Maple Peppercorn Roast
This drop-dead easy dish is a lifesaver for dinner parties; one of those that can be prepared in under 10 minutes (not including cooking time), and knocks the socks off of dinner guests. It's also perfect for the slow cooker!
You will need:
About one cup of *real* MAPLE syrup
Three tablespoons of peppercorns
Liquid beef stock, about 2 cups
A pot roast, unfrozen
Pre-heat your oven to 250 fahrenheit.
Crack the peppercorns in a mortar and pestle, or else a pepper mill. If using a slow cooker, use only 2 tablespoons worth of peppercorns instead of three.
In a cover-able roasting pot, put the roast down and then add beef stock. Sprinkle the cracked peppercorns over the roast; then pour the maple syrup overtop.
Cook for about 6-8 hours, depending on weight of roast (8-10 hours in a slow cooker on Low), turning over once halfway through cooking time to ensure the top won't dry out.
Serve the roast with mashed potatoes, and retain the contents of the pot as a terrific jus for the potatoes!
Thai Turkey Curry
This unusual dish is a flavorful fusion of cuisine between north america and Thailand. Turkey imparts a much more savory flavor to the curry than chicken will. Note that, if you don't want to use turkey, pretty much any possible meat can be substituted and you'll still end up with a delicious curry.
Note that for any Thai curry pre-preparation is important. The important part of cooking a curry happens in under five minutes, and *every* ingredient has to be ready to go instantly; so ensure all cans are shaken and opened, all ingredients chopped and measured and prepared, etc.
2 lbs. or so of turkey breast, boneless, cut into suitable size. Smaller is probably better.
2 cans of coconut milk, shaken well.
2 limes, fresh. (or if you're really hard up, use 3/4 cup of lime juice)
2 tbsp. sugar
1/3rd cup Mae Ploy yellow curry paste (available at most any asian food store)
1/3rd cup vegetable or canola oil
Note that there are many optional ingredients you can add that help the flavor a very great deal: a few lime leaves, a tablespoon or two of minced lemongrass, a handful of peanuts, a tablespoon of Nuoc Nam (fermented fish sauce), some bamboo shoots, a few leaves of fresh sweet basil (a BIG difference in flavor!), etc. Like the ingredients above, whatever you choose to go into your curry, make sure it's ready to go at the appropriate time.
First, open all canned goods.
Mix your curry paste and oil in a small bowl; don't worry if it won't mix well, just so long as it is somewhat mixed.
Cut and quarter your limes. If you like, peel them entirely, but this isn't necessary.
Shake your coconut milk VERY well; open it. If it's still seperated into cream and milk, stir it a bit. This isn't a big deal, but it helps.
Uncap all bottles you'll be using, etc.
Oil and heat your wok until a drop of water skitters and dances along the bottom before evaporating. At this point, toss in the meat, and the oil/curry paste mixture. If you're using the Nuoc Nam (smelly fish sauce), add a tablespoon or so of this too. If you're using peanuts in this recipe, go ahead and add those as well.
Stirfry the meat in the oil/curry paste mixture until the meat is cooked; keep stirring often, and lift the wok from the heat if your curry is risking burning on the bottom. Burnt curry is bitter curry, and no-one wants that.
Once the meat is cooked, in drips and draps, add your coconut milk and lime juice. If using lime quarters, squeeze the lime juice out overtop the wok. ALWAYS ADD INGREDIENTS FROM THE OUTSIDE OF THE WOK; circle your curry with the new ingredients, don't just drop them in the middle. The idea is to keep the curry simmering throughout. Never add more that 1/3rd of a cup of ingredients at a time; keep switching between the coconut milk and lime juice as you stir and cook. Add the sugar about mid-way through.
Continue to add your ingredients to the curry until all the coconut milk and lime juice is added. Turn the heat down to medium-low, and allow the curry to simmer down to the consistency you like. Add any remaining optional ingredients at this point; any vegetables you add should be
Serve with rice and cucumber slices. This curry is only moderately spicy; most guests shouldn't have a problem with the spice level of it.
More to come!
Oh, and if it hasn't already been mentioned here or there, fursthatcook could no doubt help out in this project.