Friday, January 16, 2009

African Ground Nut Stew

When I was first accepted into MassArt, I was told I had to enroll in several Art History classes, and both Iraqi and African Art History were strongly recommended. Convinced that I had taken enough Art History courses already, and determined to start taking Graphic Design courses — I mean, enough with my academic career, already! My career-changing self had been in college for 9 years! — I reluctantly signed up for African Art History with Professor Margaret H. Turner.

It was awesome.

I really love taking Art History classes. In fact, I become overwhelmed with inspiration in an Art History classroom. This same professor traveled with a group of students to Africa, and they returned with a recipe. I have had that little blue recipe card filed away since 2004, and last week I finally made the meal.

It was awesome.

There seem to be a ton of extreme variations on "African Ground Nut Stew," but I am planning to stick with this one.

African Ground Nut Stew
  • olive oil
  • 4 large onions, chopped
  • 2lbs mushrooms, chunky sliced
  • 2 cans tomato paste
  • 3 green chili peppers, chopped (or 1TBS cayenne)
  • 1.5 cups chunky peanut butter (can be cut back to taste)
  • vegetable or chicken stock (optional)
  • tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 1lb fresh spinach
  • rice or grain of choice
  • fun garnish: banana chips, coconut, pineapple

Saute mushrooms (I used several kinds, but you couldn't distinguish between them in the dish) and onions in olive oil in a pretty big pot until the onions are translucent. The big pot is necessary to accommodate the spinach added later.

Add tomato paste, chili peppers (or cayenne), peanut butter (I used less) to the pot. It's thick, but it will loosen as it warms up. You can add vegetable or chicken stock to make the sauce a looser consistency, too. Add tamari (or soy sauce) to taste. Let this sauce summer for about 20 minutes.

Add all of the spinach to the pot (I suppose any dark green leafy thing would work just fine). This will take up a lot of space in the pot, but will cook down quickly. Once it's all wilty and incorporated into the sauce, it's ready to be served over rice or the grain of your choice (we used brown rice). We topped ours with banana chips, but pineapple and coconut were also both recommended.

This recipe made a LOT of sauce, with plenty for dinner and several lunches. I may cut it in half next time.


Cami said...

You are making my mouth water. Yum yum yum!!!

ErinM said...

Mmmmm. Me, too. I'm hungry!