Tag Archives: stew

West African Peanut Stew

14 Feb

Old Man Winter, you bastard.

Cold ears. Dry skin. Static-y hair. Runny noses. Short days. Long sleeves. Slush.

I’m having a mild bout of winter blahs. I’ve been busy watching the Olympics and not motivated to do much extra, such as cooking interesting things and writing about it. I’m afraid the ole’ blog has suffered!

I’m sorry.  I’ll be better.

I hope this post makes up for it, because it is the perfect antidote for a cold winter night.

Don’t get me wrong, I love chili, I really really do. Everyone should have a killer recipe (like this one!) in their repertoire (arsenal? I can’t decide). But let’s face it, sometimes its boring. Like stir fry. I could make it blindfolded.

May I suggest something to shake things up? How about this spicy and hearty peanut stew? Try it out! It was seriously satisfying.

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West African a Peanut Stew
(Serves 4-5. Time: 1 hour. Adapted from Saveur) 

  • 6-8 chicken drumsticks
  • 1/4 cup finely grated fresh ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 large red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 fresh red chilis
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 cup roasted peanuts (unsalted)
  • 4 cups chicken broth (or water)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Cilantro, to garnish
  • Fresh lemon

Directions
1) Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large pot and brown chicken drumsticks over medium high heat until browned on all sides (approx 10 minutes). Set aside.
2) Meanwhile, prep onions, garlic, ginger and 1 chilli and add to hot pot once chicken is removed. Sautée with a more oil until soft and fragrant (about 5 minutes).
3) Add spices (turmeric, cinnamon, pepper, coriander, cumin, cloves) and fry for about one minute.
4) Add tomato paste and cook until slightly caramelized, about 3 minutes. Add peanut butter. Stir until melted and incorporated.
5) Return chicken to pot along with stock (or water) and tomatoes. Bring to a boil.
6) Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer about 25 minutes.
7) Add sweet potato and cook until tender, about another 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.
8) Season with salt and add roasted peanuts and second chopped fresh chilli. Finish with squeeze of fresh lemon juice and garnish with fresh cilantro.

Yum. This stew is really filling, and made great leftovers. The chicken was fall-off-the-bone tender, but I’m sure it would still be great vegan-ized with tofu. I liked the crunch of the peanuts.

I served it over couscous (aka the lazy-man’s rice) with salad. The next day we had it with sautéed balsamic mushrooms, salad and flatbreads.

Note: my peppers were not extremely spicy, so I did not de-seed them. Proceed with caution if you think yours may be hotter. Also, if you think the stew is too thick, add one more cup of liquid.

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What are your favourite winter recipes? How do you stay sane at this time of year? Let me know below!

Thanks for reading.

M

Persian Eggplant Stew, Fattoush and Baba Ghanoush- an Ode to Aubergine

31 Oct

I don’t cook with eggplants much. When I think of eggplant, what usually comes to mind is that cold, suspiciously slimy and bland ” filling” of roasted veggie sandwiches, the type found at Starbucks or the airport terminal. Blech. Although I find its deep, glossy purple colour and shape absolutely gorgeous (in the same odd way that I find sliced avocados and fresh lemons to be beautiful) the appeal of eggplant has long eluded me. I’ve bought them with false hope a few times, only to see them wither in the fridge, neglected. However,when I saw this tasty-looking recipe for Khoresht-E Bademjan, aka Persian Eggplant Stew, at Della Cucina Provera, It gave me fresh inspiration.

Half way though the cooking process, after I dehydrated it a bit and fried it in olive oil and plenty of salt, I could not stop snacking on my few favourite food, undisguised! Eggplant.

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Deceptively difficult to take a good photo of something so pretty.

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This recipe was sooooo tasty. It was a bit of a process, I suppose, about 3 hours start to finish. It’s not a quick “whip up” recipe, but I find cooking supremely relaxing, so for me it was no biggie.

Once I started with this stew, I was inspired to take the Middle Eastern theme and run with it. With the other eggplant I ended up making baba ghanoush, and then a fattoush salad with toasted pita. I served the stew on couscous mixed with chopped dates, and doused everything with plenty of fresh lemon juice. The whole thing worked together deliciously.

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Baba Ghanoush

  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 2 table spoons tahini
  • 1 roasted eggplant (next time I’d used less chickpeas and more eggplant, probably 2)
  • 4 cloves roasted garlic
  • 1 clove fresh garlic
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil ( about two tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon smokey paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sumac powder (and to garnish)
  • Fresh thyme to garnish.

1) Blend in food processor.

Fattoush Salad

  •  red pepper
  •  tomato
  •  cucumber
  • 1/4 onion, thinly sliced
  • Pita bread, toasted
  • fresh parsley and mint ( I had none, but this would be ideal!)

Dressing:

  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Lemon juice
  • Olive oil
  • sprinkle sumac powder
  • sprinkle ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey

Cut pitas into strips and toast in oven with olive oil and plenty of salt at 400 for 10 minutes, or until browned and very crispy. WARNING!: Highly addictive.

Persian Eggplant Stew, Khoresht-E Bademjan 

  • 1 lb stewing beef
  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 large can crushed tomatoes
  • 1.5 teaspoons red chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Water
  • Fresh thyme to garnish
  1. Peel eggplant and cut into 1 inch strips. Salt on both sides and lay the strips between layers of paper towels. This draws out the bitterness. Let rest for 20 minutes or so.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large pot, brown onions with red pepper flakes, garlic and beef.
  3. Once meat is browned, add turmeric, cumin and cinnamon. Then cover with water and stew for one hour or more.
  4. While the meat is cooking, fry eggplant in olive oil until cooked and a bit crispy (This is where I began snacking!). Set aside to cool.
  5. Once meat is tender, add tomatoes. Let simmer for another hour.
  6. Lastly, add eggplant, and season with salt, pepper, honey and squeeze of lemon juice.

Serve over rice, couscous or quinoa. For a (quicker!) vegan option, substitute the beef for lentils or chickpeas. It would obviously change the dish, but would still be good. OR check out this post I did for a veggie Moroccan Stew.

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The plate of spicy stew, sweet dates, tangy salad, crunchy,salty pita chips and garlicky dip all worked together amazingly well. I can’t wait to make this meal again, for guests or family or just us.

It’s turned me into a total eggplant convert! Next on the list: eggplant bharta.

Fun Fact: “Eggplant is an excellent source of digestion-supportive dietary fiber and bone-building manganese. It is very good source of enzyme-catalyzing molybdenum and heart-healthy potassium. Eggplant is also a good source of bone-building vitamin K and magnesium as well as heart-healthy copper, vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate, and niacin” (www.whfoods.org)

On a side note, October was my best-ever month for Food, Mostly. The comments and views have been really encouraging. Thanks for all the support after a long break of inactivity! I’ve felt much more inspired lately to cook and contribute, and I look forward to growing my blog over the next few months.

Merci,

M

This post is part of the monthly link up party Our Growing Edge. This event aims to connect food bloggers and inspire us to try new things. This month is hosted by Becky from  My Utensil Crock To join, or for more info click here.

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