by Jerry Marello, General Manager at Turning Stone Resort & Casino
Trying out new recipes during cold winter months can be fun! The heat from the stove makes the house feel warm and cozy. The delicious smells coming from the kitchen make the family feel loved. Winter is the best time to invite friends and family over to share a meal. Instead of feeling trapped in the house by the snow, view winter as a luxurious time to spend expanding your culinary expertise.
The summer months get so busy. Friends spend weekends traveling. The kids are outside from morning until night. During the summer, the best you can do is usually throwing some burgers on the grill. In the winter, everyone tends to be home more often. They also have more time to be social. It is the perfect time to host a dinner party.
Looking to make a meal that’s healthier, but not boring? Try a flavorful Asian dish. The below Panang Chicken dish is from the Peach blossom Restaurant in Upstate New York, is raved about by guests for its rich flavor.
Recipe makes 4 servings.
• 3 1/2 cups canned unsweetened coconut milk, divided
• 2 to 3 tablespoons Panang curry paste (less if you don’t want it as spicy)
• 1 cup thinly sliced onion
• 10-15 Thai basil leaves, finely shredded
• 1 1/2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1/4-to 1/3-inch-thick slices
• 1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/4 inch strips
• 3 teaspoons tamarind paste
• 2 teaspoons fish sauce
• sugar to taste
• 6 cups steamed rice (use brown rice or spaghetti squash as a healthier option)
In a wok or large skillet, heat coconut milk and curry paste using medium-high heat. Warm the mixture but do not let it boil. Stir constantly for two minutes. Add onion. Bring to a boil. Boil for five minutes, and then lower the temperature to medium-low. Add chicken, bell pepper, tamarind paste, fish sauce, and pinch of sugar. Stir occasionally, and simmer until chicken is cooked through, which should be six to eight minutes. Add basil leaves before serving. Serve over steamed rice.
Unsweetened coconut milk, Thai red curry paste, tamarind paste, and fish sauce can be found in the Asian foods section of most supermarkets or specialty grocery stores.
TIP: Serve this meal with warm green tea and pinot noir. The richness of the curry and coconut milk go well with red wine, but a chilled sauvignon blanc would be a good pairing as well.