Guest Post: The Novice Gardener’s Lamb Chops with Thai Red Curry Sauce (and Bon Voyage, Fae!)

Thai Red Curry Sauce w Lamb Chops(Thailand) - GUEST POST -

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Speaking of a woman who evolves with time, she gets better and better…
Angie of   The Novice Gardener   is who!    And, by the way, there is nothing ‘novice’ about her
in anything she touches or sets her mind to.

I call her the ‘renaissance woman’.  A multi-talented woman who started writing about her garden, which developed into sharing her stunning looking recipes, she has even given us a sneak peek into
her painting skills and jewelry making  (oh, I’m sure there must be more).   Angie has marvelous photographic talent, showcased by photographs of her creations.   If you thought it stops there,
no, no, no…   ten weeks ago, Angie started hosting the  Fiesta Friday  series, a gathering of foodie bloggers and non-foodie bloggers to get to know and support one-another.   It’s been a success from Fiesta #1!

Holding a degree in journalism, Angie’s writing entertains you, bringing humor and joy to your reading while you are enjoying visually as well.  I am proud to call this sublime, generous, talented woman my friend and love being called her BFF!

And now, it is time for the one-and-only Angie to take over!

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This post is long overdue. Not just because I’ve been working on it for what seems like forever, but also because I’ve been looking forward to writing a guest post for Fae@Fae’s Twist and Tango for even longer than forever.  This tells me that I should never work without a deadline.  No deadline is deadly for me.

So, I’ve been wanting to tackle Thai food for a while now.  It is one of my most favorite foods in the world. Somehow, though, that doesn’t necessarily translate into more Thai food being cooked in my kitchen. The reason? It’s pretty darn complicated. The list of ingredients alone can get you pretty much discouraged. Then the grinding and pounding of the spices doubles up as a big “don’t even bother.”

It’s much easier to just go out and eat Thai food in a restaurant.  Leave this complicated cuisine in the hands of the pros.  Am I right? Of course, I’m wrong. Just like anything else, once you familiarize yourself with it, there’s nothing to fear anymore.

Besides, guest blogging for Fae makes you want to push yourself, to venture outside your comfort zone.
I wanted to make something worthy of Fae’s blog. Her recipes range from the exotic to the exemplary. They’re not your run-of-the-mill recipes. They have an international flair to them. I didn’t want to just make sugar cookies.  There’s no point in that.  My BFF (Blogger Friends Forever) Fae may have disagreed, for she is one of those very gracious and gentle souls I’ve ever encountered in the blogsphere.

I took the challenge on my own. Especially when I saw that Fae didn’t have an entry from Thailand yet. Also, I want to give her a proper send-off with something special. As you know, Fae is about to embark on a 2-month long travel around the world, so it seems. Who knows, maybe Thailand is on the list of places she’ll visit. So here’s my Thai Red Curry. A guest post worthy enough, I hope, to be published on Fae’s Twist and Tango. Thank you for the opportunity, Miss Fae. And Bon Voyage!

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Lamb Chops with Thai Red Curry Sauce

  • Servings: 3
  • Time: 1½ ~ 2 hrs.
  • Difficulty: Moderate ~ Difficult
  • Print

Recipe by:    Angie  of    The Novice Gardner     (thenovicegardener.wordpress.com)

Kaeng Khua Curry Paste

(Nam Phrik Kaeng Khua)
lamb chops- making Thai red curry paste

This is the basic Thai red curry paste. There are other versions of  Thai red curry, including Massaman and Phanaeng curries.  They both use Khaeng Khua  as the base, but in each curry, additional spices are added to give it its distinct taste.  For my lamb chops, I decided to give it my own twist & tango. I added spices that I thought would go well with lamb.

INGREDIENTS

•   5  dried red chillies, soaked in hot water for about 15 minutes
•   3  tbsp  chopped shallots
•   2  tbsp  chopped garlic
•   1  tbsp  chopped lemon grass
•   2  tsp  chopped galangal (available fresh or frozen at Asian markets)
•   1  tsp  chopped  makrut/keiffer * lime rind (or substitute with Persian or Key lime)
•   1  tsp  chopped cilantro root (if unavailable, omit)
•   2  tsp  salt
•   1  tsp  shrimp paste (This is very strong-smelling, so optional if you don’t like the smell,
but it does add authenticity to overall taste.)

