Coconut Milk Two Ways
Recently as I was wandering through the produce aisle I picked up a mango on sale and then decided I felt like sweet potato. It then occurred to me that those were the necessary ingredients for my favourite stir-fry, which I haven’t had for a long time. I knew I had a coconut milk in the cupboard so it was a perfect idea. I’ll be moving in less than a month to go spend another field season working with ferruginous hawks on the prairies, so I need to be clearing out my food cupboards.
(serves 2 to 3)
(based off this Reader’s Digest recipe)
1 tbsp canola oil
1 chicken breast or thigh, cut into bite-sized pieces (I used a local free-range thigh) (optional, or use tofu)
salt & pepper
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
1 1/2 cups water, or more if necessary
1/2 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
1 red, green, or yellow pepper (or a combination), cut into bite-sized chunks.
1/2 cup coconut milk (I like Aroy-D brand, as it doesn’t contain sulphites)
2 tbsp peanut butter
1/2 tbsp sweet chili sauce
1 mango, ripe but firm, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
Heat oil in a wok or frying pan. Season chicken with salt and pepper and cook 5 to 6 minutes, until browned; remove and set aside. Add additional oil to pan if necessary. Add onion, cook about 3 minutes. Stir in ginger and garlic and cook one minute. Add water and bring to a boil. Add sweet potatoes. Simmer uncovered 10 minutes. Add peppers, continue to cook 5 minutes more or until vegetables are tender and almost all liquid has evaporated. Meanwhile, stir together coconut milk, peanut butter and sweet chili sauce. Add to pan and bring to a boil. Add chicken. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Add mango and cook one to 2 minutes longer, just until hot. Serve sprinkled with cilantro. Great with jasmine rice.
I doubt that I will have access to free-range chicken this summer, so I may not get to enjoy this again for some time! But although I’ve never tried it, it could easily be vegetarianized by leaving the chicken out (the sweet potato makes it pretty hearty) or substituting tofu.
Chai was super-excited when he saw the cilantro, because he thought that it was spinach. He decided that he didn’t like the taste of cilantro, so then he was cranky.
I wasn’t sure what to do with my leftover coconut milk, then my friend Katie blogged about ice cream she made with coconut milk. So I decided to Google search blogs for coconut milk ice cream and came across a simple recipe on Take A Megabite— it’s only 3 ingredients! It’s dairy-free and vegan (well, if you use vegan sugar.)
1 cup coconut milk, chilled
2 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp cocoa
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until combined. (I thought, why dirty my blender? But it’s very hard to get the ingredients properly mixed by hand.) Pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions. Or you could pour it into a freezer-safe container and put in your freezer, stirring it every hour or so until it is frozen. This is such a small amount it would freeze fairly quick. (I have a 1-cup ice cream maker; if yours is larger double, triple, etc the recipe. But I would caution you not to eat a ton at once– coconut milk is so rich it easily can be too much for my stomach.)
Top with whatever your heart desires– I put chopped brazil nuts on mine, which went well with the coconut undertones. (Did you know that one brazil nut has a day’s recommended allowance of selenium? ;))
What do you do with coconut milk?