This week, there was a Thai halibut and shrimp curry in the buzz box on epicurious, and since I love shrimp curry and have been making a lot of fish lately, I decided to try it. The mis en place was so beautiful that I took a rare prep photo:
The colors, smells, and flavors of thai cooking are all strong and complex, and combine into the vibrant, multifaceted flavors that draw me to the cuisine. I think that the colors in this photo reflect at least a taste of that, which is why I like it. With ingredients like this, plus some very nice halibut that I got at whole foods, it would have been impossible for the assembled dish to not look quite delicious:
And it was delicious, definitely the best dish I've made this month-- the last dish I made that I enjoyed this much was that butternut risotto I made quite a while ago. Whitefish and curry is a combination that I enjoy, but have never constructed myself since I'm only just now starting to get even a little bit comfortable with fish in the kitchen (thanks, champaign-urbana). There were a couple of little nuances that I would alter if (when!) I make this again-- which I probably will because it was quick, easy, and very flavorful. First, it was not hot enough. I added about 5x as much curry as was called for, AND a tablespoon of sambal, but it wasn't enough. Next time I will try at least equal parts curry and sambal (that would be about 3x as much sambal as this time). Second, I used light coconut milk in this preparation because it has about 1/5 the calories of full strength, but I'm pretty sure the flavor suffered as a result: that rich, heavy coconut flavor that I love in thai curries was almost altogether absent. The recipe ended up making more servings than I expected, so it might have been ok to use full strength anyway.
An added bonus that always comes hand in hand with making thai curry is that now my house smells like curry, and will for probably the rest of the week. Drool!