Savory or sweet, the ring mold is always fusing form with function.
It is probably best that one's food, particularly when it is curry based, never be associated with something so...eruptive. Nevertheless, spicy curry in a rice-y ring spoke to the chop suey-flavored menus of exotic, mid-century restaurants; a volcano just seemed like the natural progression.
I've mentioned before that I detest waste - especially when it comes to food. I'm becoming famous for my treatment of leftovers that leaves those eating totally unaware of the previous meal from which the current one started its life. A curry was the perfect foil for the chunks of chicken and remnants of roast that needed to be repurposed at our house; it is also an ideal base for any leftover proteins and/or vegetables you might have on hand.
|Coconut Curry Volcano|
I was concerned that it would become a giant mess before I made the presentation but the sticky, densely-
packed, coconut rice straight from the ring mold created a wonderfully- impenetrable barrier. Success!
MR TINY'S COCONUT CURRY
1 14 oz. Can of coconut milk
1 Large onion sliced
2 Cloves of garlic minced
1 Medium yam or sweet potato cubed
2 Large carrots chopped (or a couple handfuls of baby carrots)
2 Potatoes (any variety) cubed
1 Tbsp. Sugar
2 Tbsp. Curry Paste (any variety)
2 Tbsp. Fish Sauce*
1 Bunch of cilantro/coriander chopped*
Any leftover protein (chicken, pork, beef, tofu)*
Rice (any variety, and enough to fill a ring mold) prepare as directed on package
Directions:In a saucepan, boil carrots, yam, and potatoes until fork tender. Drain and set aside.
Start a heavy-bottomed pot on medium-high heat. Skim the coconut oil off the top of the canned coconut milk and add to the pot to use as your cooking medium. Add onion and saute until translucent.
Add garlic and cook just until fragrant. Add curry paste and chili flakes (to taste) and mix into onions and garlic (many of the spices in curry paste are oil soluble and need to bloom in the heat of the oil). Add protein and cook until heated through. Add coconut milk, sugar, and fish sauce. Lightly rinse the coconut milk can and add about 1/2 can of water to the curry. Add vegetables to the mixture. Reduce heat and simmer until ready to serve.
Prepare rice in a rice cooker or according to package instructions (to underscore the coconut flavor in the curry, I added about 1/2 cup of shredded coconut to the rice). Press rice into a ring mold prepared with cooking spray. Unmold rice onto a serving tray, fill with curry, and garnish with cilantro.
Although I am well known for my leftover makeovers, I have a strict policy against leftover leftovers. Knowing that I had made quite a bit of food, I sent out a text message inviting several people over for a supper of Coconut Curry Volcano. In response, one text inquired, "What does that mean?" My only reply was, "Bring your bib and come on over!"
|Haunted George versus The Volcano|
He liked it so much that he had two helpings -
after washing his hands and saying grace, of course.
Then again, his shirt kind of says it all...
The next attempt at the Coconut Curry Volcano will definitely include a more-organic, more-volcanic shape (out of brown rice maybe). We're developing a better presentation as well, with the interactive experience of making the volcano erupt (still hammering out the details of that one). Until then, enjoy this appropriate musical interlude.
"Volcano" - The Three Suns
Speaking of presentation, get a load of MUSIC MIKE!