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Thai Red Duck Curry
Makes 4 Servings
*2 14- to 16-ounce cans coconut milk (not "lite")
*3 tablespoons red curry paste (available in most well-stocked groceries and Asian markets)
*1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
*1/2 teaspoon ground coriander (optional)
*1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
*1 Chinese-style roast duck (See Notes)
*1 or 2 fresh or dried Kaffir lime or a 2-inch piece chopped lime rind (use a vegetable peeler to take it off)
*1 teaspoon sugar (or Thai golden palm sugar for more flavor)
*2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce (available where red curry is sold)
*4 ounces little Thai eggplant (about 1 cup pea-size Thai eggplants or about 3 golf-ball-size Thai eggplants or 1/3 of a medium American eggplant) or 1 1/2 cups cut green beans
*3/4 cup cherry tomatoes
*1 loosely packed cup basil leaves (Thai basil tastes like Thailand, but can use small handful of cilantro or just leave out)
*Rice for serving
1To make the sauce, spoon off top half of both cans of coconut milk (the thick part) into wok or small (3- to 4-quart) saucepan. Set over medium heat and boil until clear oil begins to separate out - about 5 minutes. Add curry paste and ground cumin, coriander and nutmeg. Stir for 3 or 4 minutes, until mixture is very aromatic. Add remaining coconut milk and bring to a boil.
2To make the meat and vegetables, add duck, pork or chicken and bring to a boil. (If using raw pork or chicken, let cook 5 to 6 minutes - meat will give off liquid, but sauce should thicken again). Add Kaffir lime leaf, sugar, fish sauce and eggplant (or green beans). Stir well. Simmer over medium-low heat until vegetable pieces are tender - about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and basil. Let return to a simmer and it's ready. Serve with rice.
  • Substitute 1 pound Chinese-style barbecue pork or 1 pound fresh pork tenderloin or 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast
  • Working ahead: If Kaffir lime leaf is dry, soak in hot tap water for 10 minutes. Break fresh or reconstituted dry leaf into several pieces. If using lime rind, slice into thin slivers. Pull off skin from duck. Pull meat from bones. Tear into coarse shreds. (If using barbecue pork, slice 1/4-inch thick. If using fresh pork, slice 1/4-inch thick on an easy-to-clean cutting board. Wash cutting surface well. If using chicken breast, slice into 1/2-inch wide strips on an easy-to-clean cutting board. Wash cutting surface well). If using golf-ball-size Thai eggplants, cut in quarters. For American eggplant, cut into roughly 1-inch cubes. For green beans, break off stem and pointy bottom end; cut in quarters.
  • Source
    Executive Chef Rick Bayless, Frontera Grill, Chicago, IL