Taking Time to Smell the Curry

Life has a sneaky habit of going by too quickly.  There’s always the phone call I should have placed, the email I needed to return, the quality time I should have spent.  Even when it comes to friends and neighbors, weeks…even months…can go by before…

Taking Time to Smell the Curry

Life has a sneaky habit of going by too quickly.  There’s always the phone call I should have placed, the email I needed to return, the quality time I should have spent.  Even when it comes to friends and neighbors, weeks…even months…can go by before you finally plan that chat over coffee or play date with the kids.  It seems that for many, many months, one of my good neighbors across the street and I have been talking about catching up over a glass of wine. “We need to get together!” we’d say.  But you know how that goes.

Last week, she and I finally had a chance to catch up.  It was a rainy evening and a perfect day to stay indoors and chat over a good glass of Cab.  We caught up on family life, the kids, the neighborhood, work, the newest shops in town, and, of course, this blog.  She is just as passionate about cooking as I am, and such a perfect hostess, she could put Martha to shame.  She is also one of my biggest cheerleaders in this endeavor to chronicle the fun I have in the kitchen.

When she found out that I have not read or cooked from Ellie Krieger’s cookbooks, she sent me home with one to borrow.  One of the recipes she raved about was a Thai-Style Halibut with Coconut Curry Broth.  So, when my hubby came home today with some beautiful fillets of halibut, it was time to give it a try.

I’m not sure why, up till now, I have never cooked from Ellie Krieger.  I enjoy watching her cook – she is so calm and zen like in the kitchen, and I love the simplicity of her recipes.  In many ways, Ellie reminds me of a younger Ina Garten – she could pass as her niece somehow.  They’re both so serene when they cook, and they enjoy simple recipes with fresh flavors.  No stress in the kitchen — I like that.

 

This recipe takes its inspiration from the Thai curries that incorporate the flavors of coconut milk, lime, cilantro and curry paste.  Anticipating a very spicy dish, I actually made two versions: one for myself and the hubby, and a milder one for the kids.  It turns out that it wasn’t necessary — the recipe as written in the book is quite mild (I noticed the one on the Food Network website has a higher quantity of curry paste), and the next time I make it, I will definitely make it spicier.  Perhaps I’ll drop in a Thai bird chile or two.  I also made today’s dish with Jasmine rice rather than brown, as well as full fat coconut milk, which left such a creamy, delicious broth, I almost don’t want to save the calories by using a lower fat variety!

 

I’ve decided I’m an Ellie Krieger fan – wonderfully written recipes, simple techniques, and a healthy approach to cooking.  I can’t wait to cook more of her recipes.  The next time I make this dish I will always remember my dear neighbor …and how important it is to make time for those around us.

Thai-Style Halibut with Coconut-Curry Broth

From The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life, by Ellie Krieger.
See the Food Network version here.

2 tsp canola oil
2 large shallots, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
2 tsp red curry paste or 2 tsp curry powder
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup unsweetened light coconut milk
3/4 tsp salt
Four 5-ounce halibut fillets
5 ounces baby spinach leaves (about 5 cups lightly packed)
2 cups cooked brown rice
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
2 scallions (green parts only), thinly sliced
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
Freshly ground black pepper

In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring a few times until they begin to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the curry paste and cook, stirring until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the broth, coconut milk, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and simmer until reduced to 2 cups, about 5 minutes.

Season the halibut with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Arrange in the pan and gently shake so the fish is coated with the sauce. Cover and cook until the fish flakes easily with a fork, about 7 minutes.

In the meantime, put the spinach in a microwave-safe bowl, cover tightly, and microwave for 2 minutes.

Place 1/2 cup of the rice and a pile of cooked spinach in the bottom of 4 soup plates. Top with the fish fillets. Stir the cilantro, scallions, and lime juice into the sauce and season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Ladle the sauce over the fish and serve.

Comments

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    • Liren

      Thank you! It is such a fresh and flavorful way to prepare halibut :)

      Reply
    • Liren

      It certainly will go with other white fishes. I as just thinking today that I want to make it with shrimp!

      Reply
  1. Kelsey

    I love this recipe and your picture of it is stunning. I highly suggest you keep trying Ellie’s recipes. They are wonderful. I’ve made several of them!

    Reply
  2. Joanna

    This looks like an amazing recipe, and I’ll bet it would be great using Tilapia as well. I’m going to give this a try. Thanks!

    Reply
    • kitchenworthy

      Hi Joanna! Tilapia should work well! Any white, flakey fish!! Hope you like it!

      Reply
  3. Megan

    Wow-this dish is exactly what I have been looking for! Thai style without the scariness of delving into a cuisine type that I have never cooked before (though I enjoy it cooked by someone else very frequently!). I think my Dad would really enjoy this so I think I will try it next time I go see my parents for dinner!

    Reply
    • kitchenworthy

      Hi Megan! This is a perfect dish to try if you love Thai flavors and have never cooked Thai dishes before. Hope you and your parents enjoy it! Good luck!

      Reply
    • kitchenworthy

      Thank you, thank you!! I’m so glad you like the photos and the site!

      Reply
    • kitchenworthy

      Thank you so much, Christina! I’m so excited it made Top 9!

      Reply
  4. Sara

    Hi! I love your recipe for the Thai-Style Halibut! My mouth is watering just looking at the gorgeous pics! I cannot wait to make this tomorrow! Also I totally understand your passion for cookbooks, I read them like they are novels too! :)

    Reply
    • kitchenworthy

      Thank you, Sara! Have fun cooking this, it’s so perfect for this time of year (anytime, really!). Cookbooks are definitely a weakness of mine, too — I never thought growing up that I would read recipes in this way :)

      Reply
  5. Stella

    This looks so delicious-I’m making it. Tomorrow I will buy the best looking white fish and do it!
    I do have a question though. I was always told not to let coconut milk heat for too long for fear of curdling. Is this incorrect information?

    Reply
    • kitchenworthy

      Hi Stella! Great question! I’ve yet to experience curdling, but I have heard this, too. I think the key is to not cook the coconut milk at too high of a heat, and to stir frequently when you first make the addition. (Incidentally, I shook the can of coconut milk very well before opening, since the cream tends to rice to the top. If you don’t want the extra fat, then skip this step). I kept the flame at medium-low heat and it worked out well. Good luck tomorrow!!!

      Reply
    • kitchenworthy

      Hi Sook, thank you so much! I love curry too, especially when made with coconut milk!

      Reply
    • kitchenworthy

      Thank you Debi! Glad you liked the layout. I agree, flavorful and light is just perfect for these early Spring days, don’t you think?

      Reply
  6. Nasi Lemak Lover

    Today I cooked curry too, but I cooked chicken curry. Your Thai style of fish curry look delicious too!

    Reply
    • kitchenworthy

      Did you really? I love chicken curry, too. And vegetable curry. There isn’t a curry I do not like :)

      Reply
    • kitchenworthy

      Hi Denise! I hope Ellie would be proud, if she ever saw it, LOL! It really was a nice recipe.

      Reply
    • kitchenworthy

      It was really good over rice, I couldn’t get enough of the broth. I think next time I want to try it with rice noodles!

      Reply
    • kitchenworthy

      Awww, thank you. I’m really flattered that you think so!

      Reply
    • kitchenworthy

      Thank you, Divina, for stopping by and your lovely comments :)

      Reply
Kitchen Confidante®

Kitchen Confidante uses cookies to serve you the best possible experience. By using our website, we understand that you accept their use and agree to our cookie policy.

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close