Saturday, November 7, 2009

Curried Squash for B3R

Curried Squash

2 butternut or acorn squash
1/2 small tin curry paste
1 can coconut milk
1 can crushed tomatoes in tomatoe puree
2 inches fresh ginger, grated or finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 onions, coarse chop

1)Halve the squash, scoop out the seeds. Rub with olive oil, then place cut side down on a tin-foil covered baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes or until fork-tender. Depending on the size and thickness of the squash, the amount of roasting required may vary.

2)While the squash is roasting, do the following: peel and chop the three onions, finely chop the six cloves of garlic, and peel and grate the fresh ginger.

3)When the roasted squash is cool enough to handle, peel and chunk up the squash. It’s a-okay if the squash is super soft and falling apart – that only means it will be more delicious.

4)Saute the onions in olive oil over medium heat until translucent. Add the garlic and ginger and saute 1-2 minutes more. Add curry paste to taste, starting with at least 2 tablespoons. I used a combination of massaman curry paste and sour yellow curry paste, though for squash I prefer the massamn curry flavor. Cook the mixture, stirring, to release the curry flavors for another 2-3 minutes. Add the coconut milk and the tomatoes.

5)At this point there are several possible steps. If you have a large enough stove-top pan, you can combine the curry sauce and the squash and cook on low for at least 30 minutes, occasionally stirring. If you prefer, combine the squash and sauce and put it into a crockpot to slow cook. The third option (and the one I used, as I don’t currently have a giant stove-top kettle) is to bake it again. Press the squash into a 9x13 pan, 2 inches deep, as though it were a crust or a dough. Pour the curry sauce over the top, cover with foil, and bake at 275 for 45 minutes, stirring to combine the curry sauce/squash at the half-way point. This only tastes better the longer it cooks, so I dropped the temperature further, down to 225, and cooked my pans o’ squash for another 45 minutes before loading up to go to site dinner.

The ratios of curry/tomato/coconut milk can be adjusted to suit personal preference. This is a down-sized recipe. For comparison, I used closer to 10 squashes, and four cans of coconut milk. The large, forty-servings version filled a 2-inch steam pan upon completion.

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