Quick "What's in the Fridge?" Stew
By Stuart Cristol-Deman, courtesy of stuartonthecoast.com
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!
- 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).
- 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.
- Add the juice from a 14 oz can of tomatoes and stir. Place a square of parchment paper right on top of the vegetables.
- 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.
- Add the tomatoes and break them up, then stir into the vegetables. Drain the beans reserving the cooking liquid.
- 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).
- 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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