Friday, January 11, 2008
SURPRISINGLY DELICIOUS PEANUT STEW
To most Americans, a dish with a name like "peanut stew" sounds less than appetizing. But when my friend, Allene Vinzant, fixed it for us years ago, she introduced us to an entree that became a family favorite for us. Allene spent many of her growing up years as a missionary kid in Sierre Leone. The recipe was passed on to her family orally and that's how it was passed on to me. Because of this reason, there are not a lot of exact measurements, but that's okay as its a very "forgiving" recipe.
Today, our homeschool group held its first "eat your way around the world" meal. We had fun tasting desserts from Italy, cookies from China, lumpia (spelling?) from The Philippines, sushi from Japan, flat bread from the North American Crow Tribe, and many other items that were on the most part, pretty exotic for our down-home group. I made my friend Allene's peanut stew. Enough brave souls tried it and liked it that they asked that I pass on the recipe. Since I was sending it through our homeschool e-loop, I thought I might as well pass it along to my blog readers as well.
Happy cooking AND eating!
PEANUT STEW (also known as GROUND NUT STEW)
In a big pot, add however much chicken meat you want to cook. For my family, I usually do 3 boneless chicken breasts. If you want to use cheaper parts of the chicken, such as thighs, cook them and then debone before continuing with the recipe.
Okay, so back to the first part. Put the chicken in a pot. Cover it with water. You should have enough water to make about 2 to 3 cups of broth. Add some salt, pepper, and chopped onion (anywhere from 1/4 to a cup according to how much you like onion). Boil til chicken is done.
Remove chicken from broth and cut up into bite-sized and smaller pieces. Return to broth.
Reduce heat to medium. Add to this 3 small cans of tomato paste (the 6 oz size) and a jar of peanut butter (I use smooth, all-natural but use whatever you want. If you use the kind with sugar and salt added, you'll not need to add additional salt and sweetening). If you are using all-natural p.b. add a few squirts of ketchup, a bit of stevia, or a little bit of honey. You want a bit of sweetener to cut the acidic taste of the tomato paste just like most folks do with spaghetti sauce.
Stir often until peanut butter is melted and its well blended. Lower heat---you do NOT want the pb to burn!
Add a bit of ground red pepper to the stew, stir, and serve over rice.
If you've used smooth peanut butter, offer chopped peanuts (or other nut of your choice, even sunflower seeds) to sprinkle on top before eating. The crunch adds a nice touch.
I also like my peanut stew HOT so I add hot sauce on my serving before eating.
The meal that my friend always served included these items---
Peanut stew over rice
White bread w/butter and jelly
Fruit salad made of chopped bananas, oranges, and pineapple
There is something about the combination of these foods that really works well together. I don't do sliced white bread but I do white yeast rolls. In most parts of Africa, white bread is considered fancy and is preferred over brown or whole wheat bread.