Monday, August 1, 2011

The CSA Solution - Kitchen Sink Curry

My friend Joy just started this really cool online store that's much more than a CSA. For those of you who don't know what that is (and don't feel bad, I just learned myself) CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, meaning the success of the farm is dependent on the support of its members. Basically, it's a way to go in with people from your community and support local farming and get some really great produce at the same time. So, weekly my husband and I purchase a produce box which is packed to the gills with locally farmed veggies. It's fun because we get a whole bunch of vegetables we wouldn't normally buy and then learn how to use them. for example, I just learned what garlic scapes are last month! And I'm already sad I won't be able to use them in my cooking until next year when they're in season again. In addition, we can purchase all sorts of other delicious local food including eggs, dairy, beans, meat, bread, fresh pasta, etc. Check out her new site here: ACME FARMS + KITCHEN.

The great thing about this, of which there are many (for one the vegetables taste SO much better than the ones you buy at the store) is that I have finally filled both of my produce drawers in my refrigerator for the first time in my adult life. The down side, if there is one is that I have too many wonderful things to use in my cooking and have an incredible amount of guilt if I don't use every last thing. There are a lot of great recipes on the site that use the ingredients we've been given. Some of my favorites are the Smoked Salmon Pasta and The AF+K French Dip. I thought about posting one of those as my recipe for this month but then I got some advice from my fellow beauty Jolie, who said, "My mom is always trying to figure out how to use all the kale in her CSA box!" And I realized that I wasn't the only one who had this problem. Which inspired me to create a recipe that would inspire all of you who use CSA's out there (and all of you who don't) to use it all up, baby. In other words: throw in the kitchen sink! And learn how to make curry at the same time.

So in honor of my friend Joy's new venture and with a play on words for the amount of random things you can throw into one dish, I created the following recipe. It really is what you make of it--creativity is key! And if you're a CSA member all you'll have to do is buy some curry and coconut milk (and maybe some rice if you don't already have that in the pantry) and leave the rest to the box.

Kitchen Sink Curry (or KSC since we're using acronyms)

*2 cans coconut milk. There are low fat options at the store too, I know what you're thinking.)

*Curry paste. I like Mae Ploy from my local Asian Market. Follow the directions for how much paste to add to the coconut milk. If you're using Mae Ploy, you'll use about 2 tbsps per can of coconut milk. For this recipe I'd recommend a red curry or yellow curry but you could use green too. Also, if this sounds too complicated, you can always buy pre-made curry sauce at the grocery store. Just make sure to get two jars because if you have as many veggies as I do, you'll need a lot of sauce and you can always save the leftovers.

*Meat of your choice: Beef, Chicken, Shrimp, Tofu (whatever you have or nothing at all!)

*1-2 tablespoons of cooking oil.

*Rice or potatoes

*A ton of chopped veggies. Which hopefully include onion and garlic. If not, oh well!

Ok, here's how you do it: I'm assuming you have some onion and garlic so saute some of that up in a big pot with the cooking oil. This is also where you could use some diced garlic scapes. If you're using meat or tofu, chop it and add it to the simmering oil. Brown but don't cook through. Add coconut milk and curry paste (or two cans of curry sauce) and whisk/mix well. Bring to a simmer. Add all of your chopped veggies. The way I figure it, you can't go wrong. I see some kale in there, some carrots, shallots, broccoli, zucchini, mushrooms, squash, tomato, basil, peas, radish, wait--radish? Maybe not. Save that for a salad. And don't put any rhubarb in there either. You get the idea. Now cook all of that on a simmer until the veggies are done. This may take a while especially if you added carrots. Pour over cooked rice or largely cubed cooked potatoes. CSA? Meet your match: the KSC.

I can't wait to hear what you do with this one!

Bonus CSA Recipes for:
Kale: Baked Kale Chips
Rhubarb: Almond Rhubarb Coffee Cake
Radish: 10 Tasty Radish Recipes
Fennel: Roased Fennel


  1. I'm so excited for this recipe! We usually end up making kitchen sink stir fry about once a week to try to use up our veggies (including kale) that are on the verge of going bad... but it will be so fun to mix it up with a curry recipe! Curtis and I both love anything Thai/curry related! I'm also thrilled with the other recipes you've linked to and can't wait to try a few of those as well. And that commic - ha ha - says it all!

    Joy and ACME Farms + Kitchen seem fabulous - I wish I had her in my backyard!

  2. Oh that cartoon reminds me of my little town! At the co-op the checkout people used to ask you "conventional or organic" for everything that came across the scale...and I swear they were judging you if you said conventional...

  3. This is a great idea! I've been overdoing roasted veggies lately so this will be a good change for me. And coco milk is my new favorite thing so I'm glad that's in there too. Can't wait to try it!

  4. Ha, Ha, I love the cartoon! Thanks for posting this Amber, I will definitely try this on Veggie Drawer Clean Out Day aka as Tuesday. It would be fun to come up with an entire category on our blog devoted to "kitchen sink" recipes... quiche, veggie pizza, strata, lasagna, etc.
    Thanks again!