Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Eggplant & Zucchini Curry with Rice Noodles

Where there is pressure--from too much going on, various disappointments, frustrations in life--inspiration tends to disappear.

My announcement that I was taking August off from foodblogging was my way of releasing some of that life pressure. I can't do a whole lot more to try to force my body to conceive, and I can't do anything when the break line on our pickup breaks--but when the heat is on, you have to look at other ways to simplify life so that those bigger stressors don't weight quite as much.

Thanks for understanding my need for a hiatus.

It only took a few days after that announcement for foodie inspiration to return.

First there was the friend, on her yearly visit from the U.A.E., who brought me a gift of gorgeous almond-stuffed medjool dates. Nothing could have been more perfect--and I'm saving them for just the right moment to break into them. (If only because when I do I'm certain I will snarf them in record time--it would be better to share them with friends!)

Then another dear, generous friend, having found irrisistible sales at a farm stand while on a road trip, showed up with bags and bags of veggies to share. Corn on the cob, zucchini and local cucumbers were in abundance at my house--and such things just c
an't be ignored, can they? You have to use them up before they go to waste.

You know how much I detest food waste.

Finally, my own farmer's market gave me more lovely produce to round out what I already had: slender Japanese eggplants, stalks of lemongrass and tomatoes still warm from the vine. Who could resist? And what could I do but make a vegetarian curry?

Now I was going to call this "Thai-Inspired," because that's what I was going for--but I discovered that my brother's Lao/Thai sister-in-law tasted my curry (I send leftovers over there when it's something I know Mr.W won't eat) and pronounced it more Indian in flavor. Perhaps it's because I used curry powder instead of a proper curry paste. Whatever the reason, it was good, and my brother--and even his sister-in-law--enjoyed it. I hope you will, too.

Eggplant & Zucchini Curry with Rice Noodles
serves 2

In a large saute pan or "chicken fryer" pan set over a medium flame, saute in olive oil:

2 japanese eggplant, chopped (I left the peel on)

1 zucchini, chopped (again, peel on)
salt and pepper

When the veggies start to get soft, add:

4-inch piece of lemongrass

2 or 3 slices of ginger (straight from my freezer; I didn't bother to peel it)

2 teaspoons curry powder (I purchase this from my local asian market)

14-ounce can lite coconut milk

1/3 cup vegetable broth (made from my favorite bullion/base paste... yes, I cheated)

Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Taste broth and correct seasoning as needed with more salt, curry powder and cayenne if desired. (I added 1/4 teaspoon cayenne here.) Simmer on low until veggies are very tender; add:

1 chopped tomato

about 2-1/2 ounces dry rice noodles (you may elect to follow package directions and pre-soak the noodles, but I just tossed them in--it worked fine, and fewer steps for me)

Simmer until noodles are soft. Serve hot.


Kathy said...

Welcome back! That sounds delicious. I have some red Thai curry paste in my fridge and coconut milk in the pantry, plus lots of zucchini needing to be cooked this week....

Amanda said...

Thanks, Kathy. You should definitely make this with all of that on hand! It would be great over rice, too.

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