DIRECTIONS

◊   In a blender, put all ingredients except the shrimp paste and blend until well mixed. Then, add the shrimp paste and blend once more until a fine paste is formed.  You can add  1 tbsp of water if needed, just to get the blender going. Or alternately, you can pound the ingredients in a mortar and pestle; it’s a good arm exercise.  This yields about 3/4 cup of curry paste.

*  Note: The lime rind used in Thai cuisine is from Citrus Hystrix, a sour little lime that has the characteristic of a bumpy skin/rind, unlike the smooth rind of Persian or Key lime.  It used to be and is still called “kaffir” lime.  However, I have since learned that the word is highly offensive to some cultures, so I have pretty much stopped using it in my recipes.  I use it here in this explanation, but only because I need to provide an explanation.

Lamb Chops in Thai Red Curry Sauce

lamb chops with red curry sauce
INGREDIENTS

•   3  lamb chops
•   1 -2  tbsp  olive oil
•   4  tbsp  Kaeng Khua Curry Paste
•   1  tsp  grated fresh ginger
•   1  tsp  coriander seeds
•   1  tsp  cumin seeds
•   1  tsp  paprika
•   1/2  tsp  turmeric
•   1/2  tsp  freshly ground pepper
•   1/2  cup  coconut milk
•   1/2  cup  beef or chicken stock or water
•   Salt as needed

DIRECTIONS

1.   Toast all dry spices in a small pan on medium heat to bring out the flavor.  Grind spices either in a coffee mill or mortar and pestle.
2.   In a skillet, heat olive oil at medium-high heat.  Sear lamb chops until brown all around,
about  2-3 minutes per side.  Transfer to a plate and set aside.
3.   Add more oil to the skillet and stir fry the curry paste until it’s fragrant and starts to separate from the oil, about 1-2 minutes.  Add the dry spice mix and stir briefly to combine.
4.   Add coconut milk and stock and bring mixture to a boil.
5.   Add lamb chops back to the skillet and continue cooking until lamb is cooked and sauce is reduced and thickened.
6.   Transfer to a platter.  Sprinkle cilantro or mint leaves.  Serve with rice.

You can serve ground sumac on the side, if you like.  It wouldn’t be Thai at all, but it adds a wonderful tangy flavor to the lamb.  Plus, I have plenty of dry sumac berries waiting to be used.

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lamb chops- making Thai red curry paste
lamb chops in Thai red curry sauce

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Wow Angie! I truly am speechless. I will not be stopping in Thailand, but now that I have seen this dish, I wouldn’t mind going back to Thailand very soon.  Thank you my friend.  I am grateful for this send off, my special bon voyage!

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75 comments

  1. Am I too late to leave a comment? I hope not. First of all, I am so happy to find this blog via Selma’s table. Selma introduced Fae’s Twist & Tango on her post, and I am glad I clicked over. I will be coming back for more :)

    And Angie, I am SUPER IMPRESSED. You made this curry paste like a native, well, better than some native aka. me :)
    You are more Thai than me, and I am SO HAPPY you love Thai Food. :)
    Truly talented lady, you are.

    Like

    1. No, Pang! Kind words and compliments are always welcomed. :) ))) Thank you for visiting and leaving a message. :)

      Like

  2. I’m exploring Thai food at the moment too, so will have to try this – looks great…
    and those carrots Wow! Best wishes, Emma :-)

    Like

  3. Hi! I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award! If you accept this award, just follow this link: http://skinnysweettreats.com/2014/04/20/guilt-free-easter-bark/
    It’s a way for bloggers to show appreciation to other bloggers. Congrats!

    Like

    1. Thank you very much for thinking of me. (I was away, and my apologies for the late response.)

      Like

  4. Wow good for you! Tackling Thai food is something even I struggle with and I grew up in Bangkok. This looks amazing!

    Like

  5. We’ve missed way too many posts thanks to our website transition. This looks absolutely wonderful! The spices, chillies.. everything!

