Monday, May 25, 2009

Prawn and Bacon Curry

I mean really, just what DOESN'T go well with bacon? You can do loads of different dishes with bacon. Ahhhhh, the humble pig; Mother Nature's gift to the culinary world.

Don't worry about me abandoning the cheesy goodness, I'll be back with a How To Make Awesomely Good Feta Cheese soon --complete with pictures. But I've been told by the clan that I'd better write this one down cus they are going to want it again.

See, when I make curries I usually make them with whatever I can find in the pantry. They always come out great, but every once in a while one stands out. Two nights ago was a "once in a while" curry.

Note about the prawns (shrimp): I used already peeled and cooked prawns cus that's all I had at the time. Feel free to use fresh ones, no worries. Just make sure you keep the shells, tails, and heads as they make a very flavourful seafood stock when boiled and strained.

Feel free to use lemon grass or kaffir lime leaves if you'd like, they should go in at the same time you add the garlic. Speaking of the garlic, I used jarred, prepared, minced garlic as I was out of fresh garlic heads.

Alright, I've blathered enough! Let's get cookin'!

Prawn and Bacon Curry

What you need:

Prep wok-ing:
5 or 6 large rashers of bacon, diced (for you US'ns that'd be about half a pound of bacon strips chopped up)

For the initial wok-ing:
bacon fat (see above)
1 small onion, minced
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp tamarind paste
2 tbsp Tom Yum paste
1 small red capsicum (bell pepper), minced
1 small can (225 grams around 8 oz) whole water chestnuts

For the prawn part:
350 grams (3/4 of a pound) of shelled, deveined, de-tailed, small prawns (think cocktail shrimp size)
1/4 cup cornflour (called cornstarch in the US)
2 tsp curry powder --I used Clive of India, but any good one will do
1 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp cinnamon powder
2 tbsp olive oil

For the cookin' part:
1 can (400 mls or 13 oz) coconut milk or coconut cream (whichever is in your pantry)
1/2 cup cream
semi-cooked bacon pieces from prep wok-ing

For the serving part:
Bed of cooked, white, long-grained rice (I used jasmine)
1 cup of greek yoghurt

Yeah I know, seems like a long list. You'll be happy that I broke it up into sections though, makes the instructions very easy to follow.

What you do:

Start with the bacon in the prep wok-ing section. Toss the cut up bacon into a large wok and cook on low heat till the bacon is about halfway cooked --you don't want it to be crispy. Take the semi-cooked bacon pieces out of the wok, but leave the bacon fat in the wok.

Next add the minced onion to the wok and cook in the bacon fat for a minute or 2 on medium-low heat. Then add the next four ingredients in the "initial wok-ing" section. Give it a good stir. Once it starts to really sizzle (and smell OH SO GOOD!), add the water chestnuts plus the water from the can they were in. Give it a good stir.

While the can water is cooking down (it'll only take a minute) you get to do the prawn part! Put the prawns in a large bowl and then add everything from the "prawn part" section. Toss to coat everything evenly.

By the time you take the bowl with the coated prawns over to the sizzling wok the water should have cooked down. Add the olive oil and then add the prawns to the wok (which is smelling really good by now). Stir and toss and then turn the heat up for a minute.

Add the coconut cream, the cream, and the semi-cooked bacon pieces. Give it a good stir to combine, turn the heat to low and simmer for 5 or 10 mins. Stir it every now and then.

Serve it over a bed of the cooked long grain white rice, and each plate gets a dollop of greek yoghurt on the top of the curry.

Why? Well, this could be a bit hot for some folks and the yoghurt takes care of the heat but you still get the flavours.

Some people will think this isn't hot enough! If you're one of those folks who likes your curries really hot, then double the amount of Tom Yum paste and add a few chopped up thai chilli peppers at the time you add the garlic. That'll be guaranteed to clear the sinuses!


Suzer said...

I've just bought my 1st book of Indian curries, although the one I made this weekend wasn't fantastic so I may need to try this.

Alaskan Dave Down Under said...

Curries are fun and easy to make. I tend to go more for the southeast asian types but the Indian ones are just as good.

Once you've made a few and gotten a feel for the various spices and how they are used you'll start making your own without a recipe.