Sunday, August 31, 2008

African Peanut Stew

I made this a week or so ago, and didn't take any pictures, but I've been eating remnants of it all week and it was really good. I found a post somewhere referencing an African Peanut Stew, and having a deep and long lasting love of all things peanuty, had to make it. The version I made is hacked together out of the recipes I found, and I'm pretty sure that you could do almost anything to it and it would be fine, but here is my version... mmmm... peanutbutter...

(warning: this will feed a large and hungry army- I ate it for days, and still froze a ton of it, it would be easily cut in half and still feed an army, albeit a medium sized and moderately hungry one.)

Chop and brown, in some canola oil (cooking spray in a non-stick pan would also work):
1 red bell pepper
1 medium or large onion
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and cored- make this really teeny
2 cloves garlic
throw in some cumin (I used both powder and seeds) and salt

Add 2 cubed sweet potatoes (yams? sweet potatoes? I don't know which I bought but I bet it doesn't matter), stir it around for a minute.

Add a can, with juice, of crushed or chopped tomatoes
Add a can, with broth, of beans (I used pinto beans, black would also work)
Add some chicken or vegetable broth- I used about 3 cups broth and 1 cup water, adding more water later as well when it got too sludgy

Optional ingredients-
--2c cooked brown rice can be stirred in, this bulks it up some and increases its army feeding capabilities, but I couldn't really taste it and might leave it out. It might be better to make it less watery and serve it over rice (although, I did like it as a soup)
--cooked chicken, shredded or diced- I put this in, but it really didn't need it unless you're really married to having meat. Otherwise the beans are probably enough protein.
--red pepper flakes- this was not spicy enough for me, so I added a bunch of red pepper flakes. I might have had a bland jalapeno though.

Let all of this cook for a while, I let mine go for an hour or so. At some point in this hour, you add my favorite ingredient- a bunch of crunch peanut butter (use the natural kind, I don't know how that other Skippy-type stuff would hold up to being melted like this). I did it by spoonfuls, but I bet it was at least half a cup. Stir it in and let it melt and cook.

Then, eat it! It tastes even better the next day when all the flavors blend. It would be really good served with toasted chopped peanut and scallions on top.

(yes, this peanut picture is generic and totally gratuitous)

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