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Bay leaves, fresh, 0.05 kg bunch

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  • Bay leaves are long, oval, and taper to a slender point, averaging 7-10 centimeters in length and 3-5 centimeters in width. When fresh, these short-stemmed dark green leaves are smooth and shiny on the top surface and have lighter green coloring on the bottom. When dried, Bay leaves are leathery, matte, and turn into a deep olive green. Fresh Bay leaves are more potent than dried leaves, but in either form, they offer a woodsy, herbal and slightly floral aroma reminiscent of rosemary, pine, and citrus. On the palate, Bay leaves are mild with a bitter and sharp taste with notes of mace, cardamom, oregano, and thyme.

  • Bay leaves are typically used dried and are best suited for cooked applications such as stewing, boiling, and steaming. They contain the compound, estragole, which provokes a soothing element to balance heat and spice while also adding depth by enhancing the perception of acidity and savory components. Bay leaves are used in stocks, sauces, soups, and stews. They are also used to flavor seafood, meats, vegetables, chicken, massaman curry, and beans. Bay leaves pair well with aromatics such as garlic and onions, and herbs such as sage, oregano, parsley, and thyme. Bay leaves can be used whole or crushed, but if they are crushed, they should be contained in a tea infuser for convenient removal after cooking. It is not recommended to consume Bay leaves as they are stiff and can disturb the digestive tract.

  • Dried Bay leaves will keep up to two years when stored in a cool, dry, and dark place.

  • Beef Curry

    Ingredients:

    1.3 kg boneless beef chuck
    1/4 cup oil (plus 1 tablespoon, divided)
    4 cloves garlic (minced)
    5 shallots (finely chopped)
    One 6-inch section of lemongrass
    3 bay leaves
    1/3 cup good curry powder
    1 teaspoon turmeric
    4 cups chicken broth (or water)
    4 teaspoons sugar
    2 tablespoons tomato paste
    2 medium onions (cut into large chunks)
    3 large potatoes (cut into large chunks)
    2 carrots (cut into large chunks)
    1 1/2 cups coconut milk (355 ml)
    1 1/2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)

    Instructions:

    1. First, blanch the beef to get rid of any impurities. Boil a pot of water, add the chunks of beef, and bring to a boil again. Drain immediately and set aside.
    2. Heat 1/4 cup of oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat. Add the garlic, shallots, lemongrass, and bay leaves to infuse the oil. Cook for a few minutes. Then turn the heat down to the lowest setting and add the curry powder and turmeric. Stir until well-combined. If need be, add a little bit more oil so the curry powder doesn?t stick to the bottom of the pan. Take care not to burn the spices!
    3. After a minute, add in the beef, chicken broth, sugar, and tomato paste. Turn up the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, give the mixture a stir, turn the heat back down to medium, and cover. Let the curry simmer (covered) for 60-75 minutes. Check on the curry occasionally to stir and make sure your curry isn't burning.
    4. While the curry is simmering, prepare the onions, potatoes, and carrots. Next, heat a tablespoon of oil in your wok over medium heat. Cook the onions until transparent (about 2 minutes). Transfer to a separate dish and set aside.
    5. After the beef is done simmering, it?s time to add the coconut milk, potatoes, and carrots. Turn up the heat, mix everything well, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down again to medium-low, cover, and simmer for another 20 minutes.
    6. By now, the potatoes, carrots, and beef should be tender. Add the onions and salt to taste. If need be, turn up the heat and reduce the liquid a bit to thicken the sauce. The sauce should be thick.