January 24, 2007

Welcome to the Jungle

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This meal is brought to you as part of the “Culinary Jebus” series, (apparently 2 posts constitutes a series). In other words, I was very happy with how it turned out. The dish was inspired by a recipe in Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid called Jungle Curry. The name Jungle Curry reminded me of a trip to Salad King (cheap and soooo good!) in Toronto where I selected Evil Jungle Prince from the menu solely because of its wonderful name. After making that association, I couldn’t get my head around the fact that this dish was Jungle Curry and not Evil Jungle Prince. No matter what you call it though, it was tasty! Of course, when you’re starting from such a great book, you can’t go wrong. The title alone should tell you that this book is a keeper. Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet contains recipes interwoven with stories of the authors’ experiences traveling in Southeast Asia and every recipe is bursting with flavour. Mmmm flavour! Who’s taking me to Southeast Asia?

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I’m sleepy tonight, so just look at the pretty pictures, ready the following quotes and come back tomorrow for something new.

“Gourmandism is one of the most important influences in our social life; it gradually spreads that spirit of conviviality which brings together from day to day differing kinds of people, melts them into a whole, animates their conversation, and softens the sharp corners of the conventional inequalities of positions and breeding.” The Physiology of Taste, Brillat-Savarin.

Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin was definitely ahead of his time. I think he would have made an excellent blogger and just been a cool guy to hang out with. And he was funny too! He says that some people are predestined to be gourmands, others no, and for “people to whom nature has denied the capacity for such enjoyment… it is undoubtedly they who invented trousers to hide their thin shanks.” HA!

And here’s one more quote from Brillat-Savarin, cause he’s much more entertaining than I am tonight: “Thinness is a horrible calamity to women: beauty to them is more than life itself, and it consists above all of the roundness of their forms and the graceful curvings of their outlines.” Why oh why wasn’t I alive in the early 1800’s?

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Evil Jungle Bri Curry, (Inspired by Jungle Curry from Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet)

¾ lb boneless pork
2 T safflower oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
½ inch sliced ginger
Evil Jungle Bri Paste
2 cups chicken stock
5.5 oz wild mushrooms, assorted
4.5 oz snap peas
6 oz bean sprouts
2 broccoli stalks
2 T fish sauce
Handful buckwheat noodles
Juice of ½ lime
Dozen basil leaves, chopped

Cut the pork into cubes and set aside. Heat a large wok over high heat. When it is hot, add the oil and swirl to coat, then toss in the garlic and ginger. Fry the garlic until it begins to turn golden, then add the pork and Evil Jungle Bri Paste, (recipe follows). Fry for 2-3 minutes until lightly browned. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Add everything except the noodles, basil and lime juice and cook for about 4 minutes. Add the noodles and continue to cook until noodles are soft and sauce has reduced a bit. Remove from heat and stir in the basil leaves and lime juice. Serve with lime slices.

Evil Jungle Bri Paste

4 garlic cloves
1 inch piece ginger, grated
1 T minced lemongrass
1 ½ teaspoons sambal oelek (chili pepper paste)
1 T minced cilantro
Zest of 1 lime
1 teaspoon Korean pepper paste
2 teaspoons Pad Thai sauce
1 T honey

Blend everything together.

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Anonymous said...

You know, I've seen that dish on Salad King's menu countless times (like you, Rachel and I have an addiction to their food), but I've never tried it. I'm more of a Thai Basil Noodles person myself. Perhaps I need to broaden my horizons.

Marce said...

Those quotes are hilarious! I don´t even belong to the XIX century, I´ve always considered myself a Renaissance woman haha

Freya said...

Brillat-Savarin was right! That is a great read, not at all stuffy compared to some of the food books around at the time! If only we still adhered to some of his theories...

Meeta K. Wolff said...

Bri, this is a keeper. Spicy and full of flavor. It looks great and the pics look brilliant too!

Anonymous said...

You had me till I read what the evil jungle bri was made of....I'm allergic to half of it. Oh well, looks pretty.

Gattina Cheung said...

The spices/seasonings you used really wonderful! When I prepare asian food, always end up mountains of bowls, plates, pots and wok...

Anonymous said...

hi brilynn, oh my gawd this looks so good! i need to get hot sour salty sweet i keep forgetting. the ingredients in the bri sauce sound wonderful., YUM.

love the Brillat-Savarin quotes. what a smart and funny man (GRINS).

Lis said...

That sounds so yummy and I love your pictures! Although I did think I could have poked my damn eye out when I looked at the first one with the chopstick comin' at me. =)

I've never heard of this evil jungle guy - although Kev of Acme Instant Food did a post on it as well.. you guys are making me want to meet the man of jungle evilness. 'kay that was dorky.

Lis - The Queen of Dorks.

PS - Brillat-Savarin was a genius, obviously. Every modern day man should pay attention to his way of thinking dammit!!

Anonymous said...

Oh my, this looks like a very tasty complex dish in terms of flavor! Love your quotes by Brillat-Savarin , coudn't agree more.

wheresmymind said...

Today's recipe is brought to us by the letter "G" for GREEN!

Anonymous said...

That looks like such a flavorful dish!

Lisa Fain (Homesick Texan) said...

Great Brillat-Savarin quotes, thanks for the delightful reading!

Sara said...

Love that book and love Thai food.

Nidhi said...

Hey, I liked your recipe a lot, but can I use chicken instead of pork, since we don't eat pork???

You have clicked some nice snaps and Its a beautiful presentation of the dish.


Anonymous said...

Yum, I have to try this one!

Brilynn said...

Rob- One of my favourites at Salad King is the Golden Tofu Curry, so good!

Nidhi- I'm sure chicken or tofu would work wonderfully in this dish as well.

Anonymous said...

i found this site through Google my name is bri curry so therefore i had to make this recipe.......it tastes very good....