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You Know It’s Spring in the Midwest When…

Posted Apr 04 2011 8:14pm

Don’t feel bad if you didn’t have as nice of weather as we did this past weekend, because we totally paid for it today!

(PS you know it’s spring in the Midwest when I mention at least one weather-related item in each post. It turns on a dime, I tell ya’. Snow one minute, 90 degrees the next – it’s too crazy not to share!)

Anyways, the wind howled all day long, and I don’t even think we reached above 40 degrees. To top it all off it looked gorgeous outside, which was just a kick in the you know what. What a tease! 8O

Running outdoors was obviously out, so I headed to the gym after work. I so loved the 5-4-3-2-1 Interval Routine I tackled on Friday, that I did it again today, followed by 18 minutes on the stair stepper doing my 3-2-1 Stair Stepper Routine .

In case you can’t tell, when I’m using machines at the gym, I have to have routines where I can count down/check off chunks of time. Otherwise I just stare straight ahead feeling like I’m on a hamster wheel, wanting to pull my hair out. You understand.

Came home to the most gorgeous smelling dinner which combined two of my very favorite things: exotic flavors + crock pot dinners. Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Chicken !!

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Serves 2*. Adapted slightly from Salt & Paprika .

Ingredients:

1/2 large onion

1 small green bell pepper, seeded & quartered

2 garlic cloves

1 small can tomato paste

1 can lite coconut milk

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon curry powder

1 Tablespoon Garam Masala

1lb chicken breasts, cut into big chunks

Salt & pepper

1 Tablespoon water

3/4 Tablespoon cornstarch

Directions:

1. Place onion and bell pepper into a food processor. Process until finely chopped. Add in garlic cloves, tomato paste, coconut milk, salt, curry powder and garam masala, then process until smooth (may need to separate into 2 batches to fit in a smaller sized food processor.)

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2*. Place half of the sauce mixture into a ziplock bag and freeze for making this dish a second time. Season the chicken with salt & pepper, combine with the remaining sauce, and cook in a crockpot on low for 4 hours.

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3. After 4 hours, dissolve water and cornstarch together then add into the crockpot. Keep the lid cracked and cook on high for 10-15 minutes. If you’re running short on time, transfer sauce to a pan and simmer on medium heat for 3-5 minutes, or until sauce is thickened.

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4. Serve over a bed of rice!

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Yummy!!!!

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I’m not usually a "sauce" girl, but I drenched my rice in this crazy-flavorful stuff. Coconut milk + garam masala is like Oreos + milk. Made to be together!

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To go with the delicate flavors of the coconut curry, I served fluffy, tender Jasmine Rice underneath.

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If you’ve never had Jasmine rice, you need to run out to the store to buy it now. Like, right now!

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Where regular white rice – the kind you get at your favorite Chinese joint – is short, sticky & dense…

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Jasmine rice is long, delicate and light as air. You can usually find it right in the bulk bins at your grocery store.

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The smell of it cooking is absolutely incredible. It almost smells like popcorn! Not Orville’s Butter Lovers, mind you, rather, natural popcorn popped in olive oil. MMM!!!

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PS I always cook my rice with a dish towel around the lid, secured with a skewer and clothes pin. One of my biggest kitchen pet peeves is goopy rice-starch that bubbles out of ill-fitting pot lids and burns on the stove. I HATE IT!

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Sometimes when I forget to use the above method for cooking rice, and I leave the dried-on crust on the stovetop for a couple days (if I don’t look at it, it doesn’t exist) Ben likes to surprise me by scraping it off. BAHAHAHA. Oh, married life.

Anyways – back to this dish. So easy and exotic tasting, but not so exotic that it’ll freak out your non-exotic-food-eating family or friends.

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Plus it tastes freaking amazing when slathered on a piece of Naan. You’ll want a little cup of sauce reserved just for this purpose! ;)  

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Alllrighty. I’m off to do…work. Eep. I’m so busy that 10 hours at the office isn’t cutting it right now. Lots to do, so little time to do it!

Have a great night!

~~~~~

Do you prefer cooking with a gas or electric stove?

I grew up with an electric, which is what I have now too. I had a gas in my first apartment in Minneapolis after college, and I always felt like I was going to burn the place down with it. Plus I felt like it was so hard to clean…

To each their own!

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