Saturday, June 21, 2008

That Cookbook Thing II: Julia's Sauce au Cari

Update Dec 2011: Cans of coconut milk are now 13.66 (random) ounces instead of 15, and I've started leaving out the flour without noticing a difference in taste.

This month, the humble members of That Cookbook Thing II are bringing you Julia Child's Light Curry Sauce. There seems to be a wide variety of opinions on this recipe in this little group. I'm at one extreme - I absolutely loved it. I seared some chunks of boneless pork ribs in a pan and then let them finish cooking in the sauce, and then served the whole she-bang over basmati rice. Here, take a look:

I made one major change to the recipe that maybe, just possibly, ok REALLY made a difference? I substituted a can of coconut milk for the regular milk the recipe called for. It made a very creamy sauce - although calling this a "Light" sauce must refer to the flavor and not the overall texture.

I also made my own curry powder (which isn't as hard as it sounds, since I have a bunch of whole spices from that first cookbook thing we did) and I think that made a big difference in the taste of the final sauce. Curry powder from fresh ground spices has a completely different taste than my jar of pre-mixed curry powder.

The Professor and I both loved the meal. But the taste on the first night was nothing compared to the left-overs. The sauce and pork was incredibly better the next day when I reheated it to stuff in some whole wheat pitas. So if you're family won't eat leftovers, make this a day ahead.

  • Mike's going to post the original recipe over at his place. I'll link to the recipe when it's up. Done!
  • Ruth wasn't as impressed with the recipe as I was.
  • Kittie went all out and put the rest of us to shame with her rendition. Seriously, I'm going to move to the UK just to eat her food.
  • Sara gave us a great photo essay that I should probably have looked at before I made the recipe.
  • And Some of us haven't posted yet. {Runs to check} Nope. Still not there. {Foot Tapping}. I'll wait here. So when they do get their posts up (I'm looking at you, our fearless leader!), run and look, because they'll all be great. And then come back here, because I know you love me best.
Julia's Sauce au Cari (Light Curry Sauce) with pork and rice

1/2 cup minced white onion
4 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp curry powder
1 15 z can coconut milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup flour
half and half, as needed
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound boneless pork ribs, cut in 1 inch chunks
2 cups prepared basmati rice

Put the coconut milk and the water in a small saucepan over medium-low heat - you want it to be at a good simmer by the time you need it a couple of steps later.

Put the pork in skillet to sear, and while they cook prepare the sauce:

Cook the onions and butter in a skillet over low heat for 10 minutes - don't let them turn color.

Stir in the curry powder and cook slowly for two minutes.

Add the simmering coconut milk/water mixture to the onions in two additions, stirring completely in between.

Add the flour, and stir to completely incorporate it into the sauce.

Add the pork to the sauce. Simmer gently for about 15 minutes, stirring often.

If the sauce looks too thick for you - mine wasn't too bad - add a little half and half. I used about 2 tablespoons. Correct the taste with salt and pepper as needed.

Serve over basmati rice.


Sara said...

Homemade curry powder AND coconut milk? Awesome! I can imagine how great that was.

Ruth Daniels said...

I certainly love you! And your coconut milk...perhaps I actually will try to make it again.

Shaun said...

Deborah ~ I like your substitution. The consistency of your sauce looks great. What spices did you use in your curry blend?

Mike said...

I knew the first time you mentioned it, coconut milk was going to be great in it. I'm so happy you loved it!

Elle said...

Funny, after I made it, I was thinking Damn, this needs coconut milk! I'll definitely try it again, also with a homemade curry powder.

kittie said...

I was soooo jealous you thought of the coconut milk thing first ;)

This looks fab - I'm going to try your version! What did you put in your curry powder? (Or is that top secret information... ;)

(Also, I hadn't considered using pork - but that must've been delicious - I'll be making double quantities too!)