African Peanut Stew | Fit to Eat | MPB

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Hi, I'm chef Rob Stinson and this is Fit to Eat,
a new series about eating healthy and living better.
African peanut stew has a great symphony of flavors
like gumbo from New Orleans.
Today I'm making it with cashews instead of peanuts
because the cashews help to lower LDL cholesterol,
that's the bad cholesterol.
I love cooking this style of food.
Creole food is hugely influenced by the African heritage
of the South and when you look at the--
they call it sometimes the ground nut stew
or peanut stew, it's basically a similar base as gumbo
where people came in to the south and decided
to make their stew, but let's give it the twist
of what's in the local area.
Hence, a lot of seafood got added into gumbos
and they became kind of the Creole gumbo flair.
So this really has some great vegetarian value.
I'm actually using vegetable stock,
apple juice, and tomato juice as the base.
Lots of details on this recipe
so you can go to our website:
You can get this recipe there.
Let's get started.
We will take a large sauce pan because you can see
everything on the side is where we are going to go.
I want to take a look at what we are starting with.
Beautiful fresh cabbage already chopped.
Good, local sweet potatoes.
Any of you that don't know it,
the sweet potato capital of the world
is Vardaman, Mississippi.
Shop local.
You can get almost all of this at your local store
or farmers market.
But what I love about this is it has such great flavors.
We are going to start
with some beautiful diced onions and garlic.
Got to have a little garlic in our world.
We use about two ounces of oil,
about two tablespoons.
Were going to put that in the bottom
and where we're going with this is to cook the onions
until they are translucent.
Translucent means you can see through them to a degree.
Pan has a nice temperature already.
Add our garlic.
As we are doing this, you are going to see.
Easiest way is to shake that and stir it as we go.
The longest cooking item of everything here
are the sweet potatoes.
So they go in there.
Sometimes I've seen people cook those
and parboil them ahead if they are in a hurry to make this.
They will be great in this dish.
A dear friend of mine, a fourth-generation Creole chef
from New Orleans, is where I got this recipe.
It was his input to me that how this is so similar
in nature to what gumbo turned into as it went.
As is true with any gumbo recipe,
there are a million different versions.
None of them are wrong, none of them are right.
This is basically taking a classic African sauce
and turning it into where we are going to go
which has a unique twist when you look at the okra.
When I saw okra in this years ago,
it obviously made me think of gumbo.
Our cabbage goes right in.
Going to move some of this to the side.
Look at the juices that we've got.
We've got beautiful tomato in the center,
apple on the right, and our vegetable stock on the left.
At some point when you are interested to find out how
to make stock, we will have that at our website:
It's easy to make your own stocks.
The nice part about that is you can do that without salt.
This is no salt.
So we are adding all of our juice.
You notice it brings the temperature down a hair.
Move these out of our way.
Give that a little stir.
The colors in it are fantastic already,
but we've got to give it a little pep of flavor.
The little pep of flavor comes in with cayenne pepper,
ground red pepper.
Really prevalent in the African cooking.
We've got a little ground ginger.
Going to take a minute and show you
how we can do some fresh ground ginger.
It is so much better than using
that little package dried product.
We will get into that a little bit later.
Now we will add in half of our cilantro.
Wonderful fresh herb.
Has such a great aromatic quality.
And our fresh chopped tomatoes.
Then we will go ahead and give this another stir.
We will let this simmer on high heat
until we get it to a boil.
The colors in this are fantastic.
You can already get that aromatic quality
as to what's inside.
Here's the twist.
Here's the twist to do something and have a little fun.
This is actually a fat-free low-sodium peanut butter.
A lot of the farmers markets are carrying them.
You can find them at some of your superstores.
This now turns it into a little healthier twist
than adding in all of the peanuts that
you normally would have.
We will stir that in so it's uniform into that stew base.
We've gotten it all off the spoon and mixed it thoroughly.
Very important you don't let that get in globs
inside because it will cook at a different rate that way.
So right now, we will let that come to a simmer.
It looks awesome.
It already has a wonderful aroma.
I think we've moved along pretty well.
The trick we are going to do down the road
is we are going to take some okra--
let's pull out everything we need for it.
This okra we are going to bake,
but we are going to bread it.
It could go directly in, that's the classic version.
I thought it might be kind of fun to do a version
where we have a baked, healthy version of our okra.
So where are we going to go with this?
Take our egg and we are going to use just the white
so it's even healthier.
Then we're going to put together a batter mix.
This is healthy and gluten-free.
Whole-wheat breadcrumbs and soy flour.
They mix really well together.
They make a really nice coating almost as if you
are using an Italian style bread crumbs.
So I love that idea.
Now we are putting in a little garlic powder,
a little onion powder, a little white pepper
and a little cayenne pepper.
And on the cayenne pepper, it is a little pinch.
Wonderful flavors.
I can already hear that stew and it's doing great
because it's already simmering well.
We will mix these evenly.
Has great color.
After we've got the dry mixed,
you can mix up the egg white,
and we're going to throw all of these okra pieces.
We will throw in half of them,
about eight pieces.
They are so light.
And you will notice I have cored them.
What you are looking at down below,
these have had seeds and all removed.
They cook a little bit healthier that way.
Not as much oil involved.
