Wednesday, November 08, 2006

West African Vegetable and Peanut Stew

Unique Culinary Adventures considers the above pictured stew as its number one favorite vegan main course. To accommodate the single vegetarian within our extended family, we nearly always have it on the table for major Holiday dinners. Likewise, whenever there's occasion to "put on the Ritz" for vegetarian guests, it's what they'll most likely get.

Because the recipe is copyrighted by Food & Wine Magazine, we've provided a link that will lead you to it on Food & Wine's web site. It appeared in the August 2000, issue as part of an article by Grace Parisi about freezing fresh summer vegetables so as not to spoil. However, all of the vegetables needed here are available fresh and of acceptable quality just about anywhere year round---with the possible exception of okra. As for the "Madras" style curry powder, we suggest stopping by an Indian store. Another option, if a Whole Foods Store is near, would be a similarly flavored curry powder carried by Whole Foods under the label "Simply Organic."

Additional inspiration for this post relates to an exception we take with a statement that Ms. Parish's makes in presenting her recipe. It is her contention that "unlike commercially frozen okra, it (fresh okra that you freeze yourself) doesn't become mushy."

After the first frost in this part of Maryland a little over a week ago, our supply of fresh okra abruptly disappeared, and none had been frozen earlier. So, to feed our vegetarian friends Cliff and Betty on a recent evening, we strayed enough to throw in some commercially frozen okra. It didn't prove to be the least bit mushy. This is a dish that will work anytime, anywhere.