September 5, 2015 Leave your thoughts
So I’m a senior in high school. A SENIOR?! HUH?! It feels like just yesterday I was a pipsqueak freshman posting on yestoyummy.tumblr.com (my prehistoric blog), getting excited about not being the youngest in the school anymore. And now I’m the oldest and I drive myself to school and I’m applying to college and what how did this all happen again?!
Back in eighth and ninth grade, I used to think that I wouldn’t change in high school. And while my favorite color is still the same (purple) and I still want to study the same thing (health in the context of food and nutrition), I’ve realized lately that I’ve actually changed…a lot.
I see the world in a different way: more calmly, more graciously, more like a centered adult as opposed to an anxious teenager. My best friends now aren’t the exact same crew I rolled with at age fourteen. I have new passions, like yoga, and I’m starting to think I might want to double major in English because I love to write. I spent a month in a foreign country with someone I’ve never met before, worked on a farm for a summer, survived and loved AP Chemistry, got a stuffed jackalope (actually two), recited my first slam poem, went on my first road trip alone…
Gosh, I know I’m still Abby in there, but I do feel different. And that’s only natural.
Everyone keeps telling me that life keeps on going faster and faster from here. That’s a little terrifying but also exciting I suppose. Honestly, I’m trying to hold onto the present moment before it all slips between my fingers and I’m walking across a field with a diploma in my hand.
I think curry is the perfect savor-the-moment food. Yes, it takes a while to prepare, but when you sit down to eat it, you truly enjoy the complexity of all of those flavors you so carefully put together.
I was inspired to make this by a Thai restaurant near my house where my good friend Chloe and I frequent when we get the chance. They have this AMAZING curry with crispy duck and pineapple, and it’s super spicy and finger-licking delicious.
To put my own spin on our usual favorite, I decided to use pork shoulder, which has a nice balance between meat and fat to keep it flavorful without biting into pure grease. I also boiled the meat to make it as tender as possible, then roasted it for a bonus crunch. The pork alone is insanely good, but in the curry it’s the BOMB.
I’m warning you now: there are a LOT of ingredients in the curry, but really, it’s not too difficult to make. Basically all you’re doing is throwing a bunch of stuff in a pot. I think you can do that.
I also fell in love with cilantro for some reason this summer so I put a boatload of the green stuff in my personal curry. If you aren’t a fan, feel free to scale it back or remove it altogether. I won’t judge you. Promise.
Get ready to have your tastebuds blown out of the water.
Yield 6-8 servings
3 lb of boneless pork shoulder, cut into approx 1 1/2-inch cubes
4 cloves of garlic (whole) + 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon of salt + more to taste
1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil
2 red onions, chopped roughly
8 ounces of mushrooms, sliced
2 bell peppers, seeded and chopped roughly
1 large tomato, chopped roughly
1 cup of pineapple chunks (or more if you’d like)
2 teaspoons of ginger, minced
3-4 tablespoons of red curry paste
1 tablespoon of honey
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
1 14-ounce can of full-fat coconut milk
1 cup of water or broth
1/2-1 cup of cilantro, roughly chopped (I love cilantro so I put a bunch in)
Put the pork cubes in a huge pot and add the whole garlic cloves, tablespoon of salt, and a whole bunch of water. Bring everything to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, and let the pork cook until fork-tender, abut an hour and a half.
Once the pork is tender, remove it from the pot and pat it dry with paper towels. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and lightly grease a baking sheet. Place the pork cubes on the baking sheet, sprinkle them with salt, and roast until crispy, about 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside.
Heat up the coconut oil in a large, deep pot over medium heat. Add the red onions and saute until beginning to become translucent, about 5 minutes, then add the mushrooms and peppers and saute for 3 minutes longer. Add the chopped tomato and pineapple and cook for another minute.
Scoop in the crushed garlic, minced ginger, red curry paste, honey, and tomato paste and stir well to completely cover the vegetables and pineapple. Sprinkle with salt and add the coconut milk and water and bring to a boil.
Once bubbling, reduce the heat to low, add the roasted pork chunks, and cover the pot with a lid. Cook until the sauce thickens slightly, about 15 to 20 minutes, then taste and add more salt/honey/curry paste as necessary. Right before eating, stir in the cilantro and garnish the top with some extra leaves. Serve hot over rice.
What is your favorite spicy food? Leave me a comment here or on Facebook and let me know! 🙂