I am pretty sure that if your husband sneaks into the kitchen right before bed because he “just wanted to look at the leftovers” it means you cooked a pretty awesome dinner.
There are only a few days left of The Cleanse and while I’m still going strong, I’m also getting a little bored with using recipes from only one source. So yesterday when I was ripping out pages from last year’s Bon Appetit magazines, and I came across an exciting recipe that seemed to fit within The Cleanse guidelines, I jumped on it. While none of the Whole Living Detox recipes use shellfish, it is also not explicitly listed as something to avoid, so I figured shrimp would be okay. And since the canned pumpkin and coconut milk were both unsweetened, that seemed acceptable as well.
Using pumpkin in something other than desserts has been on my culinary to-do list for a long time. I still have plans to make kaddo borawni at some point, but a curry using canned pumpkin puree seemed like a good weeknight dinner.
Once again I am grateful for the reviews on Epicurious, from which I anticipated that the recipe might need a little bit of tweeking, mainly in upping the amount of curry powder. And I liked the other suggestions I read for using garam masala as well. Some people suggested cutting back on the amount of vegetable broth, but I thought the original quantity was fine. This might have been because I made a couple additional changes, though. I used more butternut squash since I had some to use up, and I also added some cauliflower that was eagerly waiting to leave my fridge. So the extra “stuff” in the curry might have made it less soupy. Also, I hate buying tomatoes in the winter so I used canned diced tomatoes instead.
Oh, one more thing. I cooked the whole thing in a big skillet rather than a large saucepan. Does this make a difference? I don’t know. I had two motives for doing so, and neither of them were concerned with improving the recipe. First, my large saucepan was already occupied by brown rice. Second, I really wanted to be finished cooking before 30 Rock started, and I thought maybe the larger surface area would allow me to cut back on some of the cooking times. Again, I don’t know if this actually is true. But letting everything simmer for 15 instead of 20 minutes did not appear to have any detrimental effects. Because Nick thought this was one of the best things I’ve ever cooked.
Pumpkin and Shrimp Curry (adapted from Bon Appetit via Epicurious)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 tbsp minced ginger
1 tbsp minced garlic
10 oz of diced tomatoes, drained (about two-thirds of a 14.5 oz can)
1 15-oz can of pumpkin puree
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
2 1/2 tsp curry powder*
1 tsp garam masala*
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper*
1 cup chopped cauliflower florets
1 1/2 cup roasted butternut squash, diced
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 1/2 tsp fresh lime juice
Cooked short-grain brown rice
*For all the spices, these are estimates, as I don’t usually measure spices. I’m sorry… I should start doing that if I’m going to share recipes with you guys…. My estimates are on the low end, so start with that and then up the amounts to your taste.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and ginger and sprinkle with salt; saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes and pumpkin puree; cook, stirring frequently for about 10 minutes. (They said to cook until pumpkin was golden-brown, but mine was kinda that color to begin with. So I figured after about 8 to 10 minutes I could move on to the next step.) Add vegetable broth, coconut milk, curry powder, garam masala, cayenne pepper, and cauliflower. Simmer about 15-20 minutes. (I think all the flavors are well-blended after 15 minutes; if you want your cauliflower a little more cooked, let it simmer a bit longer). Add squash, shrimp, and lime juice. Simmer until shrimp are cooked and squash is warm. Season with salt to taste.
Spoon curry into bowls and place a scoop of brown rice in the center. Garnish with cilantro and shallots.