Saturday, October 2, 2010

Weekend Cooking: Coconut and Beef Curry with Noodles

It had to happen sooner or later. Every recipe from Martha Stewart's Everyday FOOD cookbook and magazine has been a success. Our experience last week, while not exactly a failure, yielded a dinner receiving less than stellar reviews.

This was my first experience cooking rice noodles 'pasta style'. The directions directed me to run them under cold water to stop the cooking. Unfortunately, the noodles then became a little too cool. Strike one.

The recipe called for one tablespoon of Thai red curry paste, but the dish seemed very bland to all of us (and we're not generally fans of spicy food). Maybe curry pastes come in different strengths? Next time I'll add more. Strike two.

Since there wasn't a third strike, and the dish was attractive and easy to prepare, we'll make a few adjustments and give this another shot.

I found and almost identical recipe on TasteBook. Martha's recipe from Everyday FOOD: Fresh Flavor Fast called for lime juice instead of lemon and specifies that the coconut milk be unsweetened. Have you tried recipes similar to this one?

Coconut Beef Curry with Noodles

Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 lb. beef sirloin, cut into thin 2-inch strips
1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced lengthwise
1 Tbsp. Thai red curry paste
1 can (14 oz.) coconut milk
1 c. packed fresh basil leaves
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
8 oz. angel-hair pasta

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. oil over medium-high. Season beef with salt and pepper; add half the beef to the skillet. Cook, without stirring, until browned on one side, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate (meat will cook more later), and repeat with remaining beef. Set beef aside, reserving skillet.

Add onion, bell peppers, and ¼ c. water to skillet; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add curry paste; cook, scraping bottom of skillet, 1 minute.

Return beef to skillet, with any accumulated juices, and add coconut milk. Simmer until sauce thickens slightly, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in basil and lemon juice, and season curry with salt and pepper.

Add pasta to boiling water, and cook until al dente, according to package instructions; drain. Serve beef curry over pasta.

Weekend Cooking is hosted at Beth Fish Reads. Find more posts here.


leeswammes said...

Looks nice! I love Thai curries, but haven't made one for a little while. Must make one again soon!

Here in the Netherlands we have Thai curry paste in two strengths I think, there's green curry paste and red, and one of them is stronger than the other (I think green is stronger). We always use red, though and it's strong enough. One tablespoon of it would probably be enough.

Beth F said...

The red curry paste I get around here at the grocery store comes in medium and strong. I usually use 2 tablespoons of medium to get a nice spicy flavor.

I haven't worked much with rice noodles so I don't have any advice there. The dish definitely looks pretty.

Margot said...

I'm not going to be of much help here either as I've only made one Thai dish in my life. It was quite yummy and I should make it again now that I'm thinking about it. Better luck next time.

Sandy Nawrot said...

I've only made rice noodles with stir fry, but why not like this? This actually sounds really good, maybe with a few changes for an amped up flavor.

mel u said...

this sounds very much like a Filipino dish also-one simple way to make an awesome chicken is to put a peeled mango in the core of a whole chicken then herb and spice it and thinly cover with hoison sauce and bake it-the smell of the chicken cooking is awesome-a simple Filipino recipe

caite said...

well, sometimes a recipe needs a little work, but basically it sounds good. now cooking rice noodles is something I know nothing about.

Staci said...

I've never made any of the recipes but I've drooled over quite a few. Thanks for the heads up with the rice noodles and your dish does look good!

bermudaonion said...

Too bad it wasn't that tasty, because it sure looks good.

JoAnn said...

Leeswammes - Thai foods have been popular around our house lately, but I've never used curry paste before. Will check and see if we have both red and green available here.

Beth F - I definitely need to investigate curry pastes a little more thoroughly! Will use 2 tablespoons next time I try this dish.

Sandy - All sorts of firsts for me with this recipe... both the curry paste and rice noodles. Will just have to learn as I go!

Mel U - That sounds just delicious! I'm going to try it next time I roast a chicken. Thanks.

Caite - This recipe has good potential, so I'm going to experiment a little more.

Staci - I have had great luck with Martha's recipes, so I'm not going to give up on this one just yet.

Bermudaonion - LOL! That photo was the best part of the meal... hopefully next time it will have a little more taste.

Heather said...

It certainly does look good.

Yes, curry pastes are all different in their spiciness.

And rice noodles, they are so tasteless that they totally rely on the sauce for flavouring. I use them in pad thai and lots of flavour is definitely better.

JoAnn said...

Thanks, Heather! Who would've thought I could learn so much from one recipe disappointment. This will definitely taste better next time.