Monday, 3 November 2014

Spaghetti Squash Singapore Style

Our squash harvest was amazing this year, including 4 lovely spaghetti squashes. Unfortunately, due to the unrelenting rain in late summer and fall, it is all a little on the soggy side. Hence my instructions for draining the squash if yours, too, is more moist than it should be. With that treatment the squash was, if not perfect, quite acceptable, and the resulting dish was filling and flavourful.

I used green onion tops for this; my onions have also suffered this year. They died down very prematurely in early July during a fairly brief dry spell, and once the rain started again they sprouted with enthusiasm. Consequently, we have only about 1/4 of the number of storable onions as we expected, and I'm going to be using the sprouting onions from the garden for as long as I am able to get to them. A regular onion should be just fine though, if you don't have this problem!

If you don't want to make your own curry powder, Yeo's is a good brand to use for this, if you can get it.  This will serve 2 or 3 if it is all you eat; with some rice it would go further.

2 to 4 servings
to roast the squash: 1 hour 30 minutes; 15 minutes prep time
to make the dish: 45 minutes prep time

Cook the Squash in Advance:
1 1.5 kilo (3 pound) spaghetti squash
a little oil

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut the squash in half across widthwise, and scoop out the seeds and any loose stringy bits with a spoon. Rub a little oil on the cut ends of the squash, and put them in a roasting pan, cut ends against the pan. Roast the squash for an hour and a quarter, until soft. Let cool. This can, and probably should, be done a day ahead.

Once it is cool, the squash can be pulled from the shell with a fork, and loosened to form the spaghetti-like strands. You should have about 6 to 8 cups of squash.

It may be helpful to drain the squash in a colander for several hours as it waits to be finished; if it is really soggy gently squeeze it by handfuls to remove as much liquid as possible, without breaking the strands.

Finish the Dish:
2 to 3 stalks of celery
1 large onion
1 medium carrot
250 grams (1/2 pound) skinless, boneless chicken breasts or thighs
3 tablespoons mild vegetable oil
3 to 4 teaspoons Malaysian curry powder
salt to taste

Wash, trim, and finely chope the celery. Peel and chop the onion. Peel and grate the carrot. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces.

Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over high heat, and cook the chicken pieces, with a sprinkling of salt, until just cooked. When they are half done, add the celery, onion, and carrot. Stir frequently as they cook. Once everything is just short of done, remove it to a dish to wait while you cook the squash.

Add the remaining oil to the skillet, and cook the squash with the curry powder, stirring it gently to break it up and distribute the curry evenly throughout it. Once it is fairly dry and evenly coated, mix the chicken and vegetables back in. Season with a little more salt, if necessary. Serve at once.

Last year at this time I made Kale & Parsnips à l'orange.

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