe the jar version has been Americanized because they think people can’t handle/won’t like a more authentic version? Either way – do not pass go, do not buy the jar, leave and get the real stuff, you’ll thank me later. Or if you wanted to be even more industrious you could make your own curry paste – there’s tons of recipes out there. *End soapbox moment*
I ended up making my own mango chutney because, well, I had a mango and no ready-made chutney on hand. I’ve included the recipe for the chutney below, but for a shortcut you could definitely use the pre-made kind.
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 shallots, finely diced
- 1 jalapeno, minced (seeded for less heat)
- 1 lb boneless pork chops
- 1 cup light coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 - 2 Tbsp red curry paste (depending on how spicy & how much curry flavor you want)
- 1 Tbsp fish sauce
- 3 cups broccoli florets
- ½ cup mango chutney
- 2 tablespoons chopped green onions (optional)
- Chop pork into bite-sized pieces. To prepare pork, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots and serrano, sauté for 3 minutes until beginning to soften. Add garlic and pork; sauté 5 minutes.
- Combine coconut milk and next 4 ingredients (coconut milk through fish sauce), stirring with a whisk. Add coconut mixture to pan; bring to a simmer. Add broccoli cover and cook 7 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in mango chutney, stirring well to combine. Garnish with green onions and serve with additional mango chutney on the side.
- 1 mango, peeled and diced
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- ¼ cup water
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- ½ Tbsp curry powder
- ½ Tbsp lime juice
- ½ tsp minced ginger
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 1/4 - 1/2 tsp red pepper (optional, depending on whether you want it to be spicy or not)
- Dash Salt
- Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer 15 – 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thick.