african pineapple peanut stew

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I sort of hate when I find great recipes from blogs that come from a cookbook I already own. I guess it makes sense – now it isn’t just words on a page because someone (in this case, a number of people) is actually recommending it. But man, I sure wish that I could be the person to pick out the oddball recipe from the cookbook and spread the word about how great it is! You can tell I’m not one of those people who finds good stuff at thrift shops, can’t you?

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But can you really blame me; I mean, come on, pineapple, peanut butter, onions, and kale? Who would have expected that to come together into something delicious?

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It did though. No one of the flavors dominated; it wasn’t like I took a bite of stew and thought, “mm, pineappley.” Everything was in balance, coming together to create a meal that was earthy and comforting. I was surprised by how tasty it was, and I’m surprised that I’m already thinking that it would be the perfect way to use up the rest of the jar of peanut butter before we move. Who knew I’d ever crave pineapple stew?

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One year ago: Pumpkin Ravioli

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African Pineapple Peanut Stew
(adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home)

4 servings

I used natural peanut butter, which worked great. Also, I only had Frank’s hot sauce, which isn’t as spicy as some, and I would have loved a little more heat. I think a pinch of cayenne added with the garlic would be great too.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 small onion, diced
salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch kale or Swiss chard, large stems discarded, leaves chopped coarse
1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained
½ cup peanut butter
1 tablespoon Tabasco or other hot pepper sauce
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
¼ cup peanuts, chopped
1 scallion, sliced

1. Heat the oil in a 5-quart Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and sauté, stirring occasionally, until just browned at the edges, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

2. Add pineapple to the pot and bring to a simmer; add the greens, cover, and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until just tender. Stir in the peanut butter and hot sauce and simmer for another 5 minutes, until the flavors are blended. Stir in the cilantro just before serving and add salt if necessary. Serve over rice or couscous, garnishing each serving with the peanuts and scallions.

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Comments

  1. It almost sounds like spicy peanut sauce for noodles reinvented for rice, with some sweetness added in. Is that at all what it’s like? I want to try it, but I’m a little nervous :)

  2. bridget says:

    Jen – Hmm…I would say…no, that isn’t really what it’s like. The peanut butter isn’t the main flavor like it is in peanut sauce. It’s hard to describe. I was a little nervous too, trust me, but somehow everything meshed really well.

  3. This looks really good. I run a little lukewarm on kale, but I think this dish would get me to eat it.

  4. I love dishes like this where unusual flavors go together so well. I’ll have to add this to the dinner menu one week soon :)

  5. This sounds like the kind of dish where I completely trust that the unusual flavor combos go well together :) Even though you were bummed that you didn’t blog about the recipe first, this was the first I’d seen it, so mini success! I’m adding it to my to-do list, stat.

  6. Jennifer says:

    I agree! It’s the first I’ve seen the recipe, so in my mind, you get full credit! It sounds interesting, I love green and peanut butter, and this seems very simple.

    Do you think I could sub chard in for the kale? I’m in Argentina, and don’t know if I can find kale here. Their greens seem pretty limited to cabbage, chard, and spinach. Thanks!

  7. So delicious. I’ve found sometimes the only way to convince people how delicious this recipe is to serve it to them without admitting the ingredients until afterwards. The combo sounds too oddball to be delicious but man oh man is it wonderful!

  8. bridget says:

    Jennifer – I tend to think that cooking greens are pretty interchangeable. Chard would be good, and I bet even spinach would work if you stirred it in right before serving.

  9. Looks delicious! I was just wondering what to do with my crushed pineapple!

  10. Well the good news is that there are so many wonderful recipes in the Moosewood cookbooks (I own the low-fat favorites.) I dare you to go ahead and find the next SPBBB or APPS!

  11. I love African food and this sounds wonderful! I love that when weird combinations turn out to be fabulous!

  12. Ellen says:

    This is amazing. Easy and so good. We used swiss chard instead of kale and it turned out great.

  13. Sarah says:

    This was great! I could only find kale, which I had never had before, and it was tasty. It’s really good with Trader Joe’s brown jasmine rice.

  14. I was very hesitant to try this but it turned out amazing. The flavor was great and even my very picky husband liked it. It was even better the next day.

  15. This dish is fabulous in taste. For a little more liquid, I added one small can pineapple juice, then a few sprinkles of lime flavored Ponzu when serving. Hard to stop eating it.

  16. Tennille says:

    I absolutely loved this recipe! Thanks!

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