a couple of days ago we were trying to decide what to make for dinner. i don't know what put the idea in his head but kris said "we should make a curry!" i was flipping through the latest bon appetit and - ta da! - panang tofu curry greeted me on page 82. it was meant to be. it was an easy recipe to make, a just-some-chopping-throw-it-in-a-pot-let-it-do-it's-thing kind of recipe. we made a few little tweaks that i've noted below.
panang tofu curry
(from bon appetit, february 2009)
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
2 tablespoons finely grated peeled ginger
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 cup organic peanut butter
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon hot chili paste*
1 cup water
1 can light coconut milk (14-ish ounces)
3 kaffir lime leaves or 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice and 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lime peel (we went the lime juice/peel route)
1 tablespoon (firmly packed) golden brown sugar
2 14-ounce packages firm tofu, drained, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 1/2 cups thick carrot slices**
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. add shallots, ginger and garlic; cook until shallots are tender (about 6 minutes).
add peanut butter, turmeric, cumin and chili paste, stir until fragrant (1 to 2 minutes).
whisk in 1 cup water then coconut milk, lime leaves/juice/peel, and brown sugar and bring to simmer. season with salt.
add tofu, carrots/eggplant and bell pepper; simmer over medium heat until carrots/eggplant are tender, adjusting heat to medium-low if beginning to boil and occasionally stirring gently, about 20 minutes. season to taste with salt.
the magazine photo has this served over rice but we had already had a very rice-y week and decided to plop in on top of a bed of steamed kale instead. it was a yummy, slightly lighter, way to enjoy.
*we didn't, or thought we didn't, have any chili paste and didn't see any at the grocery store so we just used red curry paste and added a pinch cayenne for heat. a couple days later while searching for something in the fridge we found a big ol' tub of chili paste that our neighbors gave us when they moved. perhaps we should organize the fridge more often. perhaps i shouldn't mess it up when kris does organize it so nicely.
**i am not a fan of cooked carrots and used one chinese eggplant instead. sliced. delicious.