October 26, 2017

Vegetable Stew

Actual stew may or may not disco
Stew evokes strong emotions. Curling up on the couch with a blanket and a good movie. Cold winter nights with warm family gatherings. Hunting people and animals for sport in the woods in Maryland during the winter of '07. You know, hallmark stuff. The point is, that as the life cycle of our planet continues and everything around us dies, nothing beats a good stew to warm our hearts and bellies. And since the cold can make us lethargic which makes it harder to chase after animals, why not make it out of vegetables? I can count on one hand the number of times that a vegetable outran me when I was sober.


6 Red Potatoes
4 ribs of Celery
3 Carrots
2 Chipotle Peppers
1 Onion
1 Sweet Potato
8 oz. Crimini Mushrooms
28 oz. Marinara
2 cups Vegetable Stock
1 cup chopped Malanga Root (This is a big, dense, starchy root vegetable. It looks weird, but it's got a nice earthy flavor, and is available in most produce stores so stop complaining)
1 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Black Pepper

The first thing you're gonna need to do is channel the spirit of primitive people who tried to stave off the dark and cold of winter by preparing hearty stews in their shabby huts. So, pretty much you last February. Channel the spirit of you. Now that you've got the proper zen going on, chop up your onions, carrots, and celery, and get them sautéing in a pot with some oil and a standard human's pinch of salt. This is a stew, so you're going to want decent sized chunks of everything you're dumping in the pot so that they don't just fall apart. Vegetables, like people, hold up better when there's more of them there, pulling together and building community centers and whatnot. Let that mess cook down for about 4 minutes before adding in your mushrooms along with your chipotles and another pinch of salt. Let it cook for another couple minutes before you peel and chop your sweet potato and malanga and toss them in along with your cumin and black pepper. Your potatoes you can either peel or not depending on your preference, but if you're gonna have the peels stick around you should probably wash them at some point. The same is true for the rest of your vegetables. And, you know, everything else in life.

Actual nice bowl and countertop courtesy of cooking at
other people's houses.
Add in your potatoes along with your marinara and vegetable stock and bring that whole mess to a boil. Then reduce it to low heat, cover it, and let it sit for around an hour and a half while you busy yourself with wintery tasks like mowing the lawn probably, because winter was super mild last year. Then again, weather has taken out a large chunk of this and other countries lately, so you never know. After about a hour and a half of cooking, the malanga will pretty much have disintegrated which will thicken your stew. But if you were looking forward to specific chunks of malanga to eat, because who doesn't look forward to things they've probably never heard of, maybe take it off the heat a little earlier. Either way, you've got a hearty stew to take you through the dreary winter months and into the dreary summer months. Enjoy!

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