Saturday, January 19, 2008

Let's Thai again!

After the long, dark work week, it seemed like a good day to start off with a hike. Actually, "starting off" isn't technically correct. It was more like a "hang out for a few hours then go for a hike, then drive home really fast to take a shower so you can go to that work-related event, then leave there and drive really fast some more to meet the kids at church." At any rate, we got to spend a couple of hours at the absolutely beautiful Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area. This is a beautiful desert riparian area, and for a while, we were hiking there every weekend in preparation for our upcoming trips to San Francisco and Kauai. Things happened, though, and we haven't been for awhile. Lucky for us, the creek was still running after the rain a few weeks ago and the desert was awash in green. We took the relatively flat Metate Trail (named for the large metate left behind by the indigenous people who once lived in this area) so we could always be within earshot at least of the creek.

Tonight I'm very sore, but it was a beautiful spot to get back in touch with what's real--and to have a better picture of nature than the Ikea rock prints on my wall at work.

All that hiking made us hungry, so we eventually got to each a good dinner (although I admit to vegan Boca burgers for lunch). This is another Jack Bishop recipe--Potatoes and Chard with Green Curry Sauce. I served this over Sticky Rice, but it would have also been just fine as a stew. We really liked this recipe, also. There were gentle hints of coconut, ginger, and garlic backed by the slow burn of the green chili paste and the bright finish of lime juice and cilantro. The technique is a little different. Instead of just dumping a can of coconut milk into the pot with the other liquid, the cream is skimmed off the top when the can is opened. This is why he cautions not to use the "lite" coconut milk. The cream is reduced with the garlic and ginger infusing it with flavor. Finally, the potatoes and water are added, then left to cook until tender. Finally, ribbons of chard are added to the pot, and a few more minutes of cooking time ensues. Finally, the dish is finished with the cilantro and lime juice.

This dish makes plenty, and I suspect the leftovers will be out of this world after the potatoes further soak up the delicate flavors of this dish. I know what I'm having for lunch tomorrow--if I can wait that long!

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