• 09Oct

    Being furloughed and not really having much in particular to do (but needing to save money!), I’ve been experimenting with African cuisine, particularly soups and stews, and even more particularly rekindling my love of (a) couscous and (b) fufu.

    What follows is my favorite concoction so far, a hybrid recipe using ideas from a few places – mostly from The African Food Joint, Serious Eats, and Leslie Cerier. Being me I couldn’t be bothered to follow any of the recipes exactly, but the result was sufficiently delicious (if not all that authentic), to make it very worth sharing.

    Vegetable StewI used:

    •  2 cups cherry tomatoes
    • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
    • 1 Scotch bonnet Pepper, seeded and minced
    • 1 large Yam (the purple kind with white flesh), cubed
    • ½ cup raisins
    • 1 can Garbanzo Beans
    • 4 cups kale, chopped
    • 6 small garlic cloves, finely diced
    • 1 Cinnamon stick
    • 1 tablespoon Sesame oil
    • 4 cups Chicken Stock
    • Salt, pepper, cayenne to taste

    What I did:

    •  In a large pot (I used an aluminum stock pot), add the tomatoes, onion, 3 cloves of garlic, and Scotch bonnet and toss with the oil over high heat, just until it starts to get fragrant.
    •  Add 1 cup of stock and bring to a boil for about 2 minutes, then blend using your hand blender.
    •  Add your remaining stock and bring back to a boil, adding your yams and cinnamon stick. Boil on high heat for about 5 minutes. Now lower heat to simmer, cover the pot, and leave for about 15 minutes.
    •  Next, add your chickpeas, up the heat to medium, and taste/adjust heat level using cayenne. Stir in your kale and remaining garlic, cooking a few minutes till the kale is done.
    •  Season with salt, black pepper, and more cayenne if needed.

    The first night I made this, I made fufu as described in the African Food Joint recipe, except I made quenelles out of it which I then fried in butter, because I just got back from France, but it goes well with the more traditional fufu, and couscous too. If I were going to adjust this recipe next time, I’d again call out to my French culinary habits and add in some cream in the second step (the blending), and maybe use a second Scotch bonnet as opposed to extra cayenne. That said, I’m going to happily keep eating this batch till it’s gone!

     – MAW

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