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My husband’s aunt has recently had a death in the family (Bubba the Budgie), and I sent her a care package in the mail to cheer her up.  She’s had some curry debacles in the last couple of weeks due to faulty powders and needed ingredients and a good recipe.  Sorry it’s taken me so long to get this to you Beth, I hope the curry paste redeems me a little!

At long last, Yellow Chicken Curry:

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1/4 cup coconut cream
2 tablespoons yellow curry paste
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 teaspoons palm sugar
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 1/2 pounds chicken thigh fillets, cut into slices
1 3/4 cups coconut milk
3 ounces bamboo shoots
4 sprigs fresh green peppercorns
4-6 lime leaves
12 Thai sweet basil leaves

Put the coconut cream in a wok or saucepan and simmer over a medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the cream separates and a layer of oil forms on the surface.  Stir the cream if it starts to brown around the edges.

Add the curry paste, stir well to combine and cook until fragrant.  Add the fish sauce, palm sugar and turmeric and stir well.  Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture darkens.

Add the chicken to the pan and stir to coat all the pieces evenly in the spice mixture.  Cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding the coconut milk a tablespoon at a tie to incorporate.  Add the bamboo shoots, peppercorns, lime and basil leaves and cook for another 5 minutes.

Cooking tips:

  • Don’t get the yellow curry paste or turmeric on your fingers – it’ll stain your fingernails yellow.
  • Buy asian market curry paste.  I use Aroy-D.  It’s really, really good – and so much easier!
  • Fish sauce is the most disgusting smelling stuff on the planet.  Open a window before using it, and if you get some on your fingers, do not lick them!
  • You can use brown sugar instead of palm sugar.
  • I use chicken breast instead of thighs because it’s what I normally have.  If you choose to do this also, don’t overcook it.
  • Make sure to use bamboo shoots cut into thin strips if you can find them, otherwise, just cut the ones from the store into strips.
  • If you can find them, use peppercorns on the sprig – they’re less spicy for some reason.
  • DO NOT substitute Italian basil for Thai sweet (red) basil.  It won’t taste right.

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These little guys can be made for anything from preschool snacks to dessert for a nice dinner.  They’re really easy to make, but you have to know a few tricks before making them.

Ingredients:

5 Granny Smith Apples
1 package Werther’s Original Chewy Caramels or Kraft Caramel Bits
2 packs lollipop sticks
sprinkles, mini chocolate chips, crushed candy bars, etc.
flour for dredging

Place a sheet of waxed paper on a cookie sheet.  Spray with cooking spray.  Set aside.

Use a melon baller to scoop rounded balls from the apples.  Cut the peel off each mini apple after scooping.  Dredge the mini apples in flour and skewer with a lollipop stick as shown in the photo.  Add caramels to a medium sauce pan on medium-low heat.  Follow package directions if using Caramel Bits (these are new, I believe and so easy to use!).  If using Werther’s Caramels, cook over medium-low heat until melted.  Dip dredged apples in melted caramel.  Make sure to cover the apples completely.  Let the excess caramel drip off – scrape the bottom of the apples if necessary.  Immediately sprinkle or roll apples in toppings.  Refrigerate until caramel is set, about one hour.  Remove 15 minutes before serving.

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