Influenced by whom you wonder? Mollie Katzen again. While everyone else I know is loving up and “Tackling Mark Bittman” (blog hop anyone?), I remain in a state of Bittman ignorance and find kinship with my old pal Mollie instead.
I had no idea what to make tonight. All I knew is that I wanted to make something different. I decided to take the first cookbook that jumped out at me and work my way through them until I found something that a) I would like to eat, and b) I could make with the ingredients I had on hand. Luckily, I only had to make my way through 40-some pages of Mollie Katzen’s The Enchanted Broccoli Forest before I found Influenced Vegetable Stew.
It’s a strange name for a recipe and Mollie doesn’t provide any sort of illumination on the matter except to say “…similar to a Greek ‘stifado,’ but with Mexican-style seasonings.” I have no idea what a stifado is (do you?), but the seasonings looked intriguing so I thought I would give it a try.
Oh good mother I am glad I did. It took about 40 minutes to prepare but it was worth my time. Everyone said it was delicious. Me, my step-son, my kids, and my neighbour whom I gave some to because this recipe makes so, so much. (Hubby wasn’t home to try it). It was so flavourful that my taste buds are already craving it again only a couple hours later.
So here you go. If you have a large family (of 6 or more) and want to try something a little bit different, this recipe is for you.
Influenced Vegetable Stew
3 cups sliced potatoes
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cups sliced onion
2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp cumin
3 Tbsp fresh lemon or lime juice
1 large cauliflower cut into 1″ florets
2 large carrots (I used broccoli)
8-10 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups water
1 Tbsp honey
1 1/2 cups tomato puree/canned crushed tomatoes
2 cups cooked kidney beans (or a 15 oz can, rinsed and drained)
freshly ground black pepper
cayenne pepper to taste
minced fresh parsley
squeezable wedges of lemon or lime
Place the sliced potatoes in a saucepan and cover them with water. Boil until tender. Drain well and set aside. (You can save the water to use later).
Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or large wok with a cover. Add the onion and 1 tsp. salt, and sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the cinnamon and cumin and sauté for a few minutes longer.
Stir in the lemon juice, cauliflower, carrots, and remaining salt. Cover and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add the potatoes, half the garlic, and the water (saved from the potatoes if you remembered). Stir, cover, and cook until the vegetables are just tender (8-10 minutes).
Stir in the remaining garlic, honey and tomatoes (or purée). Cover and cook about 5 minutes more. Stir in the beans, season to taste with black pepper and cayenne. Serve hot over rice topped with parsley and garnished with wedges of lemon or lime.