forum: Food & Drink

#1 Mon 05 Feb 07 5:16pm


Member since Mon 18 Sep 06

inspiration required...PLEASE

Looking to cook really gorgeous romantic meal for Valentines day for my bfriend.  Can anyone help with some inspiration??

Generally we like spicy food, tried Jamie oliers curry which is awesome!!

Was thinking a thai red curry or something of like.

Any help gratefully received,

L x help

Last edited by lmcgilp (Mon 05 Feb 07 5:43pm)

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#2 Mon 05 Feb 07 7:02pm


Forum champ
From Germany
Member since Mon 13 Mar 06

Re: inspiration required...PLEASE

I think the curry is a wonderful idea. If you are looking for interesting twists look into Stephanie's Silk Road thread (it may have gone to page 2 as Steph's been busy, but it's the one with bazillions of posts). My hubby loves her Kung Pao (sp?), but she has lots of other wonderful recipes in there.

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#3 Mon 05 Feb 07 8:33pm


From England
Member since Sun 01 Jan 06

Re: inspiration required...PLEASE

This is my favourite Thai red curry recipe - and I swear it is unbeatable (and that's not a claim I make about anything else I make!)

First you'll need to make the red paste (don't buy it in the shops - this is far far far better)

8 long dried red chillis
1 tsp ground coriander seed
1/2 tsp ground cumin seed
1 tsp ground white pepper
2 tbsp chopped garlic
2 lemon grass stalks (finely chopped)
3 corriander roots (chopped)
1 tsp chopped lime leaves (or a tsp kaffir lime skin) - I've never managed to find kaffir lime, but chopped lime leaves should be available in a Chinese or Thai supermarket
1 inch piece of galangal (again, you should be able to get it in the Chinese supermarket)
2 tsp shrimp paste (sounds gross, smells disgusting, looks nasty - but when you cook it, it adds the most delicious, rich, warm flavour to the curry - don't be tempted to leave it out)
1 tsp.

Bash it all together in a blender or pestle and mortar. This serves two, but the portions are pretty small - its fairly adaptable if you want to add a bit extra here and there to suit your taste.

For the duck curry

You'll need

garlic clove
1 tsp coriander root (chopped)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp fish sauce
1/2 tsp granulated sugar
6 oz duck breast

(Combine all the marinade ingredients, marinade the duck for at least an hour)

2 tbsp veg oil
2 garlic cloves
1 generous tbsp curry paste (the rest can be frozen into portions for use later)
225ml coconut milk (plus 2 tbsp for later)
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp granulated sugar
3 tablespoons pineapple chunks
small handful of cherry tomatoes (You can half them if you like, or leave them whole - I like to leave them whole so they pop in your mouth - but whatever your personal taste is)
small handful of grapes
generous handful of basil leaves (preferably Thai basil - again, you can get it in oriental supermarkets)
1 large fresh red chilli (sliced)

Grill the duck breasts for 5 minutes on each side until seared, then slice diagonally and set aside. (A while back, I found some mini gressingham duck fillets in the supermarket for half price - absolute bargain, so I just dry fried them lightly in the marinade - it was really nice. We didn't get the duck fat as you do around the breast, but personally I'm not a big fan.)

Then you want to heat the oil in a wok, fry the garlic until golden brough, then add the curry paste, stir it around and then add the coconut milk a little at a time and bring to the boil.

Then turn the heat down to a simmer and add the fish sauce and sugar, simmer and then add the duck slices

Cook lightly until the duck is to your liking. Personally, I'm not a fan of pink duck, so let it cook through. It stays pretty tender in the sauce. If you like your's pink, that's great.

Then stir in the pineapple, cherry tomatoes and grapes and simmer gently for a minute. Then toss in the basil leaves and chilli, stir and serve with steamed jasmine rice.


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#4 Fri 09 Feb 07 7:22am


Forum champ
From Sydney, Australia
Member since Tue 22 Jun 04

Re: inspiration required...PLEASE

Thai red curry

2 tablespoons canola or peanut oil
1 onion—finely chopped
2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste 
2 cloves garlic—finely chopped
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 zucchini (courgette)—sliced into thin rounds
1 red pepper (capsicum)—julienned
1 cup Jasmine rice
12 oz (360g) uncooked skinless chicken breast fillets—cut into bite-sized pieces
2 tablespoons cornstarch (cornflour) mixed to a paste with 2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 large fresh basil leaves—finely sliced

HEAT the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat and cook the onion for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. ADD the curry paste and garlic and cook, stirring, for a minute. ADD the coconut milk, stock, fish sauce, sugar and salt, then bring to the boil. ADD the red pepper and zucchini, cover with a lid, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 12 minutes. WHILE the curry simmers, cook the rice. ADD the chicken to the curry and simmer, covered, for a further 8 minutes. ADD the cornstarch paste and stir continuously until the curry thickens, then stir in the lemon juice and basil. SERVE on a bed of rice.

Traditional Red Curry

25-30 dried hot red chile peppers
1 tbsp sea salt
4 cloves garlic, peeled
2-3 stalks of fresh lemon grass
2 1/2-3 tbsp shrimp paste ("ka-pee" in Thai)
1/4 inch piece fresh tumeric or 1/8 tsp. dried tumeric
Buy a granite mortar & pestle for this recipe In the mortar and pestle or electric blender, grind together the dried chiles and salt. Allow at least 20 minutes by hand, or a couple of minutes with a blender. It should be smooth with just a hint of chile pieces. Add the garlic cloves and pound until smooth.

Cut off the very root end of the lemon grass. Remove outer leaves and discard. Cut the lemon grass crosswise into 1/8-inch pieces with a very sharp knife. Add to the ground chiles, along with the tumeric. Grind again until smooth. Your arm will tire, so take a break.

Last of all, add the shrimp paste and blend together, mashing it into the chilies gently if you are using the mortar and pestle.

Preparing the Dish

1 lb of pork riblets (excellent); or 3/4 lb. fresh pork with some fat (cut into approx. 1x1/2x1/8 inch pieces)
1 small pumpkin or kabocha squash; cut in half and peel off the rough spots with a cleaver; cut the peeled flesh into 3/4 inch cubes
2-3 tbsp fish sauce
Cook the pumpkin in boiling water to cover until al dente (still firm in the middle), about 4 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Pour the coconut milk into a medium-sized pot. Add the curry paste to and stir to blend. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the pork. Boil 3 minutes until the pork is partially cooked. Add the squash. Bring to a boil again and cook until the squash is soft, about 4 minutes. Add fish sauce to taste. Garnish with cilanto leaves if desired. Serve with Thai jasmine rice

Red Chicken Curry, "Gaeng Phed Gai"


6 ounces chicken (in smallish bite sized pieces)
half a cup of coconut milk
4 ounces Thai eggplant (small round eggplants, substitute with green peas)
5-6 kaffir lime leaves, shredded
1 tablespoon fresh Thai basil leaves
2 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon palm sugar
oil for cooking
1-3 tablespoons red curry paste


Cut the chicken up, then briefly fry the curry paste until fragrant, reduce the heat, add the coconut milk slowly, and continue to stir while cooking until a thin film of oil apppears on the surface.

Add the chicken and other ingredients except the eggplant. Bring to a boil and cook until the chicken begins to change color. Adjust the  flavors to suit yourself. When it is at a boil again add the eggplant and continue till the chicken is cooked through.

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