Sunday, May 30, 2010

Creole Mushroom and Pepper Stew & that carrot cake

This week the main meal was from Fields of Greens, a Annie Somerville recipe book from Greens restaurant, also in the Bay Area. There's a section of curries and stews in that book and I love every one of them. I made one of my favourites: Creole Mushroom and Pepper stew, with some couscous. I love the way the mushrooms taste in this stew and use this cooking method often in other dishes.

Creole Mushroom and Pepper Stew
(feeds 4 - 6)

2 lbs fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded, chopped (about 3 cups) or 1 28 oz can tomatoes with juice chopped, or 3 lb roasted tomatoes, without skins, chopped.
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 lb white mushrooms, halved or quartered (about 5 cups)
salt and pepper
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 medium red onion, halved and cut lengthwise into crescents (about 2 cups)
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 red bell pepper, seeded, cut into thick strips, then triangles (about 1 cup)
1 green bell pepper, seeded, cut into thick strips, then triangles (about 1 cup)
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded, cut into thick strips, then triangles (about 1 cup)
1 medium fennel bulb, quartered lengthwise, cored, sliced 1/2" thick (about 2 cups)
2 bay leaves
2-3 jalapeno or serrano chilies, seeded and finely diced
cayenne pepper
2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise, sliced 1/2" think (about 2 cups)
2 scallions, thinly sliced on diagonal
1 Tbsp fresh thyme
1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice

If you're using canned tomatoes, simmer over low heat while vegetables are cooking to reduce acidity. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in large skillet over high heat. Add mushrooms, 1/2 tsp salt, pinch of pepper. Sear until golden and browned (about 7 mins). Add half garlic and wine, stir to release pan juices, reduce until nearly dry and transfer to a bowl.

In the same skillet, heat 1 Tbsp oil. Add onion, 1/2 tsp salt, dried thyme. Saute on medium until soft (about 7-8 mins). Add garlic, peppers, fennel, bay leaves, chilies, 1/8 tsp cayenne. Saute over medium for 10 mins. Add zucchini and cook till heated through (about 5 mins). Add tomatoes and mushrooms. Simmer uncovered over medium low heat for 20 mins. Season with salt and cayenne if needed. Add scallions, fresh thyme and lemon juice just before serving. If still acidic, add a few pinches of sugar.

Almond-Currant Couscous
(makes 4 cups - serves 4 - 6)
I skipped the nuts in this recipe. You can use chopped dried apricots instead of currants, or pine nuts instead of almonds, or cumin instead of cinnamon.

1/4 cup whole almonds with skins, toasted, chopped
2 Tbsp unsalted butter (I used a vegan substitute Claire suggested and I've forgotten the name)
1.5 cups instant couscous (I used whole wheat)
1.5 cups water
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup dried currants

In a medium-sized skillet with tight fitting lid, melt the butter. Add the couscous and nuts and stir over medium heat 4-5 mins until fragrant and heated through. Turn off heat. While toasting couscous, bring water to boil in small saucepan. Add 1/4 tsp salt, cinnamon, currants. Pour over couscous. Stir. Cover the skillet and let it sit for 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork and season if needed.

To finished the meal off I wanted to use up a big pile of carrots I had accumulated. I went internet surfing looking for something other than just standard carrot cake and came up with Ginger Macadamia Coconut Carrot Cake, from Vegan with a Vengeance by Isa Moskowitz. I don't have the recipe book but a number of bloggers had liked it enough to write out the whole recipe. I'm linking to this version of the recipe because it reassured me that cupcakes made from the recipe worked well and how long to cook them for. They almost didn't get made because the raw batter tasted so good it was hard to stop eating it. In addition to the ginger, walnuts (which I used instead of macadamia simply because I had them already), coconut, and carrot, this recipe also has other yummy stuff like pineapple juice and maple syrup. Both kids demanded I make this recipe again soon, and I don't blame them.


No comments:

Post a Comment