Saturday, April 12, 2008

Spicy Peanut Stew

I made a dee-licious African-inspired spicy peanut stew today. I found the recipe on the Fat-Free Vegan website, but I added lots of fat back in and changed some of the vegetables. I deviated so far from it that I am just going to post what I did instead.

First, I cooked up a batch of this gorgeous brown basmati and wild rice. I like to put it in the rice steamer and prepare everything else while it's cooking because brown rice takes a good hour to cook. It's worth the wait, though. I like its texture and nuttiness a lot better than white rice.

I heated peanut oil in the beauteous enameled dutch oven, then added a chopped onion. While that was getting soft and translucent, I minced about 5 cloves of garlic, a 1" piece of fresh ginger root, and 3 fresh jalapenos. After that had sauteed for about 3 minutes, I added a dry spice mix of 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, 2 teaspoons red chili powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of dried chili flakes. Meanwhile Andy was dry-roasting a tablespoon each of coriander and cumin seeds. He then ground them to a powder and I added that to the mix.

Let me just briefly digress. Dry roasting your spices in a hot dry frying pan for just a minute or so--until you can smell their aroma explode, but not long enough to burn them--will intensify those flavors like you wouldn't believe. You should try it.

I added a big can (I think 29 oz.) of diced tomatoes and about 3 cups of vegetable broth. While that was simmering, I diced up and added 2 carrots and 2 potatoes. Then in went about 3/4 lb. of fresh green beans cut in 1" lengths and 1/2 cup of frozen lima beans.

Finally, I added 1/2 cup of all natural creamy peanut butter and stirred gently until the peanut butter was incorporated throughout. Then I just let the stew simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, until the vegetables were all tender. The PB and starch in the taties make a nice thick broth.

At the very last, we needed to tweak just a little. I added about a tablespoon of dark brown sugar and a squirt of sriracha, the asian chili sauce that no kitchen should be without.

We ate it most enthusiastically, served with the lovely rice and sprinkled with crushed peanut. I thought a cilantro garnish would have been yummy, but alas, I had no cilantro.

I think you could substitute like crazy with this recipe, depending on what you love or have on hand. For instance:
Chickpeas instead of lima beans
Okra instead of green beans
Sweet potatoes instead of russet potatoes
You get the picture.

This recipe makes 4 to 6 servings and I bet it tastes even better the next day! I'll let you know...


Jacquie said...

OMG...this looks so good! I think I may have to break my no cooking unless someone is supervising me rule and try this!

Janine Serresseque said...

Aw, Jake, this is very easy. I dare you!

debra said...

does this mean that Jacquie would be working with knives? hee hee, just kidding!

RVA Foodie said...

I did a double take when you said that you "added fat back in." I thought you meant "fatback", one of the funniest named animal products ever. Great blog. Glad to see another veggie writing about food.

JB said...

I miss having a kitchen! This looks great. I love Sirachi and put it on everything - it is great in mac and cheese.

Janine Serresseque said...

You know, rva foodie, I wondered when I was proofing this post if anybody would catch that! I agree that "fatback" is a strange thing to call some kind of food. Thanks for visiting, and I will look forward to reading your blog as well!

JB, of course you love sriracha, because you fuckin rock! Now when will your kitchen be put back together? I wish I could help you! I am mired in rehearsals until mid-May. XOXOX

debra said...

Ah fatback, the Southerner's favorite way to season a big pot of beans, whether they be pinto, or green beans. A salty, fatty piece of pork. I've never seen it here in the grocery stores...although I've never looked for it. But I remember my mother buying it when I was a kid. I think some folks actually did fry it up and eat it. ew. But my mom would just cut up a small piece to throw in the pot whenever she made pintos or green beans.