To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Thai Red Curry with Bell Peppers and Tofu

1 (13.8-ounce) can coconut milk

3 tablespoons fish sauce

1 teaspoon grated lime zest plus 1 tablespoon juice

1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar

2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

14 ounces extra-firm tofu.

1/3 cup cornstarch

3/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into rough 1/2-inch pieces

2 red bell peppers


1. Whisk coconut milk, fish sauce, lime zest and juice, sugar, curry paste, and pepper flakes together in bowl.

In separate bowl, combine 1 teaspoon oil, garlic, and ginger.

1b. Toss 14 ounces extra-firm tofu, pressed dry with paper towels and cut into 3/4 inch cubes, with 1/3 cup cornstarch; transfer to strainer and shake gently to remove excess cornstarch.

2. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat until shimmering.

Add coated tofu and cook until crisp and browned on all sides, 10 to 15 minutes; transfer to clean bowl.

Add 2 red bell peppers, cut into 2-inch-long matchsticks, to oil left in skillet and cook until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes, before adding garlic mixture.

3. Clear center of skillet, add garlic mixture, and cook, mashing mixture into skillet, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Stir garlic mixture into tofu and reduce heat to medium high.

Whisk coconut milk mixture to recombine, add to skillet, and simmer until slightly thickened, about 4 minutes.

Return tofu to skillet with sauce.

Off heat, stir in basil and serve.