This was a quintessential Paleo meal: satisfying, delicious, and hearty.
Serious shout-out to PaleOMG for the sauce recipe idea. It’s ingenious, really. I never would’ve thought to use squash to make a rich, dense, and creamy sauce. I’ve been addicted to delicata squash lately, so I was thrilled to find another way to serve it other than halved, roasted, and bathed in pastured butter. I wasn’t sure about the coconut milk, but I’ve been trying to reduce my dairy intake, so I gave it a try and have zero regrets. Put the whole thing on buttered cabbage noodles and aaarrrhhhhmmmm…I just drooled all over myself. If you roast the squash ahead of time, as I did a few nights ago, this dish really comes together quickly.
I’m guessing it’s possible to try other squashes in this role, but a word of caution. I used another random weird Farmers’ Market squash in addition to the delicata, and it was much more fibrous and didn’t break down as well. Which was fine, but it was obvious the delicata was perfect for the smooth creaminess of this sauce. Acorn and butternut squashes might work too.
1 large or 2 small delicata squash
olive oil, for roasting squash
salt and pepper, to taste
4 slices bacon
1/2 onion, finely diced
handful mushrooms, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 can coconut milk (I like Native Forest = BPA-free can)
1 1/2 – 2 lbs. shrimp; peeled, deveined, rinsed, and patted dry
pastured butter, coconut oil, or cooking fat of choice
1 head cabbage, sliced into super thin ribbons
1) Roast squash. Preheat oven to 425°F. Trim ends of squash, halve, then scoop out seeds with a spoon. Drizzle olive oil over and sprinkle with S&P. Put squash in a baking pan and roast for 20-30 minutes, or until super soft when squeezed. Let cool, then scoop out flesh and mash with a fork. Set aside.
2) In large skillet, cook bacon over medium-high heat. When fat renders, add onion and mushrooms. When onion is translucent, add garlic, cooking for 1-2 minutes, then add mashed squash. Pour coconut milk in a 1/2 cup at a time, or until it reaches the consistency you desire (I added almost the whole can because it seemed to just keep disappearing). Turn heat down to low and let simmer.
3) In another large skillet (a wok is great for this), melt a tablespoon of butter/oil. Sprinkle shrimp with S&P and add to pan. Cook on one side for 2-3 minutes then flip and continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes, or until pink, being careful not to overcook. Remove shrimp from pan to a plate and wipe out the pan with paper towels (unless you want shrimpy noodles).
4) In cleaned out pan, melt 2 tablespoons butter/oil and add shredded cabbage. Sprinkle cabbage with S&P, and toss with the cooking fat for 5-6 minutes or until cabbage noodles (caboodles?) soften. Pile the caboodles on a plate, top with a heap of sauce, and a handful of shrimp. Dig in.