Tag Archives: Thai curry

Thai Pumpkin Curry

Thai Pumpkin Curry 2

Pumpkin Curry is one of my favorite things to order at Thai restaurants. Luckily, it is also a meal that you can make at home and end up with restaurant-quality results.

I usually use a butternut squash, but if you have an Asian grocery store nearby, kabocha squash works really well. It is a small green pumpkin that doesn’t get mushy or stringy when cooked. The squash is roasted before adding it to the curry. Half of the squash is pureed with coconut milk and the other half is cut into chunks to stir back into the curry before serving.

I love the thicker texture that the pureed squash gives to this curry. Leave out the chicken and you still have a hearty vegetarian meal.

Choose your favorite vegetables to pair with the squash. I like shitake mushrooms, carrots, red peppers, fresh spinach and zucchini (if you can find decent ones in the winter). In the summer, I add Thai basil from my garden. In the winter, I either use regular sweet basil, or just leave it out.

Thai Pumpkin Curry 1

RECIPE:

Thai Pumpkin Curry

Thai Pumpkin Curry 2

1 butternut squash or kabocha
olive oil, salt and pepper

1 lb boneless chicken breast, cut into very thin strips
1 Tbs Thai red curry paste
2 Tbs soy sauce

2 Tbs olive oil, divided
1 small onion, sliced
½ red bell pepper, julienned
1 medium carrot, julienned
1 medium zucchini, julienned
½ cup sliced shitake mushrooms

2 cans (14 oz) coconut milk
2 Tbs soy sauce
2 Tbs Thai fish sauce
1 Tbs brown sugar (or low-carb golden sweetener)
1 tsp salt
2 Tbs lime juice (or 4 kaffir lime leaves, chopped)
2 Tbs Thai red curry paste (adjust amount to personal taste)
1 cup fresh spinach or other greens
1/3 cup fresh basil (Thai basil preferably), coarsely chopped

Cut butternut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Brush cut sides with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast at 425°F for 20-30 minutes, or until soft and cooked through.

While squash is cooking, combine sliced chicken, 1 Tbs curry paste and 2 Tbs soy sauce in a Ziploc bag. Let marinate at room temperature while squash cooks.

Heat 1 Tbs oil in wok or large saucepan. Add onion, red pepper, carrot, zucchini and mushrooms. Cook over high heat until crisp-tender. Remove from pan. Add remaining 1 Tbs oil to pan. Add chicken and cook over high heat, stirring until chicken is cooked through.

Peel and cut half of the cooked squash into cubes. Set aside. Place remaining half of the roasted squash (peeled) in a blender with one can of the coconut milk. Puree until smooth.

Add the pureed squash, remaining can of coconut milk (use to rinse out blender), 2 Tbs soy sauce, fish sauce, brown sugar, salt, lime juice and remaining 2 Tbs curry paste to the chicken in the pot. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Stir in squash cubes, spinach, basil and cooked vegetables. Heat until spinach wilts. Serve in bowls with or without rice.

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Chicken with Red Thai Peanut Sauce and Cucumber Salad

One more grilling recipe while the weather is still warm!

Asian flavors make a frequent appearance at our dinner table. Thai is one of my personal favorites. It can be made as spicy or mild as you like by adjusting the curry paste or red peppers. This chicken can either be prepared on the grill, or inside in a skillet.

I used the last of the Thai basil from my garden in this, but it is also good with chopped cilantro.

When I cook it inside, I pound the chicken flat first, so that it will cook more quickly. On the grill, I leave the chicken pieces unpounded. The sauce is made from coconut milk, peanut butter and red curry paste, plus a few other standard Asian ingredients (ginger, garlic, soy sauce). The sauce goes together quickly with the use of a regular blender (although, after a cooking demo today, I am feeling some serious Vitamix envy!)

This Thai cucumber salad was a nice accompaniment to the chicken. It is light, just a little sweet, and a little spicy. Made with my favorite little pickling cucumbers.

RECIPES:

Chicken with Red Thai Peanut Sauce

1 can unsweetened coconut milk
1/3 cup peanut butter
2 tsp peeled and grated fresh ginger
4 cloves garlic
¼ cup soy sauce
2 Tbs rice vinegar
1 Tbs brown sugar or 5 drops liquid stevia
2 tsp red Thai curry paste
1 tsp chicken bouillon

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
about 2 Tbs peanut oil
3-4 Tbs finely chopped Thai basil or cilantro

In a blender combine first 9 ingredients. Blend until combined.

Put each chicken breast inside plastic bag or between plastic wrap and pound to even 1/2 inch thickness. (*NOTE: Pounding the chicken will make it cook quickly on the stovetop. Alternately, you could grill the unpounded chicken breasts on an outdoor grill)

Heat 2T oil in a large skillet. Season chicken with salt and black pepper, then add chicken to pan and sauté until chicken is cooked through. If you need to cook your chicken in batches, then keep chicken warm (on a plate under foil) while cooking additional chicken.

Add sauce to pan. Scrape off browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Turn off heat and mix in chopped Thai basil or cilantro. Serve immediately over warmed chicken breasts, with additional chopped Thai basil or cilantro for garnish, if desired.

