Right-oh. Hello! That post about keeping a sustainable kitchen; it's coming. Really and truly. In the meantime, I made a dress and a really good fish stew and I thought I'd share. I don't have any photos of the stew because we devoured it so fast there wasn't time. And this happened without red curry paste! Wonders never cease.
As for the dress: sometime during the summer when I was working a lot and dreaming about not working quite so much and winter, I made this list of things I wanted to do over the off season. The list was written on the back of a test print of the bar menu in black Sharpie, and it had the weirdest things on it. Some things were as tinily specific as "buy striped shirt from Siobhan's store" and others as big and awesome as "green power." (Don't worry people! I got it. Ha. But seriously, we're s l o w l y going solar. Hooray ! ) What's weirder is that without so much as looking at the list all winter, I did almost every thing on it. I guess these were things I really wanted to do.
Anyway. Somewhere near the bottom of the list it said "sewing for girls." I don't know if you've ever read any of Kyrie Mead's blogs—she's had a lot of different homes online, and I wanted to send you a link to one, but she seems to be without a spot at the moment—but she's an amazing writer and photographer. She also home schools and is a nature explorer and an avid cook, and she knits and sews all kinds of beautiful items for her four girls. Sometime a few months ago, I tracked down her Pinterest page for sewing (who am I? I no longer know. . .) and got reeeaaally into the idea of doing some sewing for my girls. Hence the dress.
Sally picked out the fabric—strawberry print—and has been after me for weeks to get sewing. Finally this weekend with all the snow, we picked out a pattern and got to work. The process reminded me how challenging and rewarding it is to do something new with your hands. There were several hiccups, but we got through them, and it came out just right in the end. We are all more capable than we think.
COCONUT CURRY MONKFISH
This recipe came from a new-to-me site, Alaska From Scratch. So far, so good. A note: I was out of red curry paste, something I almost always have on hand. I followed an online tutorial for a quick substitute and instead used garlic, fresh ginger, fish sauce, dried lemongrass, and red chili paste (which I did have), and it tasted exactly the same! Wonder, gratitude, and amazement.
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 shallots, diced
1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste (OR! roughly 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger, 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic, 2 5-inch stalks dried lemongrass, 1 teaspoon red chili paste, and roughly 1 tablespoon fish sauce, or to taste)
1 and 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 14-ounce can coconut milk
1 teaspoon honey
1 bunch kale or chard several large handfuls spinach
4 monkfish fillets
a handful of chopped basil, for serving
Warm up the olive oil in a large heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring often, for 5-7 minutes, until tender and fragrant. Add the curry paste or substitute ingredients, the chicken broth, the coconut milk, and the honey and bring to a simmer. Taste for seasoning and add salt if needed. Stir in the greens, then arrange the monkfish fillets in an even layer around the pan. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes, occasionally turning the fish and spooning the curry liquid over top, until the greens are wilted and the fish is cooked through. Serve hot. If rice is your thing, it'd make a nice accompaniment.