First, the recipe, then why it was so expensive. (Remember, I am a guy, and guys don't believe in measuring)
1) Get a soup-spoonful of panang curry paste and a soup-spoon of vegetable oil - more if you want it hotter.
2) Cook them together in a big skillet until it gets hot and fragrant.
3) Pour in two cans of coconut milk and a can of water.
4) Stir until bubbly.
5) Add the zest from half a lime, a spoonful of sugar, and a pinch of salt.
6) Put some swai, basa or tilapia fillets in the liquid to poach. (Really inexpensive fish)
7) When they look done, take them out, and put them in the oven to stay warm.
8) Put a sliced up red pepper in the sauce to cook.
9) Add a package of Japanese udon noodles to the sauce, and cook them until they are done. (Stir occasionally, as it will thicken up a lot.)
10) At the last minute, stir two big handfuls of fresh spinach into the mixture.
11) Serve the noodle mixture with with the fish.
Eleven easy steps. Delicious and exotic. And if it weren't for the coconut milk, it could be healthy.
I imagine you have been doing the math in your head, and trying to figre out how this meal could possibly be the most expensive meal I have ever cooked.
Was it the fish? No, you can get it for $3-$4 a pound.
The coconut milk? About a buck or two a can.
The panang curry paste? Nope. Really cheap, if you can find it. Oriental grocery stores are the BEST!
In a perfect world, this whole meal should only cost around $12. In my imperfect world, it cost around $1000.00
A thousand dollars for thai food?!!! Yes. I am first to admit that it was good, but not that good. Why did it cost so much?
Well, not actually the salt, more like the salt shaker - rather the sea salt grinder, pictured here:
The grinder cost around $5, so I still have $995 of explaining to do. Here's what happened: As I was adding the "pinch" of salt to the sauce, I dropped the salt shaker. Here is the itty-bitty result:
An itty-bitty chip, in our glass cooktop. No big deal right? But add heat, and within seconds I had this:
The crack in the corner is no big deal, but the crack running up through the element is. Our cooktop is ruined. And the salt shaker didn't even break.
Being the technological wizard that I am, I quickly did a search to find out how much it would cost to replace the glass. Did I mention that the cooktop is 10 years old? It is practically "vintage." I did find one for $500. $200 shipping. $165 delivery. No, not quite a thousand to put new glass on a 10-year-old stove. (Something about putting new glass on old stoves sound almost scriptural.)
So? How about a new one? I don't even have the stomach to look...
That is how my kindness was rewarded tonight. In trying to please my EC and take care of my family, I am rewarded with a $1000 plate of fish. Serves me right. We could have microwaved corn-dogs.
What would I rather do with $1000? In order to vent, I'm writing a few of them down.
• Pay for my son's wedding luncheon.
• Round-trip tickets to Hawaii.
• 2.5 months of my son's mission.
• 900+ sodas.
• A new laptop.
• An MMM luncheon for all my favorite readers.
• Buy out an entire showing of "Breaking Dawn: Part 2" this fall, and not let anyone in.
Needless to say, I am in a cranky mood, and it is no consolation that I am much harder on myself when I do these things than if my EC or one of the FOMLs had done it.
Maybe we just won't use the stove for a while. I could buy almost 200 $5-Boxes at Taco Bell, and my kids would have something to write about when they go back to school.