My Favorite Spice 'n Easy: Lemongrass Panang Curry

Mary Johnston
Savory Spice Shop

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My Favorite Spice 'n Easy: Lemongrass Panang Curry

Mary and her son, Savory Spice
co-founder Mike Johnston

Hi, I’m Mary, Mike’s mom. I consider myself a gal who loves to cook and play in the kitchen. I come from a family of men who loved to cook as well, starting with my grandfather and my father who both always had aromas wafting from their kitchens that filled me with great anticipation of what they might be creating that day.

Mike definitely inherited the cooking gene, so when he and Janet invited me and my husband Charlie to join them in Colorado and work at Savory Spice, I knew I had a lot to learn. I admit that my biggest fear about working with spices was curries. It was an area I knew nothing about.

My experience with curries up to that point was Yellow Curry Powder, which to me, growing up, was an exotic spice that was saved for special meals when company was coming over. That dish was called curried chicken, big stuff in my youth! At the time, I didn’t realize that curry was a seasoning that many cultures had their own versions of and that it came in different flavors and heat levels. I laugh now when I recall those memories, and have come to realize that “curry” is so much more. I think I was just intimidated due to my lack of understanding.

By definition, curry can mean a dish of vegetables, with or without meat, cooked in a sauce and served over rice. As I’ve experimented with some of the endless varieties and flavors, I’ve realized that I tend to enjoy milder ones, and that one of my favorites is a Thai version called Panang Curry.

I was ecstatic when I learned that Mike was working on creating a version of Panang for our new Spice ‘n Easy line. After many weeks of testing, he invited Charlie and me for supper to try it out and we were blown away.

Serve up the Panang Curry with rice,
cilantro, mint, lime wedges, and chopped nuts.

What he prepared for us that night was a version served on rice, loaded with vegetables, and topped with sliced and grilled New York strip steak. The dish was finished with chopped cilantro, mint, nuts, and a squeeze of lime. I found the flavors in this curry to be so tantalizing. It’s mild heat-wise (just the way I like it) with hints of lemongrass that paired perfectly with the creamy coconut and the nutty flavors of the sauce. To me, this curry is a pot-licker, which was confirmed when there were no leftovers!

When I like something, look out, I'm sharing with everyone. And my son knows that, so he made me my own personal supply. I took it with me on a recent visit to see my grandkids in Georgia and it was a hit. I sent some to my sister in Maine and she asked..."can Mike make me a 5-gallon bucket of this stuff?" I often try out new dishes on my coloring party ladies and they get all excited to see what new dish comes from our great Savory Spice Test Kitchen. Needless to say, the Panang was a big hit there too.

I’ve really enjoyed my many years working with my son at Savory and am quite proud of the company Janet and he have built. And to boot, I now consider myself a bit of a curry expert. With that in mind, I highly recommend you get yourself a few packages of our new Spice ‘n Easy Lemongrass Panang Curry. Believe me, it’s so easy to make and your family will love you for it!



Do you have a favorite Spice 'n Easy or is there something you'd love to see us make into a simple meal solution? Let us know in the comments below! 


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