20th September 2011
Quick Thai Curry and Muffins

Tonight Flora felt the need for muffins. The need.
She's a girl and you know how they get these uncontrollable urges. Not like boys. Boys can easily contain their urges. We just choose not to.

Anyway, Flora came round to make muffins, and left the decision of what to have for dinner open-ended, so we spent an extraordinary amount of time examining my local Chinese takeaway menu for dishes which might satisfy Flora's further need for mushrooms and bamboo shoots, and planning our trip to Asda to take in ordering the dishes on the way out and collecting them on the way back. The trip to Asda being necessary due to the quite astonishing fact that I appear not to possess a bun tin!

Unfortunately, despite all our meticulous planning, we were disappointed to find that the takeaway is shut on Tuesdays and now, Mondays.
Today is Monday and it is shut.
So we decided to fall back on our own resources and make a chow mein stir-fry with some tinned bamboo shoots and mushrooms from Asda, only to be hugely disappointed to find that Asda did not have a tin of bamboo shoots. How is that possible? I thought it was some kind of law that every supermarket was required to have a tin of bamboo shoots hidden amongst the bottles of Kikkoman soy sauce in their ersatz ethnic food section?
But then, just after we had abandoned our stir-fry plans, and Flora had started hinting about how much she liked coconut rice, we came across a cellophane pack of stir-fry ingredients that, lo and behold, contained some bamboo shoots. So I was just about ready to throw away all my cooking principles and buy a pre-prepared pack of stir-fry garbage, when I was saved by the fact that Asda had completely sold out of fresh egg noodles. Hurrah!

So we returned to the theme of coconut rice and I persuaded Flora that I could turn out a simple Thai-style stew in a reasonable amount of time (whilst going easy on the chillies). Which simple recipe I reproduce below.

Whilst looking for the bamboo shoots Flora was distracted by a tin of lychees, so we took that along too - I used some of the juice in both my coconut rice and and the Thai curry - then threw the rest of it away.
OK, not really. They aren't half bad with a dollop of yoghurt as dessert.
And the muffins weren't half bad either. Though Flora might have gone slightly mental on the flavourings, electing for both chocolate chips and blueberries.
Lots of blueberries.
And not much stirring.
Which meant that occasionally you would get a mouthful of blueberries so intense that it was like biting into a lemon, and some of the muffins seemed to be entirely muff.
But we like to live dangerously!

Quick Thai Curry
oriental curry main fowl thai
Shouldn't take more than half an hour. Honest!

Serves 4

Start your rice. It will steam nicely while you make up the Quick Thai Curry.

Empty the coconut milk into a pot with a couple of tablespoons of fish sauce, about one quarter of the juice from a can of lychees and set to warm gently.
Peel a couple of inches of ginger, slice it into rounds and add to the pot.
Slice the chicken breasts into halves or thirds lengthways, then diagonally into bite-sized pieces and add to the pot.
Wipe the baby button mushrooms and add them whole to the pot.
Halve the baby corn lengthways, slice them diagonally if they are too large and add them to the pot.
Slice 4 spring onions diagonally and add to the pot.
Remove the core and seeds from the red pepper, slice into bite-sized pieces or rounds and add to the pot.
Throw half a dozen whole chillies (or to taste) into the pot.
Slice the courgette into diagonal rounds and add to the pot (and those cherry tomatoes if you want).
Cut the mange tout into pretty pieces and add to the pot.

Simmer until the vegetables are tender, but don't overdo it (as I did). They'll probably be ready straight away, so then throw in a handful of torn basil leaves, remove from the heat, stir through the juice of a lime and serve over your perfectly cooked rice.
It ain't exactly authentic, but it tastes pretty good for all that.

Coconut Rice
oriental staple side veg vegan
This is a slightly different approach than a coconut rice I've tried before.
I think it works slightly better - you could probably use tinned coconut milk or water with 2-3 teaspoons of coconut powder in it per cup instead of the coconut cream block though.

Serves 2

Grate the creamed coconut piece and make up to 16 fl oz of liquid (or perhaps a little more) with some (about 4 fl oz or to taste) juice from a can of lychees if you have one, lemon or lime juice if you feel like it and the rest of boiling water.
Grate in the peel of a lemon or lime, and add a teaspoon of salt.
Gently bring to the boil in a small pot, seal with a tightly-fitting lid and put over the lowest possible heat Careful! Coconut cream will burn. or into a low oven for 20 minutes or so.

From Flora's Friend.
Probably called Persephone.
From what I was able to extract from her Word document.
Privacy and security being alien concepts at Microsoft!
sweet veg
Flora got this recipe from a friend of hers, and it seems a little confused to be honest. It's not really clear whether you should include the weight of the eggs in your 200g of wet ingredients or not (we didn't). Anyhoo, here is her recipe verbatim...

Makes about 18

Choose a muffin flavour - could be blueberries chocolate chips or anything like that. If you want to make banana ones, you can use one mashed and add raisins if you like them.

Preheat a fan-assisted oven to 180°C I used gas mark 6
Prepare a muffin tray, easier if you put cases in before the mixture is ready.

Melt butter in pan (don't fry it)
Mix flour and sugar in bowl
Put wet ingredients (not the two large eggs) in a bowl and mix them
Whisk the two eggs together
Put all ingredients together, including flavourings and melted butter, and quickly mix and spoon into the cases

Put in the oven for 20 minutes
Not too bad - I've had better muffins, but they worked perfectly well.
Try not to go too mental with the flavourings :)

Comments (3)

Newest first Oldest first

  1. Nice, thanks for the update.

    Remember kids - fold, don't spindle. And on no account mutilate.

    #3 – 8 April, 2013 at 10:13 pm

  2. *Flora*'s avatar *Flora*

    Just made the muffins with the new suggestions and its really made a difference. Mcsucess

    #2 – 7 April, 2013 at 10:11 am

  3. Flora's avatar Flora


    Here is my update to the recipe

    Making muffins - wet ingredients is usually butter and sugar creamed together until fluffy and no longer granular - then add eggs and mix together - when you get to the dry ingredients, sift it together into the mixing bowl, then FOLD it in with a metal spoon - go round the outside of the bowl and do two or three kind of cutting strokes across the middle - turn the bowl a bit and repeat - keep turning and repeating until everything is just combined, then STOP MIXING!!! Bung in muffin cases, sling in oven, retrieve after appropriate interval and shove in face. Happy happy. yum yum.

    I asked the kind advice of my cooking expert friend Lindsay! so in kind thanks to her.

    #1 – 6 April, 2013 at 8:31 am

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