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Dinner Tonight! | LEARNING TO COOK

Good Old Curry

September 13, 2000|MARION CUNNINGHAM

In my view, recipes are either good or bad, and the only way to find out which is by testing. You can't cook in your head.

One very good old-time recipe is this curry. It's a quick, easy way to use up leftover meat; all you need is 2 cups of cooked chicken, pork, lamb or beef. I haven't tested this, but I believe you could substitute vegetables cut into chunks, such as eggplant or small new potatoes.

Curry is usually served with steamed white rice, and it might be wise to cook twice as much rice as you need; rice too can be a helpful leftover for the next day or two.

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Cunningham's newest book is "Learning to Cook With Marion Cunningham" (Alfred A. Knopf, 1999).

Hurry Curry

Active Work and Total Preparation Time: 35 minutes

Serve this with hot cooked rice. If you have to make a special trip to the store to get chicken broth, use water.

2 onions

3 tablespoons butter

2 cups cooked beef, lamb, chicken or pork

1 apple

1/4 cup golden raisins, optional

1 1/2 cups chicken broth

1 1/2 tablespoons flour

1 tablespoon curry powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

* Using a paring knife, cut and peel papery skin off onions. Cut off stem top. Slice onions down center from stem top to root bottom, using root bottom to hold onion together. Place onion halves flat side down and slice lengthwise from stem top to root bottom in 1/4-inch thick slices, then cut crosswise in 1/4-inch pieces. Discard root bottoms. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in skillet over medium-high heat and saute onions until softened, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Place onions in bowl and set aside.

* Cut meat into bite-size pieces and set aside. Peel apple and cut off 4 wedges, leaving just apple core. Discard core and cut each wedge into 1/2-inch chunks. Add raisins. Set aside with onions and meat.

* Place broth in small saucepan and heat until simmering. Turn off heat and let sit on burner while you start your sauce.

* Melt remaining butter in 2 1/2-quart saucepan over low heat and stand right there and watch the butter melt (butter can brown quickly and you don't want this to happen); tilt saucepan so butter coats bottom of pan. Sprinkle flour and curry powder over butter and, using a large spoon, stir constantly, all over the bottom of the pan, so butter, flour and curry powder get well blended. Now slowly add hot broth or water to butter mixture, stirring constantly so mixture blends well. Turn heat to medium and stir until thick, smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Now stir in salt and taste. Add more if needed. Add meat, apple and raisins and continue to stir and cook sauce a few more minutes or until meat is thoroughly heated.

4 servings. Each serving: 261 calories; 703 mg sodium; 64 mg cholesterol; 13 grams fat; 20 grams carbohydrates; 16 grams protein; 0.65 gram fiber.

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La Picola Bottega bowl from D'Laria Italian Ceramics, Los Angeles.

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