A sort of Thai curry

On February 5, 2016 by battenburgbelle

Angus and Clive were round for dinner – so I turned to Denis Cotter once again for a vegan-ish meal to satisfy the vegetarian/dairy intolerant conundrum.

Green bean salsa

Green bean salsa

This Thai-style baked pumpkin, leek and coconut curry with green bean salsa was a great find – not only was it highly delicious, but I did most of the cooking the evening before. This is useful to know – I’m sure it benefited from infusing overnight and for once I managed to serve dinner to A & C at a reasonable hour, even though I’d been at work during the day. I hope Dennis won’t mind me sharing this – it’s such a great recipe and eminently adaptable. I used butternut squash instead of pumpkin and I’m going to try it with some prawns next time. And it’s not actually vegan, but I used soya cream instead of the double cream the recipe proposes – it was imperceptible in my opinion.

Baked pumpkin, leek and coconut curry

Baked pumpkin, leek and coconut curry

For the curry
1.5 kg pumpkin, peeled and deseeded
2 tbsp vegetable oil, plus a little extra
3 leeks
4 garlic cloves
3-4 red chillies, deseeded and sliced
2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 small bunch of Thai basil, chopped
4 lemongrass stalks
1 x 400ml tin coconut milk
150 ml double cream
1 tbsp soy sauce

For the salsa
200g fine green beans
3 tbsp peanuts, roasted and skinned
1 fresh green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
3 spring onions, finely chopped
3 tbsp coriander, chopped
juice of 2 limes

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.

Chop the pumpkin into large pieces and toss them in a little vegetable oil in an oven proof dish. Bake for 10 minutes, then lower the oven to 170°C/325°F/gas mark 3.

Slice the leeks into about 2cm rounds.

Heat the 2 tbsp of oil in a large wide pan over a medium heat and cook the leeks for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the garlic, red chillies, ginger and basil and cook for 1 minute.

Press the lemongrass stalks to bruise them and add to the pan with the coconut milk, cream and soy sauce. Bring it to the boil and pour over the pumpkin.

Stir and return the dish to the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. The sauce should be moist – if it’s looking a little dry, add more coconut milk or water.

Meanwhile – make the salsa: bring a small pan of water to the boil, add the green beans and simmer for 2 minutes. Drain and cool the beans in cold water.

Stir in the peanuts, green chilli, spring onions, coriander and lime juice. Season to taste with salt.

Denis suggested serving this with rice or bread on the side, but despite my otherwise impressive planning ahead I omitted to sort out this part of the meal… So I defrosted a meal-inappropriate pack of naan breads and gave my guests the choice of brown rice, paella rice or Chinese noodles. They opted for keeping things vaguely oriental and went with the noodles. This was not the crowning glory of an otherwise excellent meal.

Biscotti with poached peaches

Biscotti with poached peaches

Dessert was some hazelnut, pistachio, apricot and sultana biscotti. I also made these the evening before – a bit of a faff but well worth it. I served these with poached peaches – I halved the peaches and poached them in a syrup of 1 part sugar, 2 parts water and the juice of one lemon. Simple but very effective!

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