Chickpea and Tomato Stew

When I got the March issue of Food and Wine in the mail last week, I realized it had been forever since I did a Magazine Monday post. For those of you have not heard of it, Magazine Mondays are an informal blog event hosted (usually) by Ivonne at Cream Puffs in Venice. The goal is for us to actually make those magazine recipes we have book marked. I’m sure many of us have the same habits. When we get a new cookbook or food magazine we are filled with excitement, but they often end up in a pile or on a shelf, their potential unfulfilled.  Personally, I love to spend weekend afternoons curled up on the couch with a hot cup of coffee flipping through a magazine. I drool over the gorgeous images, enjoy the articles, and fold down all the pages with recipes I want to make. More often than not a magazine will end up with most of its pages folded. Yet somehow when it comes time to find a  new recipe my first stop is always the internet. I think its because I usually have an ingredient in mind before I look for the recipe, and googling “chicken legs” is a lot easier than searching through all my magazines for a good recipe. That’s why I appreciate Magazine Monday so much; it reminds me that food magazines are for more than just drooling over.

This months Food and Wine is full of healthy recipes, which made it even more motivating. As usual there were plenty of them that I wanted to try, but this one really caught my eye. The pictures was gorgeous ( I admit it, I tried to recreate it and failed), and I had all the ingredients on hand. No need to run to the grocery store to make this! It’s a really quick meal to put together, which I’m sure many people will appreciate. The leftovers were also great, so I feel pretty comfortable calling this a good make ahead dish. It’s got a great flavour combination, with ginger and cumin being the dominant flavours. I ate it the stew alone and on a bed of basmitti rice; it’s good both ways, but I preferred it with rice. The original recipe called for a paste to be made with garlic, ginger and jalepenos; as I didn’t have the jalepenos on hand I just omitted them and sauteed the ginger and garlic with the onion rather than making the paste.

Chickpea and Tomato Stew

  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • One 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed or 3 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 2 cups water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves
  1. In a large skillet over high heat, add the oil and onions sauteeing until the onions are sizzling.  Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the onions start to brown.
  2. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until the garlic is fragrant. Add the cumin, coriander, and cayenne; cook for one minute to bring the flavours out of the spices.
  3. Add the tomatoes and water then simmer until thickened.
  4. Add the chickpeas and simmer for another 10 minutes so that the chickpeas take on the flavours on the tomato sauce. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Serve topped with yogurt and cilantro over a bed of basmitti rice or with naan.

Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Hash

Part of our Thanksgiving tradition is the morning after brunch. My aunt and uncle make us a wonderful dinner, and the following morning the guests contribute to breakfast. The last two years I’ve brought a Sweet Potato Hash.

The first time I tried this dish was at an office breakfast. My friend JB brought it, and I loved it. I asked him for the recipe numerous times, and he eventually shared it with me. Turns out I could have just Googled it. What makes this hash great is the bacon, and the fact that everything else is cooked in bacon fat. Hey, it’s Thanksgiving.

The hash is really easy to make. The longest part is the prep work, having a good knife to cut the sweet potato is key. Once the chopping is done, the dish comes together very quickly. It’s a great make ahead dish as the flavours meld together well overnight. I’ve always had this dish as part of a brunch, but it would make a great side dish for a dinner.

Sweet Potato Hash

From the Oct 2007 issue of Gourmet

  • 1/2 pound sliced bacon, cut into 1/4-inch strips
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 2 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  1. Cook the bacon in a large non stick skillet. Once cooked, remove the bacon pieces from the pan and drain on paper towels.
  2. Drain off some of the fat, leaving at least 2 tbsp behind. Add the onions, bell peppers, salt and pepper to the skillet. Cook until the vegetables have softened. Add the sweet potato to the skillet, then cover. Cook, stirring occasionally for 10 to 15 minutes, until sweet potato is softened. Stir in reserved bacon and thyme.
  3. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Enjoy!