Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Basil article update


My newest article on Basil is up!

Tuesday October 15 12:30:02am Central, YEAR 2013

I have finished my Basil article! The link is above, but you probably knew that already. In any case, this Basil article will be my last for a while. I do not make articles very often because I'm not naturally driven. I need inspiration before I am willing to put out the time and effort. The next time I write an article, it will have nothing to do with herbs. It's time to branch out! I also want you to check out my homepage. Every post I write on this blog has a link to my central website on Angelfire. The changes I've made might surprise you.

In other news, I have an exciting announcement to make. I have come up with a central theme to my website: the sharing of practical and fun knowledge! My index page's introduction will fill you in. Basically I will teach things from gardening to cooking and even non-related topics such as speed reading and study techniques. But these are just a few examples.

Lastly, I have something to say to a friend of mine whom I talked to the other day. I told her I was going to make Thai green curry. This is how it turned out: I made a homemade chicken stock using only turmeric, onion powder, and garlic powder. I then cooked up some chicken to put in my curry, and steamed some vegetables to go along with it, as well as slices of a portabella mushroom.

In a quart-size stainless steal pan I made a 1/4 cup Jasmine rice. First I parboiled it, dumped the water, then cooked it as if to make it sticky. I made the stock in this same pan before doing the rice, so the turmeric powder ended up colouring my rice yellow. For those who don't know, turmeric has a lot of health benefits, and it can even help you with various health issues. So that was a good occurence for me.

A word of advice: don't use a lot of turmeric, if any, when you want your curry anything but yellow. When I made the actual green curry, I took a homemade green curry paste--really just a bunch of cut up green chili peppers--and fried it in a wok for several seconds. That was a horrible experience for my lungs and larynx. *Cough*

I then poured the stock into the outrageously hot carbon steel wok--that might have been a bad idea. It's generally not good to thermal shock any cookware, even if it's metal; in which case, at least it doesn't crack. It just warps instead, as I have had the pleasure of finding out. I added powdered sassafras leaf and coconut flour because they are natural and healthy sauce thickeners. I also added some of my home-grown sweet Basil leaves. As I mentioned in my previous post, I failed to germinate some lemon basil seeds, so I can only use sweet basil--not that this plant is bad or anything...

I put all the chicken, vegetables and mushroom slices inside the wok, along with some coconut milk I bought from Fox Farms. I somehow managed to take what was previously yellow in colour and make it look closer to green, instead. Probably because I had a butt-load of green vegetables, basil leaves, and sassafras leaf powder in it. I forgot to mention, I even added kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass, since they are a staple in Thai cuisine.

What people may not know is that Thai cooking is not just mindlessly throwing in different ingredients together and chancing upon a tasty dish. Acknowledged Thai food expert David Thompson even said that the dishes are a deceptively simple combination of flavors. Thai food specializes in a well-balanced combination of three or four basic flavors: spicy, salty, sweet, and sour.

I combined the sweetness of the creamy coconut milk and coconut flour, the saltiness of Tamari soy sauce I bought(brand is San-J), the sourness of lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and two laco-fermented carrots, along with the spiciness of the chili peppers. And even though I was not exactly scientific about it, I still managed to come up with a pretty decent menu. I am not as precise as the Thai cooks, but I am experienced in home cooking.

But I ultimately want to make a dish as good as the ones I've tasted in restaurants twice. Man, that was good. I had only red curry both times. They really know their food well!

That's the end of this post. When I have anything else to tell you I will do so. Until then...!

If you have any questions or comments, please use the comment form below! As long as it has value, and it doesn't make parents cringe, I will allow it.

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