Squash, Potato, and Chard Curry

Squash, Potato, and Chard Curry

This is one of the first Indian-style foods that I’ve made – a vegetarian dish that is both spicy and sweet; its inspiration was simply to make use of the fresh vegetables at hand and the Garam Masala I’d bought a couple months ago but had yet to use. :-)

Starting with one acorn squash, cut it in half, remove the seeds, but do not remove the squash peel; the peel will keep the squash from disintegrating during cooking, yet will become tender enough to eat. Cube the squash into approximately 1″ pieces and one medium potato to about 3/4″ pieces, and one coarsely chopped tomatillo. First, toast about two tablespoons of cumin seed in a pan (large enough to hold all ingredients), and remove them from the pan. To the pan, on medium heat, add a few tablespoons of canola or other oil and return the cumin seeds to the pan. Then add a coarsely chopped red onion and sauté it until the onion begins to turn translucent. In a mortar or bowl, mix four crushed garlic cloves, a finely chopped jalapeno and thai pepper (both with seeds), perhaps a teaspoon each of these spices: garam masala, turmeric, ground ginger, ground cloves, curry powder, and make it into a paste by stirring in about a quarter cup of water. Next add the squash, potato, and tomatillo to the pan and thoroughly stir in the spice paste, then cover the pan with a tight fitting lid and simmer on medium-low heat until the squash and potato is tender – about 20 minutes, stirring about every 5 minutes to check tenderness and add a bit of water as necessary to prevent burning. Lastly, add chopped green swiss chard, and cook for a few more minutes until the chard is cooked tender.

Serve over rice cooked with cumin seed. Enjoy!
I like this with tzatziki too; that’s arguably very similar to raita (Indian yogurt sauce), e.g., http://www.phamfatale.com/id_1846/title_Cucumber-Raita-Indian-Yogurt-Recipe/

I took some hints from the following recipes:
“Vegetable Masala”: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/vegetable-masala/detail.aspx
“Rava Dosas with Potato Chickpea Masala”: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Rava-Dosas-with-Potato-Chickpea-Masala-356035
“Acorn Squash Masala Fry”: http://yummyodds.blogspot.com/2011/01/acorn-squash-masala-fry.html

Fire Roasted Sweet Corn and Avocado Salsa

Fire Roasted Sweet Corn and Avocado Salsa

Ingredients: grilled fresh sweet corn, finely-diced serrano, jalapeno pepper (both sans seeds), and red onion, chopped cilantro leaves, diced avocado and golden tomato, lime juice, garlic, crushed dried whole oregano, salt.

This was nice in a veggie burrito w/black beans, cheese, and hot sauce. I think this will be particularly good with meats or fish (tacos!) too.

Toasted Italian Bread with Fresh Basil Pesto


Toasted Italian Bread with Fresh Basil Pesto

Something simple: yup, *toast* – haute cuisine, indeed.

Instead of me describing how I made a pesto, you can just watch this beautiful Italian make it instead: http://thepastachannel.com/pesto-sauce-pasta/
(We only disagree in that I’d rather use “too much” garlic…
Oh, and she made this in 5 minutes and it took me half an hour. :-)

Hmm, can I count the mortar and pestle effort as my second workout today?