Simple and Versatile Thai Curry

I am a huge fan of simple, delicious meals that are easy to make a ton of and make great left overs, aiding in that endless quest for more time during the business of life. Of the various meals I make with the intent of eating a few times throughout the week and freezing a portion of for later, Thai curry is one that stands out from the crowd due to the fact that it gets even better with time. It’s great the day you make it and even better a few days later, when the spices have had time to seep into the coconut milk and become more rich and complex.

Thai curry is also a favorite because of its versatility – almost any vegetable that’s in season and available at the farmer’s market will fit in nicely, and you can even rely on it in winter when we’ve got little more that potatoes and carrots lining the tables of the winter markets. You barely need a plan when going into it, and the only thing you really need to worry about is buying the right amount of cans of coconut milk for how much you want to make. And, of course, that you have some Thai Red Curry Powder on hand. This is a great seasoning with medium heat, and it’s the only thing I use in my curry recipe other than a generous helping of salt at the end (for things like this I like some good old standard Kosher salt).

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Last Salad of Summer

Though the days remain muggy and blistering, the nights are cooling off and the sun is setting earlier – we are in the twilight of summer. Soon the city will be a crisp swirl of colored leaves and we’ll be making up for the lack of warmth with fires and hot drinks – but until then, I’ll be making this salad multiple times a week, a salad I call the last salad of summer.

Summer Salad

I’ve written before about my obsession with local, in-season tomatoes, and you can bet that I’ll be buying them from the farmer’s markets up until the very end of their all-too-short season. This salad recipe is simple – when you have flavors this good, there’s not much need for anything flashy.

This salad is raw, vegetarian, and vegan if you don’t include the cheese. Give it some variety by throwing in other vegetables you have on hand – half of a shredded carrot, small cubes of summer squash varieties, and bit of cubed onion, for example, would all be great additions.

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Made in Wisconsin: Black Garlic

In the world of spices, brand new products don’t come along very often. That’s why we at The Spice House were so excited when black garlic started gaining popularity around 2010.

Black Garlic BulbThough there are some conflicting stories, most people agree that black garlic was invented between 2004 and 2009, based on a Korean technique for preserving garlic. Though it was originally billed as a health supplement, the delicious flavor of black garlic has made it popular as a gourmet ingredient around the world. Continue reading

Healthy Dinner for Two, Kale and Soy Glazed Shiitake Sushi

The trendy superfood, Kale, served as a romantic Japanese inspired dinner for two.

The trendy superfood, Kale, served as a romantic Japanese inspired dinner for two.

I have long enjoyed a lesser-known kind of sushi called battera, it is rarely seen in the States, even at the most traditional of sushi restaurants.  This sushi is comprised of sushi rice, densely pressed into a square wooden form. A layer of rice is pressed down, and then a layer of Japanese mint leaves are placed on top. This is followed with a second layer of rice, pressed, then a layer of salty mackerel and finally topped with sweet pickled kelp. The whole lot is pressed one last time and then cut into rectangular pieces, approximately one inch wide by three inches long. This sushi is  to be eaten in two bites, unlike most maki or nigiri. Each bite of battera fills ones mouth with sweet sticky rice, expanding as one chews. The salty mackerel dances in a sea of rice, perfectly complimented by the sharp mint. I’ve used this experience as an inspiration for the following recipe, featuring soy-glazed shiitake and blanched kale.  Continue reading