I’ve been so busy lately that to get a rare night at home — on a weekend, no less — is pure bliss. I had intended to spend my Friday night cooking and baking — two things I haven’t been able to do at all recently — but the baking portion of the evening ended up as a big old pile of fail, and should never be discussed again. Luckily, my best friend invited herself over to “watch me cook,” which I found highly amusing but welcome, and the night turned into a cooking party for two.
It’s always nice to have another person in the kitchen, especially when they’re good at chopping vegetables. I’m so accustomed to cooking alone — which, like I imagine gardening or sewing are for other people, is extremely calming and meditative for me — that I’d forgotten how much fun it can be to create a meal with another person.
I made my mother’s lovely sweet potato curry, which is more of a winter dish but with liberal amounts of lime juice and cilantro can be easily perked up into a summer dish as well. Her recipe is below (p.s. Thanks for writing all your recipes down for me, mom and Meemo! Best. Gift. Ever.). It’s quick and easy to throw together and will feed at least four people, especially with a potful of Basmati rice to go along with it.
Sweet Potato Curry
- 2 1/2 t. canola oil
- 1 1/4 lbs. chicken or pork, cubed
- 1 1/4 lbs. sweet potatoes, cubed
- 1 T. oil
- 1 medium shallot, minced
- 1 1/4 T. fresh ginger
- 2 T. curry powder (I prefer Maharajah curry from Penzey’s)
- 1/8 t. cayenne pepper
- 2 pinches salt
- 1 1/2 cans coconut milk
- 1 c. frozen green peas
- 1/2 c. frozen edamame
- zest from one lime
- 1/4 c. chopped cilantro
Saute chicken or pork in canola oil until browned. Remove from the pan and set aside.
In a deep pan or pot, saute shallot in oil. Add ginger, curry powder and cayenne pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes. Add chicken, sweet potatoes, coconut milk and two pinches of salt. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender.
Remove from heat and stir in frozen peas, edamame and lime zest. Serve over Basmati rice and top with chopped cilantro. I also like to add the juice of the lime I zested for even more pep.
This recipe makes fantastic leftovers if you’re only cooking for one (as I usually am). But with Hala around on Friday night, I only had enough leftovers for one meal. Here’s to good friends and good appetites.