0, 0, -16, -3, -6, Some might ask what do these numbers mean, but all of us up here in Minnesota know that those have been the average daily temperatures over the last 5 days. Today I woke up to a down right balmy 14 above and it felt like shorts and t-shirt weather. At -16 there really isn't much you can do other than stay inside and hope the car will start if you need to go anywhere. On days like that I really feel like I need something hearty and warm to eat. I was watching reruns of Avec Eric, Eric Ripert's show on public television and of course he was in the Cayman Islands, which at the time seemed like the exact place I wanted to be. He was making a tropical inspired red snapper curry and it looked amazing. So I headed out into the cold to buy what I needed for lunch. but while I was out I also grabbed some things for dinner as well.
The snapper curry was everything I hoped it would be and I was surprised at how well the banana's went with the tropical fried rice. They added a sweet nutty flavor that blended with the curry incredibly well. And the snapper was the perfect texture to hold the curry flavor. I added some dried cherries as well just to add another element of sweetness to the dish. This was exactly what I needed on a cold miserable day and was surprisingly easy to make as well.
This of course lead to dinner and since I was already in a curry kind of mood I decided to see what I could do with some venison and some curry. I found a recipe in a book called Modern Thai Food by Martin Boetz. The original recipe calls for beef but I used a 2 pound venison roast instead. The end result was a brilliant blend of heat and sweetness that complimented the venison and again warmed the soul on a day that the overnight low reached -32 without a windchill. The only thing I think I would do different is add less soy sauce as it was a touch on the salty side, but everything else was brilliant.
Venison in Red Curry with Rice Noodles
Adapted from Modern Thai Food By Martin Boetz
For the Venison
2lbs venison roast
3 cups coconut milk
1 stalk lemon grass
2 kaffir lime leaves
1 1/4 inch piece of ginger peeled and sliced (if you can find galangal root use it but ginger works also)
100 grams palm sugar, Shaved
1/3 cup fish sauce
1/3 cup oyster sauce
Brown the venison on both sides and transfer to an oven safe casserole dish, add all the other ingredients into a sauce pan and heat until the sugar is dissolved. pour the liquid over the venison and cover put in the oven at 275 for 2 hours. when the venison is done cooking remove from the braising liquid and place in the refrigerator for an hour or so, reserve 1 1/4 cups of the braising liquid.
While the venison is cooling mix together in a large pan over medium heat.
1 cup coconut cream
3 tablespoons red curry paste
100 grams shaved palm sugar
1/3 cup fish sauce
5 kaffir lime leaves
1/2 cup thai basil leaves
3 tablespoons light soy sauce ( I thought it was a little salty so add this at the end and taste it to see how much you like)
Reserved Braising liquid
When you are ready to serve remove the venison from the fridge and slice it in 1/2 inch thick slices. Add 4 ounces of rice noodles to the curry sauce. when the noodles are soft add the venison and heat until hot, spoon into serving bowls and garnish with more thai basil.