Sometimes with the cold, the desire to do some cooking is refueled in us too!  Summer has so much running around and temperatures are warm, but suddenly the fall rolls in and mmm - does a curry ever sound good!  So get your favorite curry spice (a spice combination) and a pile of seasonal vegetables and let's get cooking!

Madras Curry

That's a full skillet!

So, my cooking preference is to cook with things I primarily can find around the house.  A good friend and chef showed me how to do this well, and for this and much more I am forever grateful!  Fortunately this evening found me with a TON of kale (Target size bag full), a bucket of tomatoes (mostly Roma's), a couple eggplants and heads of broccoli, 16 oz of precooked butternut squash, a handful of garlic, 2 containers of coconut milk, and a partial packet (about 3 Tbsp) of Madras Curry seasoning.  Much of this was gleaned from the overflowing bounty of my mother's garden yesterday (thanks mom!).  For cooking music is a must, and I often fill my home with KEXP Music that Matters (#298 has been my fave for cooking and such lately..!).  And yes, this may include a nice red or a favorite hoppy (hoppy!) beer for me too (love my bitters and Oregon IPAs!).

If you have a big skillet (I mean big!) you will need it for this one. Which is great because leftover vegetables that are pre-cooked with sauce are a great way to get in 3 - 5 servings a day!

Add tomatoes! 

Add tomatoes! 

Put your big ol' skillet on the burner on something like medium high and add about 2 Tbsp of choice oil (I used grape seed tonight, olive oil some other times).  Coarsely chop your garlic, and add it to the skillet.  Cut the eggplants in 1-inch slices and then into about 1-inch cubes and add to the skillet. Douse the eggplant with soy sauce or Bragg's Liquid Aminos (I use the later) - about 2 Tbsp (a good vigorous squirt all over).  Put the lid on and stir occasionally while chopping broccoli into similar sized chunks and then add broccoli to the skillet as well.  Add about 1/4 - 1/2 cup of water bit-by-bit to keep the skillet from burning things if it is getting too dry.

Mix curry sauce with squash in separate bowl.

Mix curry sauce with squash in separate bowl.

Open up coconut milk and add this to the skillet.  Create a little pool in the center to add your curry to (about 2 - 4 Tbsp to taste) and use a fork to mix it into the sauce.  Chop tomatoes into about 1-inch cubes and add to simmering curry (yes, simmering is about a good temperature for the whole process here out).  Stir the skillet (or rather fold) from the outside in to blend the tomatoes into the simmering mixture.

From here things get a bit gray.  I wanted to thicken my curry and had a container of squash I cooked last night.  To do this, grab an extra small mixing bowl and mix small amounts of squash with some of the sauce extracted from the simmering skillet and then add it back to the skillet.  Repeat until all of the squash has been mixed in.  Continue to stir/fold things together in the skillet. 

Folding in kale.

Folding in kale.

Finally, chop up however much kale you think you can fit into the skillet - don't worry you really can fit a lot!  I chopped a big pile then dumped it on top of the mixture and used the lid to steam it a bit before folding it in.  But basically after you fold all the kale in you are finished and can turn off the burner - the kale will cook enough as it sits in the hot mixture (and guess what - then it won't be to hot to eat right away either!).  It also will cook more when you reheat from time to time (as I am sure you will with the huge skillet of veggies you just made!).

So really, that is about all it takes; it took me about 40 minutes or less to make this huge volume of veggies which I will enjoy in the coming week and probably freeze a container or two of to help get me through busy weeks to come! 

                Steamy windows are great for drawing after you are done!

                Steamy windows are great for drawing after you are done!