Saturday, January 24, 2009

Stew-pendous


I don't know how it is out there, but it has been cold here. And my computer is in the 3rd flr, uninsulated office. (Really old house, stone walls, no insulation) that, along with a busy work week (covering some extra shifts, for extra hours) has kept me away from the blogosphere this week. :(

Since I was working a lot and it was so cold, I really wanted something warm & comforting to bring in for lunch, but I'm on a budget, so I can't go to the cafe. Well, I'll tell ya, a good stew is a like a good hug, cheap & warms you down to the soul!
In my latest library stash, I checked out the unbelievable real stew put together by Clifford Wright. (Wow, I really did find "Mr. Wright"-- too bad I'm married).
This is officially my next great find. It will also be a purchase when I return to the world of buyers rather than borrowers. In the mean time let me tell you Cliff (I hope he doesn't mind if I call him that) is worth "checking out!"
There are 300 stews in here, some that look more complicated than I want to mess with, but many are reasonable with combinations that I can't believe I never thought of. The book is extremely well organized, divided in sections by main ingredient and the sections go by regions.

The Chicken and Coconut Stew from Kenya was an instant must-try, so let's see how it went!
Peppers & Onions are always a good start (2 each here sliced) they are being heated up with 1/2 teaspoon ground Ginger, 1/4 t curry, salt, sugar a couple cloves of garlic (he says crushed to a paste, I just put them through the press) and 3 cloves.
Once the onions and peppers softened I added the tomatoes from a 28 oz can (mostly drained) (Cliff asked for 1 1/2 lbs of ripe tomatoes, but they weren't looking so ripe at the market, so I used the canned) Along with tomatoes there was a crushed dried red chile (from the garden last summer!) and 1 1/2 T grated lemon zest. Once they are in & heated, add a small chicken cut into pieces (next time I'll probably just buy 4 # of chicken thighs to make it easier to serve & eat) .
(Dory was very excited to help with this!)

After about 5 minutes add 2 cups of coconut milk* and (wait for it)


1 1/2 pounds of Sweet Potatoes! HO-licius!


Damn, you know I was excited by that!

The next step is a perrennial favorite of mine: Cover, lower the heat & simmer** a couple hours until chicken & taters are tender.

It has a pretty orange color and the chicken melts in your mouth! HP wanted it over rice, but I love it just the way it was! Of course the left-overs were the best!

So keep warm, where ever you are & if you need a hug, make some of this & consider it a hug from Kiki & Cliff. (If you serve this to some one else, spontaneous hugs may occur as well)


*(Cliff tells you how to make your own coconut milk, but I'm down with the Goya thing. Cheap & Easy)
**(Simmer only, don't boil-boiled chicken = tough chicken)

2 garnishes:

noble pig January 25, 2009 at 12:41 PM  

I think I would nix the homemade coconut milk too! This sounds delicious.

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