It’s that time of the year again when I treat everyone to a festive meal with a modern Thai twist. I love cooking with local/seasonal ingredients that are abundantly available in markets and online shops, like Farmdrop.
From Butternut to Turkey; Swede to Goose, there’s something for everyone this Christmas.
BUTTERNUT RED CURRY
This is one of Rosa’s most popular dishes – our customers absolutely love it! It’s really easy to replicate at home and offers a great vegetarian alternative (if you opt out the fish sauce). It’s also a great way to use your carved pumpkin meat and turn it into something delicious! Many traditional Thai curries are cooked with coconut milk. This gives a thin, almost soupy consistency but that doesn’t mean a lack of flavour. With the right aromatics in the right quantities, a thin curry can taste just as intense as a thick one.
In a pan, bring 50ml of coconut milk to a boil over a medium heat. Add the curry paste and cook until the red oil splits and rises to the surface. Then add the chopped butternut and cook on low/simmering heat until tender. Add the remaining coconut milk. Season with fish sauce and palm sugar to create a slightly salty but well-balanced taste.
When it boils again, add the Kaffir lime leaves and spur chillies. Turn off the heat and add the sweet basil leaves. Ladle into a serving bowl and garnish with more fresh chillies and coriander, if preferred.
ROSA’S TURKEY GREEN CURRY
This is our star dish for Autumn-Winter Seasonal Menu at Rosa’s Thai Cafe. The inspiration came from when I was first moved to the UK, and noticed that there’s always loads of turkey meat leftover after Christmas dinner. Most people turn it into sandwiches the next day, but as I’m not a big fan of sandwiches, something Thai was the more obvious choice. Consequently, this green curry was not what I was used to, but it turned out to be the best I had ever made!
Green Curry Paste makes 150ml (¼ pint)
Finely grind the salt and chillies together using a mortar and pestle or a food processor. When you have a smooth paste, add the galangal, lemongrass, lime zest and coriander roots. Grind or blend well, then add the shallots, garlic, shrimp paste, ground seeds and peppercorns. Blend or grind to a smooth paste.
This curry paste will keep in the refrigerator for 4–8 weeks if stored in an airtight container, and for up to 6 months in the freezer.
Heat the oil in a saucepan over a high heat and add the curry paste. Stir-fry for 10 seconds until it is fragrant. Reduce the heat to medium and add half the coconut milk. Cook for about 2 minutes until the green oil splits and rises to the surface. Now add the remaining coconut milk. Add the palm sugar and the fish sauce, then season with a pinch of salt. Stir in the lime leaves and add the turkey to the pan. Add the pea aubergines, Thai aubergines and the bamboo shoots. Cook over a medium heat for 5–7 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Stir in the basil leaves.
Ladle into serving bowls, garnish each one with some sliced chilli and a sprig of basil and serve with steamed rice.
Shop Your Ingredients:
SWEDE SALAD WITH THAI DRESSING
When I lived in Jersey, there was only one Chinese shop that sold oriental produce. I had to order in papaya, which this dish is usually made with. That option was very expensive and the order would take around a month to arrive, so I often made do with the local produce, and swede worked a treat in this dish. It’s available in abundance throughout the colder months. If you are feeling adventurous, chop up a packet of lightly smoked salmon and add it to the mix.
First make the dressing by mixing all the ingredients for it in a small bowl.
Put all the remaining ingredients in a salad bowl, pour over the dressing, mix well and enjoy!
Shop Your Ingredients:
Organic Rainbow Carrots
Organic Red Onion
Bird’s Eye Chilies
Wild Smoked Salmon
GOOSE STEWED IN GRAVY SOUP
In Thailand, storing perishable goods such as raw meat was hard work if you didn’t have a refrigerator. We would often cook the meat in this flavoursome homemade Thai gravy or broth. If we didn’t finish it, we would reheat for the next day. The meat became even more tender, and the broth even tastier, as they both continued to absorb one another’s flavour. This is the perfect warming dish, using seasonal poultry, as an alternative to a traditional roast meal.
Put the measurement water into a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the goose and Thai celery root and leave to simmer for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, set a wok over a medium-low heat. When it is hot, add the sugar and stir for about 1 minute until it becomes brown. Add the sugar to the goose mixture.
Pour 1 tablespoon of the oil into the wok, then add the garlic, white pepper, cinnamon and star anise. Stir-fry for 30 seconds, then add to the goose back in.
Pour the remaining oil into the wok, add the tofu and stir-fry over a medium heat until golden-brown. Stir in the oyster sauce, soy sauces and salt, and leave to simmer for about 20 minutes until the meat is tender.
Remove the goose from the pan and slice thinly. Place it in a serving bowl, add the eggs and pour over some of the broth.
Serve hot with jasmine rice and spinach.