Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Three Kinds of Men in the World

Meal: Thai Red Prawn Curry, Jasmine Rice, Cucumber Salad and Papaya Platter

So the whole thing is... we don't have any jasmine flowers (even though they are a weed in many people's garden... our garden is, of course, totally weed-free and a model of urban green space) so Lou came up with the inspired idea of infusing some lemongrass into basmati rice instead. Not really 'homemade jasmine rice' but never mind.  Also, it turned out that the curry paste (that I TOTALLY made from scratch!) was pretty strong and it may not have mattered if I had infused the rice with diesel... you couldn't taste it.  There was, however, a brief moment (before the other spices and hacked bits from our herb garden [actually and truly weed-free]) weren't dominating the kitchen and the rice smelt quite fragrant as it cooked. Result.

Now, at this point, I feel it is important to clarify that there are only three kinds of men in the world.  Those who eat prawns and love them, those who tolerate prawns (in the same way that you tolerate third formers when you reach the lofty heights of 6th form)  and those who believe that prawns are nature's plughole - collecting foul cast offs in the kitchen sink of life as they hover about sewer outlets in Taiwan, treading water with their mouths open. I am, as luck would have it, a man who quite likes them.  You won't ever hear me banging on about how much I like them (I didn't say that I trust them), but like them, I do.  The curry paste (that I made from scratch - did I mention that?!) was tossed into a hot frying pan with 1/2 the prawns and then baked for about 10 mins in a hot oven - they were crispy and delicious.  The other 1/2 prawns were softened alongside a boat load of snow peas also in said curry paste with an obscene amount of coconut milk.  I really enjoyed it and would like to make it again.

Cucumber salad:  lovely... but 3 tablespoons of oil Jamie? Really? I'll use a telegraph cucumber next time (Wife interjects here to say that it WAS a telegraph cucumber and even the receipt said so). No good. Can't hear you...

I substituted quite a few things out because they weren't in season here in NZ.  I secretly wish that papaya was out of season because, well, it kind of tastes like feet.  The lime zest mixed with plain greek yoghurt played against the mint leaves, pawpaw and banana fairly.  At the end of the day, it felt like a refreshing dessert.  And I would never talk about how bloated I was on the internet (even if I was... and i didn't say I was...) because that's how common people behave. 

In summary, I am left feeling satisfied and pleased with my travail in the kitchen this evening.
I leave you, fellow charlatans, no longer a "make curry paste from scratch" virgin.  How exhilarating!

Time Taken: 61 mins
(lots of distractions tonight though; little boys, neighbours, wife fussing about 'the right platter', elusive coriander etc)
Cost: $24.36
Chef: Blair

Baked Tiger Prawns - the highlight.
Could've tripled the quantity as
the recipe only suggested 8.

Cucumber Salad before the toss

Thai Red Prawn Curry with Snow Peas

Papaya Platter - A Refreshing End.


  1. Oh Blair, papaya-feet?? You made me LOL. Very impressed with your curry paste from scratch...yay you.

  2. Blair Blair LouLou! Love this concept, so Julie/Julia! Love hearing your voice coming through the writing, 'So the whole thing is......' I wanna come to your place for dins!
    Jo (Hockers) Cardiff

  3. Feet!!! You're so right! That's what it is!
    You are inspiring!