Thursday, September 16, 2010

Recipe: Squash & Corn in Coconut Milk with Thai Basil

Let me preface this by saying this is incredibly delicious.  Like, so good that I'm sad that summer squash season is winding down.  And, so good that I ate it and totally forgot to take a picture!  You'll just have to imagine shockingly yellow summer squash (I don't know the variety!) and pale yellow corn kernels in a pool of white coconut milk and flecked with green bits of cilantro and hot peppers.  Ahhhhhh..

Another plus is that the dish comes together crazy fast if you've got leftover cooked chicken or picked up a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store.

More to the point: This is the perfect recipe to bridge summer and fall. Not only are squash, corn, hot peppers, thai basil and cilantro all available at the farmer's market right now, but this dish is light, yet as comforting as a bowl of a more fall-ish stew. I suppose you could say this is "comfort food," summer style!

The recipe comes from Deborah Madison via The Washington PostThey took a picture, but my dish was prettier.


1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 medium squash, cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 3 cups)
1 medium onion, cut into small dice
Kernels from 2 ears of fresh corn
2 to 4 jalapeño peppers, stemmed, seeded and minced (I used my kung pao peppers & didn't seed them)
3 medium cloves garlic, minced
1/2-inch piece peeled ginger root, minced (I grated this with a Microplane)
5 scallions, white and light-green parts only, cut crosswise into thin slices
15 ounces (1 can) low-fat coconut milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup chopped cilantro, plus more for optional garnish
1/4 cup chopped Thai basil, plus more for optional garnish
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup shredded cooked chicken (optional)
3 cups cooked basmati rice, warmed, for serving


1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the squash and onion; cook for about 6 minutes, until tender. If anything, under cook the squash slightly as it will have a few more minutes cooking in the coconut milk.
2. Add the corn, hot peppers, garlic, ginger and scallions to the pan, stirring to incorporate. Once incorporated (so, these aren't really sauteing), stir in the coconut milk and water, then add the cilantro and basil.
3. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until the corn is heated through. Add the chicken, if desired, and stir to incorporate.
5. Serve over rice.

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