At breakfast today I got Skyped by my favorite cooking teacher of all time who is halfway around the world. Brock had recently contacted me to confirm the dog food recipe since he and his partner have adopted an adorable Thai dog. We agreed to have (decaf) coffee via Skype.
After meeting the new puppy (at 35 pounds she could be hoisted up in front of the camera) and hearing about Brock’s job in a Bangkok bagel bakery and catching up on a few other people we met in Thailand, our thoughts turned to food and I learned about “jungle curry”, his latest discovery.
He gave me a very quick run-through, which left me with no quantities but enough of an idea of the ingredients to want to give it a try. The interesting thing about this curry is the lack of coconut milk, which certainly contributes a lot of calories to most Thai food and sometimes overwhelms the delicate flavors of other ingredients.
I Googled and found this recipe, which was close enough for a first attempt. To it I added Thai basil (from my deck herb garden) in the curry paste and thinly sliced beef tenderloin. I kindly reduced the number of red chilies in deference to my husband’s aversion to spicy food. (Leave them in if you make it!)
My only regret was the lack of fresh galangal (wish I had used ginger instead) and kaffir lime leaves. I can probably solve both of those for another go at this with the rest of the curry paste.
All in all, it was quite delicious and very pretty to look at. The fresh cilantro leaves used as a garnish worked well.
I suggested that Brock consider cooking instruction via Skype. If Temple Micah can teach Hebrew via Skype, why not Thai cooking from Thailand, where there is never a shortage of anything other than perhaps good dog food?