Thai Cucumber Salad

4-6 small pickling cucumbers, sliced
½ of a small red onion, thinly sliced
½ cup chopped cilantro
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup rice vinegar, unsweetened
¼ cup fresh lime juice (or use additional 1/4 cup rice vinegar)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs sesame oil
5 drops liquid stevia (or 1 Tbs sugar)
1 tsp kosher or sea salt
¼ tsp dried crushed red pepper flakes

Mix sliced cucumbers, onion and cilantro in a bowl. Stir together remaining ingredients. Pour over cucumbers.

 

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Pumpkin Quiche and a Thai Winter Squash Soup

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Fall vegetables and fruit have such wonderful deep colors! We recently purchased several bushels of squash, pumpkins and apples and it has been fun finding ways to use them. As colder weather sets in I love roasting squash and making good hearty soups that taste and smell fabulous and warm up the house all at the same time. For dinner one night this weekend I roasted a bunch of squash and pumpkins and made a pumpkin quiche and a creamy winter squash soup with a subtle Thai flavor.

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Pumpkin Quiche with Bacon & Asparagus

For the quiche, I used my standard quiche recipe, substituting one cup of mashed pumpkin for one cup of cream in the recipe. I used half of a small roasted sugar pumpkin (try roasting your own squash-it is wonderful!)

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DSC03897 I used an immersion blender to mix the remaining cup of cream with the pumpkin and then added that to the egg and cheese mixture (I used Swiss and Parmesan), tossed in some cooked, crumbled bacon, sautéed onions and garlic, and chopped asparagus and baked it in a pie crust. DSC03909

The resulting quiche had only a very mild pumpkin flavor, but it had a wonderful texture and color.

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This would be a great way to sneak extra veges into your family’s diet without them ever knowing! And it is so much healthier than the original recipe.

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Next time I want to try this with a butternut squash, which has a slightly stronger taste and even more brilliant color!

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DSC03959 Thai Winter Squash Soup

I loved this soup! I used four different varieties of winter squash for this: half of a small pumpkin, an acorn squash, a butternut squash and a delicata squash (the small yellow one with green stripes). Any combination of squash would work fine. In trying to come up with a recipe, I didn’t want an overly bland soup, but I also didn’t want to overpower the roasted squash flavor by using really strong flavors, or making it too spicy.

DSC03880 I started by roasting all of my squash and then coarsely chopping them (I took the lazy approach to chopping and scooped the cooked squash into a large 4C Pyrex measuring cup and then ran a knife through it to help pack down the squash to get a full 4 cups).

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In a stockpot, sauté some onions and garlic in coconut oil or olive oil.

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When they are soft, stir in the cooked, chopped squash and two chopped apples (they lend a nice sweetness to the soup).

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Thin mixture by adding 2 cups of chicken broth, one can of coconut milk and one cup of cream (for a wonderful richness). Cook until apples and squash are very soft. Use an immersion blender to create a smooth soup. Use can also use a blender, but you will have to work in batches. I added a mild Thai flavor to this soup by stirring in 2 tsp Thai red curry paste and 1 tsp fresh grated ginger. I also added a small amount of fresh thyme and some chopped Thai basil from our garden, now growing inside (chopped cilantro would also be great). Add additional chicken broth if soup is too thick.

DSC03959 We garnished this with some toasted pine nuts (sauté pine nuts in 1 Tbs coconut oil or butter until lightly browned).

RECIPES:

Pumpkin Quiche with Bacon & Asparagus

DSC03966

Unbaked Single Pie Crust
4 slices bacon
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup chopped asparagus
1 cup cooked, mashed pumpkin
1 cup heavy cream
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Chop bacon and cook until crisp. Remove from pan. Drain grease, reserving 1 Tbs of drippings in the pan. Sauté onion and garlic until softened, but not browned. Remove from heat. Stir in chopped asparagus. Cool slightly.

Mix mashed pumpkin and cream well (an immersion blender works great). Mix in eggs, cheeses, salt and pepper. Stir in cooled bacon/vegetable mixture.

Pour into unbaked pie crust. Bake at 425°F for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F and bake for an additional 30 minutes, or until set. Cover edges of crust with foil or pie crust shield if they brown too quickly. Cool 10 minutes before slicing.

Thai Winter Squash Soup

DSC03959

2 Tbs coconut oil or butter
1 large onion, chopped
4 whole garlic cloves
4 cups cooked, mashed winter squash
(I used pumpkin, butternut, acorn and Delicata)
2 apples: peeled, cored and chopped
2 cups chicken broth
1 can coconut milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 ½ tsp salt (adjust to taste)
1/8 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp Thai red curry paste
1 tsp fresh minced ginger
1 tsp minced fresh thyme leaves
2 Tbs chopped fresh Thai basil (or chopped cilantro-I would use more of the cilantro, probably ¼ cup)
Toasted pine nuts

Heat coconut oil (or butter) in a stockpot. Sauté onion and garlic until soft. Add cooked squash and apples. Cook for 5 minutes. Stir in chicken broth and coconut milk and cook until apples are tender, about 10 minutes. (You could also use uncooked, diced squash and cook longer, until squash is very tender).

Blend soup to make a smooth puree (using an immersion blender or regular blender).

Add cream, salt, coriander, curry paste, ginger and thyme leaves. Cook 10-15 minutes, adding additional chicken broth if the soup is too thick.

Stir in Thai basil or cilantro just before serving.

Garnish with toasted pine nuts.

 

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Filed under Breakfast/Brunch, Main Dishes, Soups/Stews/Curries