Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Curried Kabocha


Squash!
I picked up a kabocha. No, not a kabocha squash. Kabocha is Japanese for squash. You can take your squash squash to the ATM machine machine. So, I picked up a kabocha at South Coast Farms and I will tell you true, friends, this Japanese pumpkin is a pain in the buttocks to peel. It's such a pain to peel that this guy and this guy have different ways of handling it from this guy. I couldn't decide which looked best, so I just did my own thing. Just remember not to cut toward yourself, to go slow and steady, and use a sawing motion with your sharp knife and you'll be fine.





After saving the seeds and skin for later use, I found a recipe to monkey with and went to work.

The first thing that I did was make my own curry paste by combining lemongrass, sacred basil, three white and three black garlic cloves, fresh ginger, fish sauce, black pepper, culantro, apple mint, a teaspoon of Vegemite, (you read it right), onion, and smoked paprika in the blender until smooth.

Ingredients
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onion, medium dice
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning (I left this part out due to the fish sauce and Vegemite in the curry paste)
2 medium green bell peppers, seeds and ribs removed and cut into 1/4-inch strips (I used orange bell pepper)
4 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped (I put all of the garlic in the curry paste)
1 tablespoon peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger (from about a 1-1/2-inch piece) (I put all of the ginger in the curry paste)
3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
1 (13- to 14-ounce) can unsweetened regular coconut milk (I realized that I was out of canned coconut milk, so I subbed Trader Joe's Vanilla Coconut Beverage)
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon soy sauce (I use double black which is super salty)
1 medium kabocha squash (about 2 1/2 pounds), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro (I put culantro in the curry paste)
Steamed white rice or steamed brown rice for serving (I used nutritionally superior red cargo rice)

I also added some cashews to the mix.



So affordable at 99 Ranch Market
Instructions

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion has softened, about 6 minutes. Add the peppers and cashews, stir to combine, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add the curry paste, stir to coat the onion-pepper mixture, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the coconut milk, water, soy sauce, and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer.


Stir in the squash, return to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium low, and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the squash is fork-tender but still firm, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lime juice.

Serve immediately over rice.


Curry Paste in a Hurry

Onions, Bell Pepper, Cashews

More Curry Tunnel!

The paste is on!

Simmering ....

... served.

Bonus "I thought the camera was off" moment.