So I had the rest of that cashew cream I made the other day staring at me from the fridge yelling, "I'm not going to stay fresh forever, you know!" The cream, an experiment, came out, well, creamy, rich and sweet, and I thought I might use it in place of coconut milk to make a Thai Panang-style curry.
I also had a bag of green beans fresh from the garden the other day that needed to be used while they were still fresh. They had great flavor but, maybe thanks to a recent dryish spell, were a bit stringy.
Hmm. If I were using a flank steak or brisket, I would probably cut it short across the grain to minimize the stringiness. Why not do green beans the same way? That'll work!
I quickly broke off the ends, pulled off such strings as I quickly could, then assembled the beans in bunches of 10 or so and, whack whack whack, chopped them into 1/2-inch pieces, about the size of ... mmm ... chickpeas? Blanched them just until firm-tender, drained and set aside.
Then I chopped and browned a sweet onion, lots of garlic and fresh ginger and a bit of green pepper, S&P and dried red-pepper flakes. When the veggies were good and brown, I put in a little chopped fresh tomato, the green beans, and about 1/2 cup of the cashew cream and a dab of Thai red-curry paste. Set to simmer while jasmine rice steamed, I thinned it occasionally with a little more cashew cream, trying to keep the consistency thick.
When the rice was done, I checked seasoning on the curry, gave it a shot of fresh lime juice and served. It was good. Very good. The short-slice treatment completely abolished the beans' stringy texture while retaining their good fresh flavor, and the cashew cream tasted like, well, cream. Definitely worth a repeat, either with cashew cream or the more standard coconut milk.