Spicy Peanut Stew

If you hang out on Epicurious at all, you will start to notice that every recipe has about 24 comments. I always read these, not just because they tell you if the recipe is any good, but also because they are hilarious. The two most common types are over-shares ("I tried making this for my little darlings, Albert and Geoffrey, but they simply won't touch lettuce because it reminds them of Oscar the Grouch...") and chronic alterers ("This dish is great with a few changes- eggplant instead of chicken, and pesto instead of garlic-lemon sauce".) I guess I'm sort of a little of each. I can't follow a recipe all the way through, whether because of a stupid problem or an overactive imagination.

You see, I had every intention of making this recipe from the May issue of Vegetarian Times. But problem after problem prevented me from following the recipe, to the extent that I made a whole new- but excellent- variation. The recipe calls for celery, cauliflower, butternut squash and sweet potato. I used chickpeas, green beans, butternut squash and kale. I also used extra ginger and garlic. :)

I eyeballed the recipe, headed to the store, and promptly forgot the celery and sweet potato (although, to be fair, I usually have those on hand.) I did remember the butternut squash and cauliflower. But when I got to cutting up the cauliflower, I noticed these tiny little bugs all over it. Not wanting to toss the thing, I did a little googling and found out that soaking it in salted ice water for 10 minutes will usually do the trick. Um, not so much. So it had to go. :( Luckily, I had some kale and green beans handy. Add a can of chickpeas for the sweet potato, and I was back in business. So I will reprint the recipe here with my little variations. I highly suspect that with the spicy, garlicky, gingery, peanut sauce, any combo of veggies would work.

Spicy Peanut Stew, a la T
2 tbs EVOO
1 diced, medium sized onion
1 1/2 T grated fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can chickpeas, drained
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with chiles
1 lb/ 3 c. butternut squash, cut into smallish cubes
1 handful green beans (about 1/2 c.)
1 bunch kale, washed and chopped
1/4 c. peanut butter
3 c. cooked brown rice

1. Heat EVOO over medium well and throw in the onions, cooking until they are translucent. After that, throw in the garlic and ginger. Cook a few minutes longer, then stir in the tomatoes and chickpeas and raise the heat to medium.
2. After sauce has thickened, add 2 c. of water and season well with salt and pepper. Cover partially and simmer for 10 minutes, then add in the squash. Cook for five more minutes, then add in the green beans and kale. Cook the whole thing partially covered for about 10 more minutes.
3. Whisk 1/2 c. warm water in with the peanut butter. Add that into the stew, stirring well. Reduce the heat and let it thicken a few more minutes before serving over the brown rice.

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