    Like

  6. afracooking · · Reply

    This recipe is amazing – such vibrant colours and I can just imagine the amazing powerful fragrance that must have come off that plate :-)

    Like

  7. I love the Novice Gardener too, she rocks my tastebuds with her cool pics! This rcipe is another winner!! xxx It looks very scrumptious yet delicious! xxx

    Like

    1. Right back at ya, Sophie! YOU rock, girl, with your super-healthy and I might add, super-tasty recipes! <3

      Like

      1. Love & kisses right back at you! :) xxx

        Like

  8. Beautiful dish! Wonderful guest post Angie!

    Like

    1. Thank you, Saucy! Luv ya! XOXO

      Like

  9. Does this ever look good! I’ve never thought of cooking lamb chops in a red curry sauce and I bet it’s terrific. Fae chose her guest bloggers wisely.
    Buon viaggio, Fae!

    Like

    1. Thank you, John! So happy to get the Bartolini kitchens’ seal of approval! :-)

      Like

  10. This is another superb recipe! Well done, Angie! And thank you, Fae, for sharing this lovely post! :-)

    Like

    1. Thanks, Serena! So glad you approved! :-)

      Like

      1. You can say I am a fan! :-)

        Like

      2. Yes, you are doing great and I admire your work, this is what I meant, Angie :-)

        Like

  11. Bon Voyage Fae and what a great guest post, fabulous dish!

    Like

    1. Thanks, Suzanne! Happy to hear you liked it! :-)

      Like

  12. This dish looks fantastic! Your lamb chops look very tender and love those hand carved carrots, how sweet is that! Nice to meet you Angie.

    Like

    1. Lol, Bam! I was trying to emulate those beautifully carved carrot roses that Thai restaurants use to decorate their plates, but unfortunately my carving skills are subpar, so I used cutters instead. :-) Very nice meeting you!

      Like

  13. This is a strange period, I’m tired, I miss my hometown… I’m a grey area, even with my blog. But I have to admit that anytime I have the chance to read post like yours, where you can “smell” the beauty of your sincere relationship, I find a new reason to do not give up! If I was you I’d be really proud of the amazing effect that you both have on other fellow bloggers! beautiful job, you’re so good at working in pairs! p.s I’m not a big fan of lamp…. but that dish look amazing!
    Once again have a great trip Fae!

    Like

    1. Maybe a little R & R is needed? I highly recommend it, Margy! XOXO

      Like

  14. Oh yummy! I would love to make this!!! Fae is now sailing the seas and dreaming of making this dish!!

    Like

    1. Thanks, Cindy! Fae has a hard time already as it is deciding what to have for dinner. She is, I’m sure by now, at some busy port offering the best food available. :-)

      Like

  15. This doesn’t surprise me at all! Angie is like Midas, whatever she touches, turns into gold!
    And then Fae and Angie combination can be very powerful :).
    Loved the recipe. Thanks for the recipe of red Thai paste.
    Have a great and safe trip Fae :).

    Like

    1. Aww, Sonal, aren’t you sweet! I can’t turn things into gold, not yet. My wand needs to learn a new spell for that, lol… Thanks, hon! :-)

      Like

  16. This is such a wonderful post… and what an absolutely beautiful recipe to celebrate such a lovely friendship! You never cease to impress me, Angie… truly. Fae…I hope your trip is beautiful..safe…and happy. Thank you so much for sharing this!

    Like

    1. Thank you, Prudy! You are very kind and you always know what to say. You leave me feeling happy! :-)

      Like

  17. Wow Beautiful, loved checking your recipe out!

    Like

    1. Thank you, Heidy, for your lovely comment!

      Like

      1. Anytime! Have a great day!

        Like

  18. Angie what a beautiful post, the colours are brighter than ever. Even better photos than before – if that is possible? Congratulations. And Fae happy travels to you, look forward to seeing photos of where you go.

    Like

    1. Thanks, Polianthus! What a compliment you’ve given me! Appreciate it, hon! XOXO

      Like

  19. Fabulous post Angie – bon voyage Fae – have a brilliant, brilliant time and come back with lots to tell us! xxx

    Like

    1. Thank you, Selma! <3

      Like

  20. yummy and so beautifully plated

    Like

    1. Thank you very much! :-)

      Like

  21. WOW! The color of the red curry sauce is absolutely gorgeous!! YUM! :)

    Like

    1. Thank you, Josette! You make pretty mean Thai curry yourself! :-)

      Like

  22. Such a beautiful red color from the chilis! Where do you/ The Novice Gardener buy your speciality ingredients?

    Like

    1. I buy my ingredients from Asian markets, except for the dried chiles. They come from a local produce stand that sells Mexican chiles among other things!

