Friday, October 2, 2009

Corn and Zucchini Simmered in Coconut Milk with Thai Basil

I kind of like ingredient-hunting through recipes. It’s become a fun, new hobby of mine when I have an ingredient and can’t decide how to use it. I start looking through the indexes of cookbooks, searching for whatever the ingredient of the day is, in hopes of finding some interesting dish in which it’s used. When I decided to make Thai style crab cakes the other day, I used some Thai basil from the farmers’ market. After making the crab cakes, there was still a lot remaining of the very generous bunch I had received. So, off on my ingredient-hunt I went. My first stop was the index of Local Flavors, and under Thai Basil, it reads 'see basil.' And, under basil, I found this dish, and the hunt was over in record time. In creating this dish, Deborah Madison was inspired by the flavor of Thai basil, rather than Italian basil, with corn and zucchini, and then decided to add coconut milk and tofu. I think that she had a fantastic idea.

Cubed tofu was dried and then browned in a skillet with zucchini chunks. Fresh corn was cut from four ears, and the corn milk was pressed from the cobs with the back of a knife. All of that was added to the skillet along with chopped green onions, some Thai chiles, and chopped cilantro and Thai basil leaves. Coconut milk was added, and it simmered for just a few minutes, and dinner was ready. This simple stew was served with white, long-grain rice.

Everything about the dish was very fresh-tasting, and even though it was all about the Thai basil for me, I wouldn’t skip this if you don’t have any on hand. You could go with all cilantro or even try it with Italian basil. Corn, zucchini, tofu, and coconut milk are all a little mild in the flavor department, but they go together very well. In fact, there was something very comfort food-like about that combination. It’s the green onion, chiles, and herbs that livened things up and gave the dish great character. All together, it was a dish that seemed like an old friend even though this was the first time we’d experienced it.




30 comments:

  1. I know what you mean when you say this dish is like an old friend even though it's a new experiment. I never thought of putting corn in a Thai curry, but I can see now how that would work very well. This looks fantastic! You've done a great job combining comfort with healthy.

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  2. Do you know how incredibly appealing and crave-inducing this looks? The weather has turned here in MN, damp and chilly; soup is always a standby but this is the edible version of a full-body Snuggie! The best part is that the corn and zucchini would still remind me of summer . . .

    I've been scarce but only because I'm terrible with time mgt! With all sincerity, your blog is an absolute inspiration to me!

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  3. Oh my, this soup looks amazing. Its actually going to be a warm sunny day here so I'll be filing this away for later.

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  4. Looks and sounds delicious! Coconut milk and Thai basil are some of my favorite flavors!

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  5. Tofu with coconut milk sounds fantastic! I have yet tried any tofu prepared in Thai style.

    Angie's Recipes

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  6. This looks wonderful! Perfect timing too... I was just trying to figure out what all the Thai basil from my garden, seeing as I'll need to harvest it all before the frost comes. Guess I know what's for dinner tonight. :)

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  7. Yum! I don't know...there's just something about coconut milk that makes a dish tastes so good.

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  8. A delightful dish! Great flavors!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  9. This looks incredibly good - all my favorite flavors. Except for the tofu, so maybe I'll put in chicken instead.

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  10. This looks amazing! We have thai basil growing on our balcony, so I should definitely try this out!

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  11. Hmmmm... Yum... in coconut milk? nothing but awesomeness... hmmm...

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  12. mmm....i can imagine the aromas by just perusing the photos--looks amazing!

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  13. this looks wonderful! anything with coconut milk tastes great!

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  14. How delicious and I always like coconut milk.

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  15. a brand new dish behaving like an old friend, eh? sounds ideal. the notion of anything simmered in coconut milk excites me, and this is a great way to incorporate some awesome flavor into tofu. great dish, lisa!

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  16. Lisa, First thanks for stopping by and leaving a very valuable comment on my blog today...can I have your permission to post it along with the others? Secondly, you must be psychic with little ol me cuz I'm nuts about anything Thai....if you need further blogs/sites, scroll down to the bottom of my blog that is dedicated to Thai blogs. This looks fairly easy, which is what I like in Thai cooking! So it will be a printed out recipe for sure! Having been to Thailand twice, I am addicted to this stuff!

    Lastly, you have a new follower! Your photos are wonderful too!Bye for now and for leading me to your blog, Roz ...aka bella, but call me Roz, please.

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  17. Lisa, I don't see any follow button at the top of your blog or on your sidebar....do you have one so that we can follow your posts in Google Reader? Thanks for letting me know when you can, Roz

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  18. I made tofu yesterday, but kind of mixed up quick way, with peanut butter & hot sauce. I really like adding coconut milk to my stews. Got more tofu, so i am going to give this a try.

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  19. I like how you go ingredient hunting through recipes! This dish sounds delicious! And it's so beatiful. The corn gives it this extra little color... Now I want some Thai basil...

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  20. Yummy....though I'm a bit ambivalent abou Tofu...Basil I love though and only discovered the other types of basil recently.

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  21. Hehe you've described me to a tee too! I often have leftover bits when I buy things for recipes and I love the challenge of finding a way to use them :) This soup sounds divine, I love the distinct flavour of Thai Basil! :)

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  22. a delicious tofu meal!!! Yummie!!!

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  23. This is a lovely veggie dish. I like picking an ingredient and look around for a suitable recipe too!

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  24. That is totally my kind of dish - I could eat that everyday. I often do the index hunt and get some of my best ideas that way. I don't have that book (believe it or not), but may be buying it soon. :)

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  25. I don't think I have ever seen Thai basil around here, but regardless... this dish looks gorgeous and delicious!

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  26. I love to cook with coconut milk!!! This sounds great. You have a beautiful blog with delicious recipes.

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  27. Lisa, this looks amazing. I've only cooked with coconut milk once and it was in a dessert. I loved the flavor and I can only imagine how the tofu and corn blends with it. I'm bookmarking this NOW!

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  28. I love the aroma of thai basil. I am trying to grow a pot myself using the dried flowers and it is sprouting. Hopefully it will flower soon.

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  29. This looks amazing! So creamy and tasty. Love the basil.

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