Sunday, February 7, 2010
Niall lived with Kole on and off for ten years. Kole is from Nigeria, and when Kole's mom came for a visit she pretty much cooked from sunup to sundown. Niall watched her amazing culinary skills and learned how to make a few dishes. And then he made adjustments to make them vegetarian.
One of the key ingredients she used was palm oil. Which, by the way, I've never used. Niall has some and the first time I smelled it I told him it was disgusting. And I couldn't imagine anything with palm oil tasting good. (Uh, I'm pretty sure Hostess uses palm oil, but I forgot to consider that.) And I think there's something about the environment and sustainability. Plus palm oil is solid at (UK) room temperature.
So, when Niall asked if I wanted a stew that was based on Kole's Mom's cooking and that it would have palm oil, I told him I didn't want any of his disgusting stew. But he made it anyway. And guess what? I'm a brat and it was delicious. So I know it's kind of rude, but since I'm not aware of what this dish is really called it goes by the name of Disgusting Stew. And Niall's the one who makes it, but I'm happy to eat it.
1 onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, diced
1 Tablespoon palm oil
10 ounces frozen spinach (I don't really know the amount, just "some")
1 potato, cubed (we didn't have one)
1 Tablespoon crushed chili seeds
1 cup butternut squash, cooked and smashed (canned pumpkin will work as well)
Peri-peri (or other hot sauce) as desired
Maggi's Liquid Seasoning (or soy sauce) as desired
1/2 cube vegetable bullion
1/2 pound Quorn chicken pieces (or cooked, diced chicken)
1 cup water + water to cook rice
2 teaspoons paprika
2 eggs (optional)
Rice (as a side)
Heat the palm oil in a large skillet
Once it melts, add the onions and let them cook until transluscent, then add the garlic and saute for a few minutes. Add the Quorn (or chicken) and the potatoes (if you have them.) Cook for a few more minutes.
Add the spinach (Niall added it frozen so it cooked in the pan and added extra moisture.) Add the chili seeds as well. (Niall put in about a tablespoon to make sure the stew had some kick.)
Stir the spinach into the mix until fully cooked. If you use frozen spinach, you may need to add water so it doesn't burn. Add bullion cube as well. When the bullion cube has dissolved, add the hot sauce.
And the Maggi Seasoning (or soy sauce) and squash and allow the stew to simmer.
Cook some rice, and if you're like Niall and want to add some eggs, throw in two eggs to hard boil while the rice is cooking. (I need to post sometime how Kole makes rice. It's probably how everyone makes it, except I used to always ruin rice. But following Kole's instructions has kind of revolutionized the world of rice making for me. It turns out perfect every time.)
When the rice and eggs are done, remove the shells from the eggs. In a bowl add some rice, stew and the eggs (I opted for no eggs), mix well and enjoy!