Friday, January 22, 2010

The Food We Eat When We're Alone

What would you do if your husband left you, for the third weekend in a row, to go to his hunting lease?

The first weekend, you might go visit your dear friend who just had a baby and help her around the house. The second weekend you might put up Christmas decorations. The third weekend, you might begin by cleaning the house, and then through you hands up in the air and say, "SPICY THAI PEANUT CURRY!!!"

Well, that's what I did. With Tanner gone, I decided to treat myself to one of my favorite recipes that Tanner just so happens to strongly dislike. We won't even get into how he has never actually tasted it or really even seen it. He just decided that he hated it when I described it to him. And, well, that was that.

But guess what? Tanner wasn't home last weekend, so I made my all-time favorite peanut curry. And you better believe I ate it for 6 straight lunch and dinner meals. (I had to take a break for breakfast.) After 6 meals of curry, I ingested a bottle of charcoal pills and gained 40 lbs, but that's beside the point.

I first made this when recipe when I lived alone in my temporary apartment in hell on earth Amarillo. It was my respite from constant hurricane-force winds and the lingering smell of cow manure. Most people wouldn't think of curry as a comfort food, but I do. And it was my litle single-life reunion for the weekend since the rest of my lease-widow weekends were decidedly domestic.

What do you eat when your husband's out of town? Pick up some sushi? (Another one of my favorites.) Down nothing but popcorn and coke? If you don't have a go-to yet, and you love peanut butter, try this:

Spicy Thai Peanut and Chicken Curry
2 Tbsp peanut oil
3 Tbsp red curry paste
1 Tbsp sambal oelek (chili paste, looks like this)
1.5 lbs chicken breast cut into chunks (I used leftover turkey last weekend)
2 cups coconut milk or light coconut milk
2 Tbsp fish sauce
3 Tbsp brown sugar
4 Tbsp cream peanut butter
3-6 cups cooked white rice (depends how much rice you like with your curry)
crushed peanuts
cilantro, green onion, cucumber slivers, bean sprouts (whatever green you have on hand)

1. Saute peanut oil, curry paste, and sambal over medium heat for a few minutes.
2. Add the chicken chunks and cook through.
3. Add the coconut milk, fish sauce, brown sugar, and peanut butter.
4. Simmer for about ten minutes, stirring every once and a while.
5. Serve over white rice, and top with crushed peanuts, lime juice, and
cilantro, green onion, cucumber slivers, bean sprouts or whatever green things you have around the house.

You can adjust the curry, sambal, fish, sauce, brown sugar, and peanut butter up or down about a tablespoon or two until you find the combination spiciness, savoriness, and peanutbuterygoodness that suits you. I like it extra peanutbuttery and medium spicy.

I had no crushed peanuts, but trust me, they make it sooo much better.

This recipe was adapted from HeidiSue's


  1. Yum!! I am totally stealing this.

    When Rob is out of town or out for the night, even, I try to treat it like a party for me, so I don't feel sorry for myself. I eat food I love, and usually make sure I have a dessert for me, I'll watch movies he would hate (scary or stupid romantic comedies--which I actually kind of hate too, but are not as scary when you're home alone) and do things like paint or read or other things that are enjoyable for a table of one. I sometimes enjoy it a lot and sometimes feel a little pathetic. :)

  2. You made this forme when I visited you and it makes my mouth water just to remember how good an creamy and spicy it was. Now I have the recipe too. Nice presentation in your new bowls from Dottie by the way. :)

  3. I'm a total blog stalker and somehow made my way to yours. When my husband goes hunting (like every other weekend in the fall) I paint a wall, re-arrange furniture, buy something 'big' and see if he notices. 1/2 the time he doesn't :)



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