Yes, indeed. It’s not over. Squash is dominating the terrain of my brain. Well, mostly. If you walked into my kitchen you would understand why. First, now that CleanUp time has arrived in the garden, I found two or three baby pumpkins that had been hiding and were not ripened at all, but were so cute, I brought them in in hopes that perhaps they still had a chance. It’s working for the green tomatoes; why not the pumpkins? I followed the instructions I got from that kind blogger, Mr. David Perry. The key, I think, was not letting them touch each other. So I have various pumpkins in various stages of ripening on a cutting board, and sure enough, they are turning orange! OK, then there is this little green orphan I found dangling up in the quince bush that I am currently in love with, and staged his own photo. How cute is he??
So, I’d been pouring over recipes for my kuri post and, later, for Antonia, after mailing her down that kuri I found for her in the Santa Rosa farmer’s market. What I first discovered was that red kuri was on Everybody’s Gourmet Restaurant Thanksgiving list! (Who knew?) The best one was a dessert list in a D.C. restaurant called Vidalia. Look at this!
squash, maple and walnut
maple chiboust with kuri squash chips; walnut tort with
amber maple syrup ice cream; kuri squash custard with
walnut brittle and five spice marshmallow 10.50
with standing stone vineyards, vidal ice, finger lakes, ny 14.00
Eventually, all this talk of pumpkins and kuri squashes inevitably bled over to an overwhelming curiosity about a very dark, (I thought) uninviting squash called kabocha, or blue kuri. If you saw this in a store, would it be the first squash you’d grab?
I thought not.
What tipped the scales for me was unexpectedly finding a recipe for a Thai coconut custard made inside a kabocha! They call it Sangkaya Phak Tong. It just sounded too delicious not to try. So try I did, and here is the result!
Kabocha coconut custard
How cool is that??
Now, what did I do? It was ridiculously easy. I whisked four eggs. I opened a can of coconut milk and heated it just a teeny tiny bit in a saucepan so it smoothed out. I added a cup of sugar to the coconut milk. (You are supposed to use date sugar, though.) I made sure it was cool, and added to the whisked eggs. I put a teeny bit of vanilla in it and a pinch of salt and a pinch of cinnamon. I poured into the kabocha, which I’d already cut open and pulled its seeds out (which I will dry and keep for next spring). Now. You are supposed to put the kabocha in a steaming basket and steam for 45 minutes. But did I? Of course not. I put it in a 350 degree oven for an hour and a half instead. I like to bake. What can I say? And I almost always mess with recipes. I was pleased with my first result. And here’s the proof in the pudding!
Here’s a really interesting sidebar on the custard: you could make this custard in a heartbeat and just pour into pyrex dishes and have an almost instant, very satisfying dessert! I had more custard than my kabocha would hold, and poured that last bit in one of Grandma’s little pyrex pudding dishes and waterbathed it and placed that next to the kabocha in the oven. It was done in 30 minutes and of course I had to try it. It was really good! So that’s a nifty trick to have in your back pocket! I was thinking how much children would like it, you busy mothers and grandmothers. They could even help! I do have to say, however, I want to try this recipe with REAL coconut milk. (I’m not a big can fan, ever.)
I am now utterly enchanted with the idea of Stuffing Squashes and baking them. I want to try some kind of rice and chicken sausage thingie next. If anyone has any experience in this realm, will you please let me know?? Thank you!
Love and kitchen blessings,
Posted on December 2nd, 2008 by Kathryn
Filed under: Plants