The other night I came to the realization that I somehow had not done the menu planning for the week. (?!?)
For me… This is something equivalent to the Twighlight Zone… Seriously.
I knew I had a HUGE Kabocha squash I wanted to use, but that was it. So I searched the fridge and pantry to see what was available to me and came up with:
Chinese eggplant, half an onion, chicken, and coconut milk. And since always have curry blends on hand… Kabocha Curry it was!
I had no idea how much of a win this would be! Scrounging so often leads to the best meals!
Here is the recipe I used!
Red Curry with Kabocha Squash
1 large kabocha squash (mine was 8 pounds and I used about half the flesh)
16 oz chicken breast, cut into bite sized chunks
1 large Chinese eggplant, cut into half moon shapes
1 small sqeet onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
6 Thai basil leaves, chopped (check your local Asian market for these, too)
1 tbsp oil
5 tbsp red thai curry paste (not sauce…paste)
1 (15-oz) can coconut milk
1/4 cup water
Cooked jasmine rice, for serving
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice kabocha squash in half, remove seeds, and place cut-side down (spray the parts that will touch the pan with cooking sprat) on the sheet tray. Roast squash halves for about 30 minutes until tender. Remove and let cool. Score the squash with a knife to make squares and then scoop the sqush chucks out with a spoon. Set aside.
In a large pot or deep pan, heat the oil over medium high heat. Cook onions until soft and translucent. Add garlic until fragrant.
Add the curry paste and mash into remaining hot oil so all the paste gets incorporated. Then, slowly drizzle in the coconut milk, whisking continuously until all milk has been added and no curry “clumps” remain.
Add water, thai basil, and bring to a simmer. Add the chicken and let it cook through. Add eggplant and continue simmering sauce for about 5 minutes until vegetables are just cooked but not mushy.
Add kabocha squash and allow to simmer for 10 minutes to add sweetness to the sauce. Serve curry over jasmine rice.
Bam! A fantastic, flavorful dish!
What would YOU have done with the squash?
What have been some of your best throw-something-together meals?!