Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Make-ahead easy Thai curry

Photo shows the curry in its frozen state

This is a great meal that you can make ahead and freeze for an emergency dinner. Thai curry paste seems to have become a staple even in American supermarkets, which takes all the work out of making a flavorful curry. I was curious if I could freeze it while still retaining some crispness to the veggies. The solution I found was to purchase flash-frozen bagged veggies, cool the curry, mix it with the unthawed veggies, and freeze everything together like that. I also froze cauliflower "rice" (cauliflower run through the shredding disk of a food processor) in muffin tins. The texture was a bit on the mushy side, but just fine for soaking up the yummy coconut milk curry sauce.

There are plenty of possible variations on this recipe: use a different type of curry paste (I used green, red and yellow are available and make a milder dish), or vary the type of meat and/or veggies. It's hard to mess it up!

Serves 4

  • 1.5-2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts (or meat of choice), sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 can coconut milk, stirred (you can get away with using lite, but I don't particularly recommend it because the sauce will be on the watery side)
  • 4 oz Thai curry paste (I used a jar of Thai Kitchen brand green curry, which has no added sugar. Red, yellow, or green curry would all work)
  • 1 lb frozen veggie stir fry (I used Birds Eye Broccoli Stir Fry, which has no added salt, seasonings, or preservatives. Use whatever you would like!)
  • Coconut oil or other fat of choice for cooking
  1. Heat a bit of coconut oil over medium-high heat in a large, wide skillet. Add the chicken and stir-fry until no longer pink. Remove from pan and set aside.
  2. Heat more coconut oil in the skillet. Add the curry paste and stir-fry for a minute or two or until fragrant. Add the coconut milk and chicken (leaving any accumulated chicken juices out of the skillet), bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes. Let cool.
Freezing directions: When curry mixture has completely cooled, mix in the frozen veggies (unthawed). Divide among four entree-sized food containers. To serve, thaw overnight or in the microwave on the "defrost" setting (though the former is preferable). Microwave for 2 minutes on high, stir, then continue to microwave at 1 minute intervals until thoroughly heated through.

For the make-ahead cauliflower rice: Separate a raw head of cauliflower into florets, then run them through the shredding disk of a food processor. Pack it into muffin tins, pressing down with the back of a spoon. After freezing overnight, remove from muffin cups and transfer to a freezer bag. Thaw and cook the same as the curry.

To serve right away: After step 1, cook the frozen vegetables in the skillet according to package directions. Add then with the chicken in step 2. Microwave the raw cauliflower rice covered for two minutes, covered. Stir, then microwave at 1 minute intervals until cooked. Add salt to taste.


Patty said...

Love the new blog look Erica!

Ilovefetacheese said...

Making this

Nancy said...

Going to the store today for this and going to try the cauli rice and freeze that ahead. Thanks!

Erica said...

@Patty: Thanks!! I was hoping someone would notice ;)

@Ilovefetacheese: You and your curries :P

@Nancy: Hope you like it! The cauli rice is definitely about to become a freezer staple for me.

Nancy said...

Finally made this today. Froze all of it, but it smelled so good! I used the frozen bags of broc & cauli and added a red pepper to the mix. Also, used pork tenderloin as my meat. Had to grab a couple of pieces to snack on at breakfast, ha! Can't wait to have it for dinner! Thank you!

Erica said...

@Nancy: Yum, pork tenderloin sounds awesome! Glad you liked it :D

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