Day 13: In which friends plus wine equals good food.
I know I’ve mentioned before that I often cook with my friend Becca. In fact, I have a post lined up from one of those occasions! However, another friend of mine, Julie, has been wanting to cook with me lately. And Sunday night, we did just that! She was in the mood for a curry, so I browsed my cookbooks for an actual recipe (sometimes I’d rather not take the risk of just throwing things into a pot when I’m cooking with or for another person). I wanted something relatively simple so that we could talk and drink while we cooked…and also, you know by now that I like simple recipes that come together quickly. I ended up choosing the Thai curry recipe from The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Cooking Vegan (henceforth known as the idiot cookbook) and my favorite of all rice recipes, the coconut lime rice from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan (henceforth known as ED&BV).
Rhetorical question, I assure you. Anyway, I was taking a bit of a risk, as the idiot book recipe calls for tempeh and Julie had never had tempeh and it’s kind of not the sort of thing you just give non-vegans and expect them to like right off that bat. Seriously, it took me several tries before I liked it. But I suppose all those tries of teaching me how to like it actually taught me how to cook it properly, because Julie really liked it! I always, always steam or simmer my tempeh for 15 minutes before marinating or cooking it, whether a recipe says to do that or not (this one didn’t). It takes out the bitterness and softens up the tempeh so that it’s more apt to absorb other flavors. If you haven’t been doing this and don’t think you like tempeh, do it! It makes such a huge difference.
Anyway, this whole dish was really good. I ended up using a whole can of coconut milk in the idiot recipe instead of the cup it called for and put in about 3 times as much curry paste. It wasn’t spicy, because Julie wasn’t sure how spicy she could take it (and I’m a little numb to spice, so I didn’t want to burn her out or anything) so I added some spice individually to my bowl. We actually completely forgot the garnish of basil (oops, but it made it into that lunch you saw yesterday, so whatever) and the store was out of fresh mint, though I imagine that would have made it even better! And as always, the coconut lime rice from ED&BV is amazing. I just throw all the ingredients except for the lime zest into my rice cooker and let it go…and the most wonderful, creamy, delicious rice comes out.
I’m really happy that so many people in my life are into cooking with me now. It started when my mom started being interested in vegan cooking 2 years ago, then Becca, then the omnivore boyfriend, and now Julie. It really is something I love to do and something I love to share with other people, and a totally worthy use of my time. Always.
WordPress spellcheck fun: no, i do not mean urinating when I type marinating. gross.