Who Is Mistral Dawn?

Mistral Dawn is a thirty-something gal who has lived on both coasts of the US but somehow never in the middle. She currently resides in the Southeast US with her kitty cats (please spay or neuter! :-)) where she works as a hospital drudge and attends graduate school. Taken By The Huntsman is her first effort at writing fiction and if it is well received she has ideas for several more novels and short-stories in this series. Please feel free to visit her on FaceBook or drop her a line at mistralkdawn@gmail.com

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Another Fall Favorite! :-)

Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another one of my favorite Fall dishes. :-) One thing that the cooler weather makes me crave is spicy food. I've already shared several chili recipes, so now I thought I'd share a recipe for curry.  Like other dishes, I prefer my curry without meat. And I know there are lots of different curries and I don't make any claims to authenticity. If you don't think this recipe qualifies as a curry then call it something else. Just make sure you call me for dinner if you make it. ;-)

Curried Vegetable Stew:
2 cups vegetable stock
1-2 14oz package(s) white button (whole or sliced) mushrooms cleaned
1 14oz package of baby bellas cleaned
1 14oz package of shitake mushrooms cleaned
2 medium onions chopped
2 large carrots peeled and cut into chunks
1 bell pepper chopped
6 large potatoes cleaned and cut into chunks
1 14oz can chickpeas (optional)
1/2 cup white wine
3-4 tablespoons curry paste (your choice)
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cayanne pepper (optional)
4-5 cloves of garlic
1 can coconut milk
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon butter
2-3 teaspoons of chunky peanut butter
Salt, pepper, and parsley to taste

Put all the ingredients except the peanut butter, coconut milk, and parsley in a crockpot. Turn the crockpot on high for 5-6 hours. Stir in the peanut butter, coconut milk, and parsley. Serve by itself or over rice or quinoa.

Yep, that's it!  Another crockpot wonder for the lazy cook. ;-) Like most of my recipes, to be honest. If you don't have or don't like any of the types of mushrooms I listed, you can change up the mushrooms to whatever you prefer. You can also use canned mushrooms if that's what you have on hand.  Also, and I didn't know this until recently, you can get chopped, frozen onions from a lot of grocery stores, so that might be another time-saver if you don't like to chop onions.

The flavor of the frozen onions isn't quite as strong as fresh onions, and they are mushy even before cooking, but if you're in a time pinch or don't have any onions in the house they might be an option for you.  If you have the time, and you use fresh onions, you can caramelize the onions in a skillet before putting them in the crockpot. This will add more flavor and deepen the color of the curry. Just put them in a skillet with the butter and olive oil and cook them until they caramelize. If you add the curry paste and turmeric to the onions in the skillet, it will help develop the flavor of the spices a bit. Add the garlic when the onions are almost done and then put the contents of the skillet in the crockpot and deglaze the skillet with the wine.

If you feel like it, you can also add some extra firm tofu. Just cut the tofu square into small cubes, fry the cubes in oil, salt them, and then add them to the curry at the end.  If you don't like alcohol or don't have any wine in the house, you can use 1/4 cup red wine vinegar instead. There are also things you can add to this curry to make it richer or to get more vegetables in your diet.  I've found green, leafy vegetables tend to make broths richer, so you can add spinach, kale, or even broccoli if you'd like.  You can also add for peas for color. If your curry is a little runny, you can make a slurry by mixing a little cornstarch with cold water and stir that in to thicken it up.

Bon appetit! :-)

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