Quarantine Eats: #TheStew

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It has been a hot minute since my last post—almost two years to be exact—and a lot has happened in that time. I rounded out 2018 with a ton of work travel and 2019 brought a fresh start in the form of a new job. The new job also came with a new (and insane) commute—think 1-2 hours each way depending on traffic—so needless to say, the blog took a backseat. Now, here we are in 2020 and this year has quite literally thrown every sh*tty situation at us in less than 4 months, including the black plague, i.e. COVID-19. 

Like many of you, I’m sheltering in place (going on week 7 or day 40, but who’s counting?) and when I’m not stress eating or having nightmares that the world is ending, I’m bored out of my mind. So I thought, what better time to resurrect the blog?

My commute/work schedule made it difficult to muster the motivation to cook during the week, so I guess one positive to come out of the Coronapocalypse is that I’ve gotten back to experimenting in the kitchen on a more consistent basis. I have eyeballed Alison Roman’s Spiced Chickpea Stew with Coconut and Turmeric—or #TheStew has it has been lovingly dubbed—for quite some time, but I’m always hesitant to cook a non-meat main for Jake (#men) and I was worried it would be too sweet for me. When thinking through how to utilize quarantine pantry items like canned chickpeas, this recipe came top of mind and I knew it was time to take the leap. I mean, it had to be good in order to have its own hashtag, right? Plus, the stew is from Alison Roman and I can honestly say I have loved every recipe I’ve made of hers.

Let’s just say the #TheStew did not disappoint—it was deliciously savory and Jake asked me to make it again the next day. Spoiler: I didn’t make it again the next day, but we’ll still chalk that request up to a win.

Hope #TheStew brings you a little comfort amidst the COVID-19 chaos. This too shall pass—or so I’ve been told. Hang in there and huge thank you to our healthcare professionals!

#TheStew
AKA Spiced Chickpea Stew With Coconut and Turmeric

Serves: 4-6
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 55 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Tools:
Sharp knife
Dutch oven or other large pot

Ingredients:
¼ cup olive oil, plus more for serving
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 (2-inch) piece ginger, finely chopped
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 ½ tsps ground turmeric, plus more for serving
1 tsp red-pepper flakes, plus more for serving
2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 (15-ounce) cans full-fat coconut milk (this is one of those times when you don’t go low fat)
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 bunch Swiss chard, kale or collard greens, stems removed, torn into bite-size pieces (we used Swiss chard)
1 cup mint leaves, for serving
Yogurt, for serving (optional)
Toasted pita (we made fresh pita chips—recipe below), lavash or other flatbread, for serving (optional)

  1. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large pot over medium. Add garlic, onion and ginger. Season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally until onion is translucent and starts to brown a little at the edges, 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric, 1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, and the chickpeas, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, so the chickpeas sizzle and fry a bit in the spices and oil, until they’ve started to break down and get a little browned and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove about a cup of chickpeas and set aside for garnish. Pro tip: Make more if you can—these chickpeas are delicious and can be saved to top salads or whatever else your heart desires.
  3. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, further crush the remaining chickpeas slightly to release their starchy insides. (This will help thicken the stew.) Add coconut milk and stock, and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Bring to a simmer, scraping up any bits that have formed on the bottom of the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until stew has thickened, 30 to 35 minutes. (Taste a chickpea or two, not just the liquid, to make sure they have simmered long enough to be as delicious as possible.) If after 30 to 35 minutes, you want the stew a bit thicker, keep simmering until you’ve reached your desired consistency. FWIW, I simmered for about 10 minutes longer.
  5. Add greens and stir, making sure they’re submerged in the liquid. Cook until they wilt and soften, 3 to 7 minutes, depending on what you’re using. (Swiss chard and spinach will wilt and soften much faster than kale or collard greens.) Season again with salt and pepper.
  6. Divide among bowls and top with mint, reserved chickpeas, a sprinkle of red-pepper flakes and a healthy drizzle of olive oil. Serve alongside yogurt (we used Greek yogurt) and toasted pita if using; dust the yogurt with turmeric if you’d like.


Ina’s Toasted Pita Chips

Serves: 8
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes

Tools:
Sharp knife
Sheet pan

Ingredients:
1 package pita bread
Olive Oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Cut each pita bread in quarters and each quarter in half to make 8 triangles. Place them in a single layer on a sheet pan and sprinkle lightly with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake for about 10 minutes, until crisp, turning once.

 

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