Sunday, September 28, 2014

Thai-inspired fish with roasted acorn squash and spinach chickpea coconut curry

I typically have a very extremely anal organized method of cooking. Make x, y, and z according to the directions for each.

But sometimes I'm inspired by a recipe to play around with it a little bit. And sometimes the boy wants to cook up something we've had around the house for a while.

Usually these "sometimes" occur at different times, but this past week they collided into a perfect storm of randomness that turned into an incredible meal.

Somehow we turned this...
acorn squash the boy's brother grew and gifted to us
+ this recipe
+ my frozen leftover red curry paste
+ frozen fish

...into this seriously awesome dinner of baked fish, mashed acorn squash, and a Thai-inspired coconut curry with spinach and chickpea!

The boy added some roasted acorn squash seeds to make the dish pretty,
but I would not recommend them at all for this dish. Just save them for your salads. :)

No recipe for the fish or acorn squash—since the fish will depend on your cut (we roasted our barramundi at 350 degrees for ~10 minutes) and squash is pretty straightforward (cut in half, put cut side down, and roast @350 degrees for 45+ minutes until tender; then mash with a bit of butter or olive oil)—but this spinach chickpea curry was amazing.

And the curry is completely vegan, so it'll be great on a pile of rice, noodles, quinoa, or your filler of choice. But somehow the randomness of the curry + fish + squash totally worked.

Yours in embracing her improvisational cooking skills,

Thai-inspired spinach and chickpea coconut curry, adapted from The Kitchn


2 teaspoons oil
1 small onion, diced
4 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon ginger, grated (~3" piece)
15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 pound baby spinach, roughly chopped
~2 TBSP red curry paste
14-ounce can coconut milk (full-fat preferable)
1 teaspoon salt
lemon juice, to finish (optional)
cilantro, to finish

  1. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the onion begins to brown. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for ~2 minutes, stirring frequently. 

  2. Add the chickpeas and cook over high heat for a few minutes. Toss in the spinach, one handful at a time, until wilted. When all the spinach has been added, push ingredients to the side and cook the curry paste in the center of the pan for 1 minute.

  3. Add the coconut milk and salt. (Make sure to use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pan with the coconut milk.) Bring to a simmer then turn down the heat and cook for 10 minutes, or until the chickpeas are warmed through. Taste and add more salt and lemon juice, if necessary.

  4. Serve hot (over roasted rice, quinoa, roasted squash, sweet potatoes, etc) and top with chopped cilantro.


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