I co-hosted my second annual Turducken Friendsgiving this past weekend! The most viral practice on the Internet is smashing together food groups such that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Examples include potato skin-topped mac and cheese (done– amazing), slutty brownies (cookie dough and oreos inside brownies – a friend’s contribution to this weekend’s festivities), and heaven and hell cake (angel food cake and devil’s food cake, layered with peanut butter mousse – to-do list). The turducken is a deboned chicken stuffed inside a deboned duck stuffed inside a deboned turkey. We smeared herbed butter under and over the skin and roasted it low and slow over a bed of root vegetables and chicken stock for seven hours, basting constantly. But even the next day, I felt as dishonorably stuffed as the birds we had consumed. A cleansing superfood breakfast was in order.
Kabocha, or Japanese pumpkin, has a flavor similar to sweet potato and is one of the coziest autumn vegetables you can eat. You can combine it with cinnamon, nutmeg, and milk for a dessert base; I like it best savory, seasoned with curry, garlic, onion, and umami-rich tomato paste. Mixed with kale and quinoa, mashed and bound with egg, then pan-fried in fragrant olive oil – these breakfast patties are repentantly virtuous while still being incredibly addicting. I served them with avocado cubes and Smitten Kitchen’s crispy eggs (which are really the only way anyone should be eating their eggs from now on).
So yes, we do get a free pass from our arteries and metabolisms on Thanksgiving, and I’ll be the first to confess that I’ve accomplished extraordinary gluttonous feats in years past (including eating an entire duck, solo). But the day after, when you feel like your stomach has been replaced by a bowling ball and nothing seems appetizing, this meal will revive your palate. The dreaded food hangover has met its match.
Kabocha Breakfast Platter Recipe (serves 2)
Ingredients: Kabocha Patties
- 1 1/2 lbs kabocha squash, cut into cubes
- 1 tsp cumin, crushed
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 small onion, diced finely
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1 cup of shredded kale, sauteed and cooled (to remove moisture)
- 1 cup of cooked quinoa, cooled
- 1 egg
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
To serve: avocado, spinach, crispy eggs
Toss the kabocha squash cubes in the crushed cumin, salt and pepper, and olive oil. Roast on a paper-lined tray with the crushed garlic at 350 degrees for ~30 minutes, or until squash is completely tender.
While the kabocha squash is roasting, prepare the onions. Heat olive oil over medium heat and toast the curry powder and tomato paste, cooking until fragrant. Add the onions and turn the heat to low. Sweat them for ~20 minutes on very low heat, stirring occasionally.
Let kabocha and onions cool for 10 minutes after removing from heat. Mix with the cooled quinoa, kale, and egg. Add some flour if the mixture seems too liquid. Form into 4-6 patties by rolling them into a ball and flattening the top (I made 5).
Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. When the olive oil is very viscous and hot, pan-fry the patties a few at a time, taking care to not overcrowd the pan, 5-6 minutes on each side. Don't move them around in the pan, or they may break apart.
Serve immediately with avocado, atop a bed of spinach and with crispy eggs.