Quick "What's in the Fridge?" Stew

February 01, 2019


By Stuart Cristol-Deman, courtesy of stuartonthecoast.com

Serves 4-6


The thing about short-cutting recipes like this is making sure to concentrate the flavors. In this instance I utilized a trick from Paula Wolfert, cooking vegetables under parchment on the stove top. The following is really more of a technique than a recipe, just using what I had on hand for a quick dinner. As I always say, "Recipes are guidelines.”. In this instance I used some carrots, sweet potatoes and leftover Rancho Gordo beans that I stored in their cooking broth as well as some pantry staples such as spices and canned tomatoes. 


Spices of your choice 
2-3 cups diced vegetables 
14 oz can tomatoes in juice, separated and juice reserved 
2 cups cooked beans and one cup reserved cooking liquid. 

TIP: When cooking beans at home, always save the cooking liquid. The flavor can add intensity to soups or stews and you can also use it as a
poaching liquid for eggs or fish. Remember, every batch of beans comes with free broth!


  1. Heat the oil in the Chamba pot and add any whole spices (I used cumin seed and waited till they started to pop a little).
  2. Add the vegetables to the pot. Cook until the vegetables take on a different colour, about 3-5 minutes depending on the vegetables you use.
  3. Add the juice from a 14 oz can of tomatoes and stir. Place a square of parchment paper right on top of the vegetables.
  4. Cover and turn down the heat to a medium low. Cook for 5-8 minutes and then take off the parchment with a pair of tongs.
  5. Add the tomatoes and break them up, then stir into the vegetables. Drain the beans reserving the cooking liquid.
  6. Cook another 5-10 minutes to combine flavours and make sure the vegetables are cooked through. This is also the time to add any other seasonings you might want to add (I used a smoked paprika chorizo rub in this one).
  7. Test to see that the vegetables are cooked through and season with salt if needed. Serve with cheese and sour cream or Greek yogurt at the table.

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