Spicy Moroccan Chickpea, Sweet Potato Stew

Not too long ago, Susan returned from the grocery store with what seemed like dozens of cans of Chick Peas. What, I thought, am I going to do with all these cans of chick peas? I often make Hummus but what else could I create. Salads? Soups?

I found many soup recipes online and was inspired by this one, “20-Minute Moroccan Chickpea Soup.” I note my changes and additions below.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, peeled and diced (I used a Vidalia Onion.)
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped (My addition.)
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced (I used 2.)
  • 4 cups vegetable stock (I used 8 cups Homemade Chicken Stock. 4 didn’t seems like enough.)
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas (a.k.a. garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained (I used 1 can.)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes (I don’t like fire-roasted. I used regular diced tomatoes.)
  • 1 sweet potato, chopped into bit-size pieces (My addition.)
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste (I used paste from a tube.)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin (I used 1 tablespoon. We love cumin!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, to taste (I used at least 1/4+ teaspoon!)
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 3 cups roughly-chopped kale leaves or baby spinach (I used 7+ ounces Collard Greens—we love them!)
  • 2 cups cooked chicken (My addition. I had this in fridge as I roasted a chicken the night before–and then made the stock.)
  • chopped fresh cilantro and fresh lemon wedges, for serving

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat.  Add onioncelery and carrot and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and translucent.  (To save time, mince the garlic while the onion is cooking.)  Then add garlic and saute for 1 more minute, stirring occasionally, until fragrant.  Add in the stock, chickpeas, tomatoes, tomato paste, sweet potato, cumin, cinnamon, and red pepper flakes, and bring to a simmer.  (While the soup is coming to a simmer, chop the kale/collard greens and cilantro, and slice the lemon wedges.)
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low, and stir in the chopped kale/collard greens.  Continue simmering for 3 minutes until the kale has slightly softened. Note: The collard green take 20-30 minutes to cook!
  3. Taste and season with your desired amount of salt and pepper.  (I used a generous pinch of each.)
  4. Serve warm, garnished with fresh cilantro and served with a fresh lemon wedge.

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Spicy Baked Beans

To go with the Easter ham, I made these Spicy Baked Beans. A spicy version of an American classic.

This was my wife’s idea and I am very grateful. She said, “Bruce what are you making to bring to Eleanor’s” (her sister-in-law). “Not sure,” I said. And Susan said, “How about some baked beans to go with the ham she is making?”

The best baked beans!!!

So delicious!!!

Ingredients
  • 8-10 slices bacon, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1/2 red pepper and 1/2 green pepper diced
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cans pork and beans, not drained
  • 2 cans kidney beans, drained

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Cook and stir bacon in a large skillet or large cast iron post over medium-high until crisp. Remove bacon. Drain, reserving 3 tablespoons bacon fat. Stir onion, celery, red and green peppers into the rendered fat until tender. About 6-10 minutes.
  3. Stir baked beans, ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and other sauce ingredients, including bacon. Stir. Pour the mixture into a 13×9-inch baking dish. (I used one large cast iron pot from the beginning. 
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until the liquid has thickened and is hot and bubbly, about 35 to 45 minutes.

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Spicy Shrimp with Mint

My wife asked me to make a spicy shrimp salad for dinner a few nights ago. And I did.

Delicious!

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds shrimp in the 15-to-30-a-pound range, peeled (deveined, if you like)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic, or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 30 to 40 mint leaves (I used chocolate mint as this grows in my garden.)
  • 6 cups arugula and other greens

Preparation

  1. Preheat broiler; adjust the rack, moving it as close to the heat source as possible. Place a large ovenproof skillet or thick-bottomed roasting pan on the stove over low heat.
  2. Combine the shrimp with garlic, salt, cayenne, paprika, half the olive oil and the 2 teaspoons of lemon juice; stir to blend. Turn heat under the skillet to high.
  3. When skillet smokes, toss in shrimp. Shake the pan once or twice to distribute them evenly, then immediately place skillet in the broiler.
  4. Mince about one-third of the mint, and set aside. Tear remaining leaves, and toss them with the arugula. Stir remaining olive oil and lemon juice together in a bowl.
  5. The shrimp are done when opaque, usually 3 to 4 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a plate; it is fine if they cool for a moment. Add shrimp juices to olive oil-lemon juice mixture, and stir. Dress the greens with this mixture, and toss; if the greens seem dry, add a little more olive oil or lemon juice, or both. Place greens on a platter, and arrange shrimp on top or around them; garnish shrimp with the remaining minced mint.

Based on a recipe from Mark Bittman.

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