Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pineapple peanut butter stew with millet

It sounds odd, but pineapple and peanut butter are both good in savory dishes. I've seen several versions of peanut or groundnut stew, but this is the only one I've seen that (brilliantly) adds pineapple. This is a recipe I got from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home, and I think it was my first exposure to kale. You can use any green in it, but kale keeps a lot of texture when cooked, which is nice in this dish. I think millet is the perfect grain for this dish, but couscous and rice are good too. This recipe makes 2-4 hearty servings, depending on how big the bunch of greens is.

Pineapple peanut butter stew (from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home)
Pineapple tidbits are best for this, but crushed pineapple or pineapple chunks are perfectly acceptable. You want pineapple that is packed in pineapple juice, not sugary syrup. Fresh pineapple would be great, I'm sure, but if I've gone to the trouble of disassembling a pineapple, I'm not about to cook it in a stew.

1 cup hulled millet

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
2 cups undrained canned pineapple (20 oz. can)
1 bunch greens, washed and sliced (5 cups or more)
1/2 cup peanut butter
Tabasco sauce to taste (1 tsp or more)
Cilantro, chopped, for garnish
Crushed peanuts, for garnish

Combine millet, 1 3/4 cups water, and a large pinch of salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for about 20 minutes, or until water is gone. If it's still a bit crunchy, add a couple tablespoons of water at a time and cook until tender enough.

In a large pot, saute onion and garlic in oil for about 10 minutes, or until the onions are lightly browned. Add the pineapple and its juice to the onions and bring to a simmer. Stir in the greens, cover, and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring a few times, until greens are wilted. Mix in the peanut butter and Tabasco sauce and simmer for 5 minutes. Add salt to taste. Garnish with cilantro and crushed peanuts if desired.

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