diary of a mad
househusband

19 february 2000

 

 cooking: curry

The Breadwinner had the day off, and, as she sometimes does on such occasions, went to pick up the Heir from preschool. I kinda figured they'd stop by the video store, as they sometimes do on such occasions, and thought I'd have dinner ready when they got home.

Quick and easy tonight, I told myself, as I put water on to boil for pasta. I sliced the last of Sunday's pork roast, and minced a couple cloves of garlic for the curry sauce I intended.

<Intermezzo>

I'm on a quest... A quest to recreate the perfect curry sauce. I experienced it for the first time when the Breadwinner took me to visit her mother for the first time, in New Bedford, Massachusetts.

Nana took care of the Heir (then only four months old) for a few hours while the Breadwinner and I drove around the old whaling town. We chose a Portuguese restaurant near the waterfront, Restaurante Alianša on Cove Street, for lunch.

Never having eaten Portuguese food before, I chose Steak Tronqueiro. It proved to be a perfectly medium rare sirloin, garnished with a fried egg over easy, a mild red pepper, and the most exquisite curry sauce I have ever eaten.

Over the course of several visits, we determined that the ingredients included sauteed garlic, mustard, heavy cream, and curry powder. (On one such occasion, I asked Maura, the waitress, if there's anything else. Maura, whose first language is Portuguese, eyed the ceiling briefly as she hunted for the English idiom; then, with a grin a bit too triumphant to be the evil leer she intended: "I tell you... but then I have to kill you.")

</Intermezzo>

Today, I don't have heavy cream, or even sour cream, which I've found works as well. Oh, well... I'm still working on the right proportions of flavors; today, I put a tablespoon of curry powder, two teaspoons of ground cumin, and the garlic into a bit of peanut oil in a non-stick skillet. After stir-frying them a bit, I add a heaping teaspoon of ordinary ballpark mustard and about half a cup of beef broth, stir to blend, and add the pork.

The house is smelling good when the Breadwinner returns with the Heir. The Breadwinner stops in the open front doorway: "Oh-oh! I smell curry!"

Then she walks into the kitchen with two pizzas.

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