      Like

  23. Wow this is alliance of the titans! I love this recipe. I just made something very similar recently and I wasn’t sure if I was cheating or not by using curry paste. But i guess if you add all of your own other ingredients, it’s just as good. I love that you did it with lamb, as my go-to is always chicken. Wonderful job ladies and those photos….gorgeous.

    Like

    1. Not sure about titans. Maybe an alliance of master and student, more apt, don’t you think? Missing Fae already! She would know what to say to put everything right. I wouldn’t have thought twice about using store-bought paste, but I wanted to give making it from scratch a try. I’m glad I did! Now I have homemade curry paste sitting in my fridge. I’ll try beef next, and maybe chicken, too. Thanks, Amanda!

      Like

  24. Great recipe, no surprise there. Love that you added a beautiful picture of sumac and suggest adding it.

    Like

    1. Thanks, Hilda! I knew you’d appreciate the sumac. I have a whole bag of them. I have to use them somehow. :-)

      Like

      1. Plus, sumac goes well with lamb, I think.

        Like

  25. Oh wow, this looks unreal! I cannot get enough of Thai flavours, I need to try this.

    Like

    1. Give it a try and let us know how you make out, okay? XOXO

      Like

  26. F. Sani · · Reply

    A great guest post by Angie… a decadent recipe! Have a safe and fun trip, Fae. xoxo

    Like

    1. Thank you very much! Really appreciate that!

      Like

  27. Reblogged this on The Novice Gardener and commented:
    Bon Voyage to my BFF (Blogger Friend Forever) Fae as she embarks on a 2-month world tour. I will miss her greatly while she’s gone. Her comments have always been some of my most anticipated.

    Fae’s generosity in sharing her blogging knowledge is unparalleled. I am fortunate to have been a recipient of this generosity. This, coupled with her gentle encouragement have proven to be the most motivating factor in my blogging. I owe much of my progress to her, as she continues to be my biggest inspiration. I’m honored to have been asked to write a guest post for her blog.

    Like

  28. What a fabulous dish Angie! Your recipes are always so impressive and beautifully presented. Thank you Fae for featuring a wonderful guest post!

    Like

    1. Thank you, Seana! You’re so sweet! Luv ya, sister! XOXO

      Like

  29. Beautiful dish, Angie, and safe travels to dear Fae.

    Like

    1. Thank you, Shanna! So glad you liked! :-)

      Like

  30. Wonderful recipe and photos. Both of you deserve accolades for your beautiful and inspiring blogs! :)

    Like

    1. Wow, Ronit, that is high praise coming from you. Thank you so much! XOXO

      Like

  31. What a delicious-looking dish! Have a great time on your travels, Fae!

    Like

    1. Thanks, Nancy! Aren’t you missing Fae already? And she just left!

      Like

  32. Wow, that looks so yummy! Must try for my knuckleheads.

    Like

    1. Thank you! Hope your knuckleheads like it! :-)

      Like

  33. Two women I admire very much — Angie, you create inspiring, beautiful, amazing dishes post after post, and this one is another stunner. I love that you made your own curry paste from scratch! Fae, you too are such an inspiration and you will be missed during your trip! I’m certain you will be back with more fantastic creations, though. Have a wonderful time. Itte rasshai!

    Like

    1. Missing Fae, too! Wish we can talk to her now. :-(

      Laura, the feeling is mutual. I have long admired you and your blog, so thank you for that. Means so much! XOXO

      Like

  34. Lovely lovely post !

    Like

    1. Thank you so much! :-)

      Like

  35. Love Angie :) she is such a superstar, just like you, Fae xx thank you ladies for your constant inspiration and friendship xx

    Like

    1. Right back at ya, Elaine! XOXO

      Like

  36. Wow! Beautiful and delicious!

    Like

    1. Thank you so much, appreciate it! :-)

      Like

    1. Thanks, Miyuki! You approved?

      Like

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