Thursday, July 23, 2009

Fixing Curry

I mentioned that I was making dinner from what I had on hand, right? Well, I should have just gone plain and simple. But no, I decided to get a little fancy, and had to fix the curry to make it edible.

Here’s what I started with (and should have ended with): Chopped new potatoes and onions, sautéed in olive oil.
Then I threw in a carton of cherry tomatoes. Next some chopped kale. (The remainder of my CSA and farmer’s market bounty from last week.) The idea was to have the tomatoes stew and become part of the sauce.

Next a jar of Trader Joe’s Punjab Spinach Sauce (which I keep in my pantry for times like these). I guess now is as good a time as any to mention that I am not at all opposed to using these meal helpers as long as I recognize all of the ingredients within. If it’s all stuff I’d cook with anyhow, why not use a little help here and there? We’ve all got a lot going on in our lives, and it would be ludicrous to assume we’re going to cook from scratch each night! Trader Joe’s has a bounty of these prepared sauces, frozen items, and envelopes of goodies I keep on hand.

OK, so back to the curry. Next I tossed in a handful of raisins (for texture and some sweetness)...
and a bag of frozen organic spinach and a bag of organic frozen peas. I should have just let the potatoes cook, the flavors blend, and enjoyed the meal as is over brown rice.
But I added some sherry vinegar. Sherry vinegar?! It was there, it smelled yummy. I like zing. So, I poured it in. Too much in. It didn’t make it zingy. Between the bitter kale and the vinegar the curry was downright sour. I needed to add a base and something sweet to make this meal edible. Back to the pantry. I had a can of Light Coconut Milk. Added that. Still needs something more. Checked the fridge…orange marmalade….no sugar added apricot jam…voila!: a jar of Mango-Ginger Chutney. Added a little. Added the whole jar.

The irony of it all? When my husband had the curry he commented that it was a little too sweet for his tastes.

The moral of the story: Trader Joe’s Punjab Spinach Sauce is yummy as is. And you can feel good about whipping up a “homemade” meal using it. No need to try to get fancy. It’s made with: tomato puree, spinach, light cream, tomatoes, onions, lemon juice, ginger, garlic, sea salt, canola oil, coriander, cumin, turmeric, paprika, red pepper, cinnamon, and cloves. All things you recognize.

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