I experienced my first round of the Zingerman's extravaganza back in February. And yes, it was an extravaganza. Deli, bakery, food shop, coffee shop and restaurant: just 5 of the 15 establishments that make up the Zingerman's dynasty. These folks have a lovely story, starting out as a simple mom-and-pop deli and evolving over the past 25 years into this. Makes me proud to be a foodie in the Midwest. I loaded up on french grey sea salt, cheddar/jalapeno bread, goat cheese that I haven't seen since the Loire Valley, salumi that rivals the gents at Pike's Place, and one damn jar of Thai Green Curry Paste.
So. This little jar has been sitting in my cabinet taunting me again and again to expand my Thai cuisine repertoire beyond Pad Thai (see pathetically easy but delicious version to your left), which only recently I've begun making without A Taste of Thai's help. Big steps my friends, big steps.
Green Acres stand has been a staple of my Saturday morning routine. I've found purple carrots to make Vietnamese steak salad...(shredded purple carrots in the top corner)
kale (Russian, dinosaur, and purple) that have kept me entertained... and then!!! The very inspiration to pull out that little jar and cheat while cooking. Thai eggplant:
so the jar says: saute 1 T oil and 1/2 the jar for 2 minutes. Then saute 3/4 a pound of meat (steak, seafood, chicken--let's be honest, you know it's a Thai dish when you have a choice of these three meats?!) for about 10 minutes, or until tender. Then add 1 cup of coconut milk, but I also threw in some sauteed red peppers and thai eggplant and a handful of chopped basil leaves.
I realize that this is somewhat cheating when it comes to cooking; yes, I probably should have made my own curry paste. But once again I submit to my Swedish heritage and admit that I was coded genetically to make meatballs and gravy, not coriander and basil based sauces. So, this weekend, when the extravaganza at Zingerman's goes for round two, I will buy another of these lovely little jars. And to all of my dear friends that live far away and just around the corner-- I'll buy you one too.