Groundnut Stew             Chef Carla Hall

Serves 4

 

From West Africa to the American South, this satisfying dish is a mainstay in the black community. That’s one of the reasons I did it for one of my Top Chef challenges. The other is that it’s so yummy. I’ve simplified my Top Chef version here, but kept the same flavors and silky texture. I don’t like thick, cloying versions, and struck a balance between luscious and light here.

 

I use hot habanero chile in this stew and start with just a little. After you’ve simmered the soup but before you put the sweet potatoes in, taste to see if the spice level is where you want it. If you want more heat, just add more chile.

 

You can enjoy this right away, but if you want even more depth of flavor, just let it sit for an hour at room temperature before reheating it and serving. And this is definitely one of those soups that’s better after it sits in the fridge overnight.

 

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 large yellow onion, chopped

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 large red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped

1 jalapeño chile, stemmed, seeded, and finely diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 1/2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger

One 14.5-ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes

1 quart Chicken Stock (page 000) or store-bought unsalted chicken broth

1 fresh or dried bay leaf

1/4 habanero chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced, plus more if you like

1 large sweet potato, cut into 1/2-inch dice

One 15-ounce can small red beans, rinsed and drained

3 tablespoons creamy natural peanut butter

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup roasted, salted peanuts, chopped

2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves

1 lime, cut into wedges


 

1. Heat a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the onion, cumin, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally until the onion has lightly browned and caramelized a little, about 3 minutes.

 

2. Add the bell pepper, jalapeño, garlic, and ginger. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Don’t let the mix burn!

3. Add the tomatoes, stock, bay leaf, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the habanero. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.

 

4. Stir in the sweet potato and raise the heat to medium. Cook until tender, about 15 minutes, then stir in the beans.

 

5. Transfer 1/2 cup liquid from the pan to a small bowl. Stir in the peanut butter until smooth and stir back into the pan. Resist the urge to just throw the peanut butter into the soup; it doesn’t work! Stir in the pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt or more to taste. At this point, the soup can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

 

6. Return the soup to a simmer. Remove and discard the bay leaf.

 

When ready to serve, garnish with the peanuts, parsley, and mint. Serve with the lime wedges.

RAW KALE SALAD            Milagros Phillips

SERVES 8

 

1 bunch organic kale

Half a bunch cilantro

1 small red onion finely chopped

1 crushed garlic clove

1 tablespoon adobo seasoning with pepper

1 half a lemon

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1.5 tablespoon olive oil

 

Wash kale and cilantro and dry spin in a salad spinner

Chop kale and cilantro into small pieces

Finely chop onion

Crush and finely chop garlic

Squeeze the half the lemon

 

In a large bowl combine

Chopped kale, cilantro, onions, garlic, adobo, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and olive oil. Toss. Serve immediately or prepare and serve the next day. It’s great for large parties.

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© 2023 by Milagros Phillips