Authentic Thai Green Curry – straight from Chiang Mai!

Even though we’re in the thick of winter here in Chicago, my mind is still in beautiful Thailand. My husband and I recently got back from an incredible adventure to Thailand & Cambodia (blog post coming soon) and my heart still aches for the beautiful people, culture, and FOOD of Southeast Asia. It continues to be my absolute favorite part of the world.

One of our favorite memories of the trip was a half-day cooking class in Chiang Mai through Zabb-E-Lee Cooking School. We had such a great time exploring Thai markets, picking up fresh ingredients (still can’t get over the fragrance of kaffir lime), and then spending a few hours in a gorgeous outdoor, bohemian-style kitchen whipping up over six dishes. Such a delightful experience for a couple who loves to cook together.

I’m excited to share the recipe from our culinary adventures for Zabb-E-Lee’s chicken green curry. It was absolutely delicious and SO easy to make (well, once all the spices were ground up). I made it once at home too with store-bought green curry paste, and it was still pretty damn good. Obviously not as fragrant and fresh as the Chiang Mai version, but still a great recipe to quickly whip up when you’re craving some curry. Got my hubby hooked on Thai food now. Enjoy!

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Starting off the day picking fresh ingredients from the market with our awesome instructor

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Literally the cutest space for our cooking class. So boho chic! 

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So proud of our culinary creations!

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Silky smooth green curry. Nothing like that fresh taste of coconut cream and kaffir lime. 

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My version at home – more veggies, low fat coconut milk, and store bought green curry paste. Sorry for the poor picture quality – alas, not much natural lighting in Chicago right now. Still delicious, and SO easy to make! 

Thai Green Chicken Curry (recipe adapted from Zabb-E-Lee Cooking School)

Ingredients (serves 3-4) 

2 tbsp canola oil
6 chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 can coconut cream (highly recommend the Aroy-D brand)
1.5 tbsp green curry paste* (I used the Thai Kitchen brand, but see below for the recipe to make this from scratch)
1 eggplant, cut into squares
1 zucchini, cut into squares
Handful of green beans (per your liking)
2 tbsp sweet basil
3 leaves kaffir lime leaf, torn in half
1 tbsp pea eggplant (optional – I didn’t use this)
2 red chilis, sliced diagonally
2 tsp palm sugar
2 tbsp fish sauce

Recipe

Let the oil heat on a wok or non-stick pan on medium high. Stir the green curry paste for a few minutes until fragrant and the oil surfaces. Add the chicken thighs and stir until fully cooked. Gradually add the coconut milk and add in the eggplant, zucchini, and green beans. Cover and let simmer. When the veggies are cooked, add palm sugar, fish sauce, sweet basil, kaffir lime, and red chilis. THAT’S IT – you’re done! Enjoy with rice or noodles.

*Green Curry Paste (from Zabb-E-Lee’s cookbook)

Ingredients

10 fresh green chilies, finely chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp galangal finely chopped
1 tbsp lemongrass, finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 shallots, sliced
1 tsp kaffir lime ride, finely sliced
1 tbsp coriander roots, chopped
1 tsp fresh turmeric or turmeric powder
1 tsp shrimp paste (this is the secret sauce!)
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp roasted coriander seeds
1/2 tsp roasted cumin
1 tsp ginger

Directions

Combine coriander seeds, cumin, black pepper in a mortar, pound well. Add chilies and salt to the mixture and continue pounding. Add remaining ingredients (except for the shrimp paste) and pound again. After everything is smooth, add the shrimp paste and continue pounding until the mixture is a smooth paste.

Looking Back on Summer – Recipes & Reflections

And here I am, six months later. I can’t believe I’ve taken that long of a hiatus from my blog, but I guess that’s what happens when a summer of epic proportions rolls by. I blame a combination of weddings (nine total this year!), a crazy upswing in work travel (I think I clocked in a total of four trips to NYC within the summer), and the most incredible belated two-week honeymoon to Italy & Greece with my husband. This summer was awesome and exhilarating, but I’m looking forward to time sloooowing down a bit with the change of seasons. I still can’t believe we only have a month and a half left in 2016, but I’m determined to slow things down with what we have left. And catch up on my blog, of course. I have a zillion ideas circling in my head for posts–Italy travel guides, ideas for fall/winter dinner parties, slow cooking recipes–so it’s time to hibernate a bit and get writing again. Always fun to get my creative juices flowing after a long break.

I could do a million different blog posts on my summer alone, but I wanted to start off with sharing a few recipes I tried from other bloggers/websites these past few months. If you follow me on Instagram, then you know I love sharing ‘grams of my food with quick descriptions of the recipes. Some of my favorite tries from summer and fall:

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Post Italy, linguine carbonara has become a dangerous staple in our household. We love how easy it is to prepare, and we’re obsessed with the smoky delicious taste of pancetta/guanciale combined with pecorino. There are many different recipes of linguine carbonara out there and we sometimes improvise, but this The New York Times recipe is pretty fool-proof. Perfect for dinner parties with a side of shrimp scampi or Florentine steak. 

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I am obsessed with Indo-Chinese cuisine, an amazing combination of spicy Indian food and classic Chinese dishes. My husband isn’t the biggest fan of Asian food, but likes it when I make it (or so he says…), so I’ve been experimenting more with Asian dishes at home. The chili chicken pictured here is my absolute favorite, and the schezhwan noodles ain’t so bad either. Thanks to Indu Gets Cooking for both these awesome recipes! Her blog is fabulous for Indian/Indo-Chinese recipes. 

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For a brief period this summer, I was obsessed with zucchini noodles for EVERY meal. I should probably get back on that train, instead of the current pasta obsession that I’m on. I absolutely love this Williams Sonoma recipe for Chicken Meatballs with Spicy Tomato Sauce over a bed of zucchini noodles. It’s super healthy, since the meatballs are baked and include spinach leaves, and the spicy sauce gives it the extra kick I always need. Must try this one!

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Chicken thighs, pesto, goat cheese, garlic deliciousness. What’s not to love? Italian food is one of my faves, and so is this Baked Chicken Thighs with Tomatoes, Olives and Goat Cheese recipe from this lovely little blog called Italian Food Forever. It’s ridiculously simple to put together, and perfect with a side of salad or pasta. Really can’t get enough of that goat cheese and pesto combination! 

That’s all I got for today, but I’d love to hear from YOU guys about what recipes you’ve been loving lately. My husband and I have been cooking together more lately, and we’re dying to try more slow cooking recipes for lazy Sundays. xo, GCG.