The quest for interesting week night meals has been an on-going pursuit of mine for over 30 years now. The week-night dinner needs to be somewhat healthy, easy and quick to make, include inexpensive ingredients, and most importantly, be something that everyone likes. That’s the hard part when you have three kids who all like different things and all have certain dislikes. Many times, one member of the family has to just “lump it,” as I say. They’ll eat a barely acceptable portion, put the leftovers away and likely snack on stuff the rest of the evening. Fortunately, in this regard, my kids are almost all grown, moving away from home, and from here out, making weeknight dinners won’t be so problematic. Perhaps this small reward will make it slightly less painful when my youngest goes off to college next fall?
This week night dinner is from Martha Stewart originally but as usual, I’ve made some changes. The recipe is more about using Thai flavors than being authentic Thai food. I loved the bright flavors and the classic salty-sweet-sour-spicy balance of tastes. You can find fish sauce at most grocery stores now and you really should have some of this in your refrigerator if you don’t already. It passed our test of all those attributes listed above and is officially “a keeper.” Yes, indeed, one more dish for my weeknight repertoire!
One-Pot Thai Turkey and Rice
½ cup fresh lime juice
2 to 3 tablespoons fish sauce
1½ tablespoons packed light-brown sugar
7 shallots, halved and thinly sliced lengthwise – 2¼ cups
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 pound ground turkey
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
One small jalapeño, minced
1¼ cups jasmine rice
1¼ cups unsweetened full-fat coconut milk
1 sweet red bell pepper, thinly sliced – ⅓ cup
3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup packed fresh basil leaves or Thai basil, roughly chopped
1 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
Combine lime juice, 1 to 2 tablespoons fish sauce, and brown sugar in a bowl; stir until sugar is dissolved, then stir in ½ cup shallots.
Heat oil in a large high-sided skillet over medium-high. Add turkey, ginger, garlic, remaining 1¾ cups shallots and jalapeño.
Cook, stirring to break up turkey, until browned, about 9 minutes. Add rice; cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add remaining 1 tablespoon fish sauce, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan.
Add coconut milk, red pepper, 1½ teaspoons salt, and 1¼ cups water. Bring to a simmer and do not let boil; cover. Lower heat and gently simmer, stirring occasionally, until rice is tender, about 15 minutes.
Toss tomatoes and herbs with dressing in a large bowl; season with salt. Serve over rice, spooning dressing from bottom of bowl over top. Serves 4