|Cold February Night Three Chili Curry with Fried Ricotta|
|Written by Launie Kettler|
|Friday, 17 February 2012 18:58|
As someone who loves to cook and loves to experiment with new recipes and different ingredients, getting what I need for a new dish is not always easy. Even though the Hispanic and Indian populations in Vermont have been growing in recent years, there are many ingredients we still can't find locally for really great curries or amazing south-of-the-border meals.
Needless to say, finding the Indian soft cheese, paneer, isn't as easy as finding Cabot's Extra Sharp cheddar at the grocery store. (Although I am going to make paneer from scratch this winter.) And years ago, I read that substituting pan-fried ricotta would have the same flavor profile as paneer. So, I started making it regularly. It's incredibly delicious and remarkably simple to make. The curry itself is spicy, with a bright flavor that makes it a happy dinner for two while the temperature falls outside.
4 tablespoons of ricotta
1 scant teaspoon of olive oil
Pour the olive oil into a small frying pan. Tip the pan to spread the oil around. Drop the ricotta by the spoonful into the pan. Turn the heat on the lowest setting and walk away from the pan. It's going to look like a horrible mess and you're going to think that you've done something wrong.
But, you haven't. Come back in about 10 minutes and you should see holes in the cheese.
At this point it has solidified somewhat, so peek to see if the cheese is browning. If it hasn't, come back and check in a couple of minutes. As soon as the cheese is brown, flip it. Leave the cheese alone for around 5-7 minutes or until both sides are brown.
Let the cheese cool and crumble it.
(As an aside, the fried ricotta is fantastic on a simple green salad.)
Three Chili Curry
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1 medium onion, diced
Salt and pepper
¼ cup of white wine
1 inch of ginger, grated or finely diced
3 Thai chilies, sliced
1 large tomato, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
2 teaspoons of cumin
1 heaping teaspoon of chili powder
½ teaspoon of ground coriander or ½ teaspoon of coriander seeds toasted and then ground
1 tablespoon of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
¼ cup of chicken or vegetable broth
¼ cup of half and half
Melt the butter in a dutch oven or frying pan. Add the onion, ginger and salt and pepper. When the onion is soft, remove the pan from the heat and add the wine. Return the pan to the heat and add the Thai chilies, tomato, tomato paste, cumin, chili powder, coriander, chipotles and chicken broth. Let the curry simmer for 15 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the curry cool for another 15 minutes. Add the half and half and slowly heat through. When the curry is hot serve over rice and sprinkle with the fried ricotta.
(Photos by Launie Kettler)