Monday, January 10, 2011

coconut-braised beef, also known as fate

I suppose it's "normal" to get stuck in a cooking rut. Hey, I'll admit it. It's all too easy for us to fall into a comfortable routine which involves making the same thing week in and week out with little to no variation. It requires so much less thinking, less decision-making. You're cruising along on autopilot and for the moment, autopilot feels good.

That is, until you hit a wall going 50. Must. Try. Something. New.

So straight to my recipe binder I went, sifting through the pages, waiting for something to catch my tired, jaded eye. And then, in a way that could only be described as fate, I glanced into my future and smiled. Coconut-braised beef.

I excitedly shuffled over to the market for the beef, a dried chili, and a can of coconut milk and then hurriedly ran back home to get things under way. And as soon as I blitzed the ginger, garlic, chili, lime zest and juice into a paste and then into the hot pan it went to bloom, I felt shivers. Honest to God shivers. If anything, I urge you to make this recipe just for that moment. That one moment when your kitchen is totally enveloped in scents so exotic and alluring and pleasantly potent that you almost don't know what to do with yourself. It's practically paralyzing.

But I'll tell you what you'll do three hours later. You will come to. And you will eat. Oh, will you eat. And in between bites, you will laugh. You will laugh at the outrageousness of this dish. Bold flavors and nuances and textures and heat. It just tastes special. Really, really, really special.

Change is good.

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