Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Strozzapreti with curry-kabocha cream and paneer

...or, I ain't mad at a little fusion once in awhile, did I ever claim to be made of stone?

This sounds so wrong. I'd probably have been a little less off-base just putting this on basmati rice, in retrospect, but I wanted the toothiness of pasta with a squashy-curried cream sauce and squeaky paneer (purchased as a fool's substitute for cheese curds for my Super Bowl poutine). Kinda like north Indian mac and chee, I guess. I dunno. It's cold out n'shit.

I initially planned to leave the roasted kabocha in chunks, but it disintegrated upon a fingertip's touch and I ended up folding it into the creamy Béchamel instead. I added some hot curry powder, a scant pinch of my Seven Spice™ and some dhana jeera (a blend of coriander and cumin seed). Lots of fresh grated ginger and a pinch of crushed fennel seed, then I folded in some butter and crème fraîche to finish with extra dairy twang. Top with another googe of crème fraîche and some chopped cilantro (and S&P to taste), and it's like your Indian mom made you her best attempt at trashy American comfort food.

Serve with warm garlic naan and Madlib the Beat Konducta.

30 comments:

Heather said...

mmmm. that sounds really good. i love the idea of curry in mac-n-cheese.

fenavo said...

just looking at that gooey goodness added 2 hours to grunting on the treadmill! damn you! seriously, awesome.

Manggy said...

Wait wait wait! You didn't say if it was good! Oh, who am I kidding, it sounds phenomenal :) And do you *still* consider yourself overcompensating for white-trash roots? Because you're way past that!

Elra said...

Oh my, that look so delicious, and so silky too.
Cheers,
Elra

Eric said...

This is some crazy stuff.

Something tells me adding day old beef franks would really add to those delicate flavors.

Maybe not.

Foodycat said...

I could actually imagine that with roasted beetroot instead of the squash - but I love pumpkiny things with pasta. And with curry. And with cheese. So why not bring them together?

anno said...

Mmmm... brilliant! This looks so good, I'm nearly tempted to go out in the fog and the rain just to get everything I would need to try it out right now. Bacchus -- or was it Edesia? -- was definitely whispering in your ear when you came up with this one.

Bellini Valli said...

I am going to try my hand at making paneer. This would make an excellent sauce!!

Syd said...

Here in Mississippi, I think you'd be arrested for doing that to mac & cheese.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

This looks wonderful to me... sounds like great fusion, especially in this weirdo weather we're having in Michigan.

Heather said...

Heather - It certainly gives that nice orange color.

Lori (I assume) - It's made with lowfat milk! The squash gives the goo. There is a little butter in it, but this is still practically health food.

Marky - It was tasty. I think it needed a little hit of acid, maybe some roasted tomatoes? But yeah, it was good.

Elra - Silky is a nice way to describe it.

Eric - You are hilarious. Everyone knows that if I'm gonna add beef franks (day-old, no less) then I'd need to add canned chili too, and then I may as well spend all night cooking.

Alicia - It must be nearing Valentine's Day. I could get behind a bowl of pink mac and chee (ooh, with chevre).

Anno - I wasn't really drinking at the time, and it's not nearly as decadent as it looks, so probably Edesia. :D

Valli - I hear it's very easy. I'd love to make some fromages blancs and paneers this summer.

Syd - What would they do for what I've done to curry? Stare blankly, that's what.

Jen - I thought it worked, but like I said, it'd have been pretty straight-up traditional over rice (ooh, with some cashews).

LC said...

What is this, a spelling test?? Looks wonderful.

peter said...

Squash purée is my favorite healthy thickener for curry-type things. Evidently paneer is really easy to make at home- I keep meaning to try it.

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

That's fusion at its best. Indian mac and cheese. I loved just reading the multi-cultural title of your post.

The Spiteful Chef said...

Sounds pretty damned good. I love paneer. Actually, I just love Indians. Their food tailspins me into ecstasy.

My captcha is "culva." Sounds like a dirty word to me.

duodishes said...

Curry and paneer. You got it!

cook eat FRET said...

i hate you
ok, not really
but damn girl, that looks so incredibly excellent and CALORIE LADEN

waa

Brittany said...

Fuck tradish.
This looks amazing.

Heather said...

Lang - I couldn't just say "pasta", now, could I?

Peter, Peter, Kabocha Eater - I do too (keep meaning to try making paneer).

Rachel - I don't know if any Indians would want to eat this, though. :P

Kristie - Sendhil Ramamurthy is pretty much the only reason to watch Heroes, amirite?

Chrystal (I assume) - Two great tastes that taste great together.

Claudia - It's not that caloric. The squash makes it only seem creamier, and I used 1% milk.

Brittany - I think PMS invented it.

we are never full said...

this does sound good. it's one of those dishes i want to try b/c i can't put my finger on what the flavor would be like. but i'm mildly obsessed w/ paneer recently so i'm jonezin' (???spell check) to try this.

jonny just leaned over and wanted me to ask you if you knew that "strozzapreti" means "priest strangler"????? did you??? DID YOU!?

Heather said...

Amy - I DID know that! It's my favorite pasta shape.

Ken Albala said...

Heather, Yours is always the last food blog I look at. A climax thing I guess. This was lovely.

Hey want to do some hard copy food writing? I mean print medium, like permanent, as far as libraries are permanent.

Looking for contributors for a food culture encyclopedia I'm editing. Interested on picking some obscure people, a little fu research and dazzling writing?

Ken

Lo said...

Honestly can't think of much that I'd like better than a big bowl of Indian mac&cheese right about now.

After all, it's coldout'n'shit. :)

cook eat FRET said...

no way girl
butter, creme fraiche and cheese....

could be worse but still, off the charts
plus pasta

~sigh~

Zen Chef said...

Holy strozzapreti!
Kind of hard to pronounce the name of the dish but heck, you shouldn't speak with a full mouth anyway. Yum!

Manger La Ville said...

I love the line "its cold out n shit." That is just how I feel sometimes. It looks delicious. And yes, fusion can be a good thing, when done well.

Jude said...

Nice call with the pasta... Holy crap the creme fraiche and butter definitely takes this over the top.

glamah16 said...

Its all working here. I love it when you experiment with fusion. Continue thinking out of the box.

Marc @ NoRecipes said...

That sounds fantastic. I made some curry with chickpeas and butternut squash in it last night for dinner, might have to have it over pasta for lunch.

Kevin said...

I like using pumpkin in dishes like this. It sounds really good!