Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Bahamian Stew

Blog's Category: My Staple Food
I have discovered this dish several years ago and since then it is on our menu. I do not remember where I've got the original recipe but through several modifications I come to the recipe below.  This stew is very bright, colorful and just packed with good stuff - red pepper, orange sweet potato, yellow specks of corn and dark "eyes" of black beans - this stew is beautiful just to look at it! Well, it's extremely flavorful and tasty also.

Taste Description
It is sweet. And spicy (just a little bit). And a little bit sour from a lemon it served with. And very-very flavorful hence abundance of spices in it.

- Use any pepper you wish - green, orange or red. I like to put red pepper in it just because of color! If you are not fan of "sweet-ish" stews - use green pepper, it will bring down the sweetness.
- Replace black beans with any type of beans - your call!
- Sometimes I replace half of sweet potato with a regular potato if I want to cut on sweetness (hey, there is a lot naturally sweet ingredients in this recipe!)
- This stew will look prettier if you won't blend it partially as I suggested in the recipe. But we like it partially blended.
- Original recipe called for fresh pineapple. Although, with all my love to pineapple, it is way too sweet with a pineapple . But if you up to that - go ahead and try it!

How to Serve
- It can be served as a soup (then call it a "soup").
- It HAS TO BE served with lemon wedge on a side. Squeeze juice right into your bowl before digging in.
- Blame my Ukrainian genes, but I love it to be served with a spoon or two of sour cream on a top  :))
- This stew is lovely with some sprinkles of chopped parsley or cilantro.

Bahamian Stew

Serves 8-10

5  medium sweet potatoes, peeled, sliced (or diced)
1 large onion, sliced (or diced)
5-7 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 tbs olive oil
1.5 tbs salt
2 c frozen corn
1 can black beans
1 tsp dry thyme
1 red pepper, sliced (or diced)
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp ground red chili pepper

For serving:
chopped fresh cilantro
sour cream (optional)

- Place a large pot, half-filled with a water, on a heat. Put all ingredients, except beans, into a pot. You can do this gradually, as you cut/dice them or all at the same time.

- Bring to a boil and simmer for about 40-60 minutes.

- Add beans, cook for some 5-10 minutes more. Adjust seasoning if needed and then turn heat off. It's done - enjoy! Wasn't it easy?!

Usually I place pot with water on a heat and then add all ingredients as I prepare them so it's non-stop ongoing process - chopping/dicing/adding and so on.

Thyme goes in..

Half of a huge serving spoon of olive oil = 2 tablespoons of olive oil, right?

...onion comes next..

..then pepper..Oh, it's about to boil. When it's brought to a boil - turn heat down and keep on simmering.

Continue adding other components - turmeric...

..and a cumin..

..and paprika..

..and spicy ground red chili pepper..

It's ready! It can be partially (or completely) blended or left as is. I like to blend it with my immersion blender, just a little bit.

Serve it a with lemon wedge, sprinkled with fresh cilantro and drop of sour cream - heavenly tasty...Well, if you are not used to sour cream in soups, then it's optional (sigh..) but don't you want to try? Lemon is the must though - squeeze juices from a lemon wedge, it will create perfect balance with sweet richness of stew and fragrant lemon sourness.

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