We will pull these out and then we will
dredge them into the flour.
This is a gluten-free version.
There are so many people out there that are finding
out that they have reaction to gluten.
Gluten free is becoming much more mainstream
than it ever was before.
It's a healthier version.
You can get the details at our website:
I will show you another little trick.
When you finish these--hang on one second.
Grab a little zero fat pan spray.
Spray our pan with that zero fat pan spray.
Take each one of these little breaded okras.
They come out so pretty this way.
Turn them down so they will brown on top.
You may not hear it, but I do.
I'm going to turn the temperature
down on our stew a hair.
Give it a quick stir while we are here.
It's coming along great.
This is a lot more than you will need for two people.
It makes about eight portions what we are doing.
We will take these beautiful light breaded okra
which we fixed and here is the trick.
I call it the trocha as the Italian chef
that I used to train with did.
You are going to spray them on top with a little
of the pan spray.
What does that do?
It will give it a crispness when they bake
and it will help them brown.
We will head over to the oven which I
have taken the liberty of turning on.
That oven is heated up to 450°.
Put it near the top and let that go.
While we are over here we will do a little cleaning.
Whenever you bread your product,
you are going to notice that it will end up
on your hands to a degree that is not a problem.
Do a little housecleaning here.
Remove our breading.
Then we are going to get ready to have
a little bit of fun with some plantains.
You may think this looks like a banana.
It's actually a different animal altogether.
We're going to cut it open at this end.
You peel it very similar, but we are going to slice
it right down the middle and it makes a beautiful
as you pop it out.
Much meatier than the banana, obviously.
Look at that.
Isn't that great?
I tell you, it's a little bit harder to find.
If you can't find a plantain,
you can use a banana for this.
But talking with Leon in New Orleans,
a guy who really has this in his heritage,
his comment to me was it is far better to use plantains.
They are meatier.
It's more of a vegetable than a fruit because
they have a hardiness to them.
What we are going to do with those is take
that same zero fat pan spray
and lightly sear them in the pan so that they are going
to become the side dish to this beautiful stew
which is doing great, by the way.
You have to keep stirring.
You do not want to let this stick on the bottom.
As I'm looking at how it is coming,
the color of the base has changed and all
of the vibrant greens and reds are standing out now.
I tell you what, the aroma is incredible.
So we get our pan hot.
We will do this same pan spray.
And we will do the same on the plantains
so they won't stick when we put them in.
Carefully and lightly brown them.
Spray those on top.
Finding the right pan spray is worth its weight in gold
because it's adding zero fat, zero calories.
Be picky about it and find the right one to work with.
Some of them have got other additives in there
you really don't want, and you don't need that.
Let's move all of this out of the way because we are
getting ready to create something really fun
which is called an add a sauce.
Add a sauce is like a ground red chili sauce,
lots of ingredients in this that make it so wonderful.
And we are going to take a twist on this one
and make it a little healthier than it would normally be made
by using a Greek style fat-free yogurt.
No fat.
It is incredibly healthy.
Far better than using the mayonnaise base
that you might traditionally find.
So how do we go from here?
We are going to carefully keep an eye over here
on the plantains making sure we don't oversear them.
Get that heat down kind of low.
While it is working, we're going to pull a little
switch-a-roo and slide our stew back,
heat up our sauté pan and that's where we are
going to take our red wine, heat it,
put our garlic and our onions.
So you've got a little diced garlic and onion.
This one gets tricky.
Obviously what you need to do if you're trying to make
this one is go to our website:.
You will get this recipe in detail because this one
is going to be tricky to follow because there
are so many different ingredients in it.
Let's go ahead and kick the heat up on this a hair.
Move that around.
What we are waiting on is for that to get a rolling bubble.
It will cook some of the alcohol out of the wine.
Then we are going to take the heat away
and add in-- what do we have?
A lot.
We've got some beautiful coriander,
some cumin, some ground ginger,
paprika, cayenne pepper, black pepper
and a little bit of our garlic.
So a lot of ingredients are going
to make up this flavoring.
No one is going to remember all of that.
That's where the beauty is in the website.
I like to show something while were waiting
on that which is really kind of neat.
This is our style of ginger that you can go buy at the store.
That's an actual ginger root.
What do you do with it?
Slice the edges off.
What you are left with is a beautiful piece
of fresh ginger that you can take and fine chop
and putting that in makes a great addition.
That wine has come up to a nice boil.
Let's go ahead and do some checking, okay?
Check our plantains and turn them.
Oh they look great!
They have browned perfectly.
Turn the heat down on them and we've got to go check
in the oven to see how our okra is doing.
Let's go ahead at this point...
pull these little devils out and I'm going
to set them right here for now and just let
those cool a hair because they look perfect.
The idea was just to crisp them on the edges.
And you see it doesn't take a lot of time.
We are back over here having a little bit of fun
with the beginning of our add a sauce.
We are going to mix that sauce.
Stir up our stew.
Wow, the stew looks incredible.
Flavors are coming out in it.
I get the aroma even more.
Let's turn down our heat.
What we're going to do is take that,
but carefully get everything out.
We want everything out of this pan
so that we can take the onion and garlic
just now infused with that red wine.
Now take our stew and put it back up front.
Keep it going nice and slowly.
We are ready to add in the flavors here.
So we'll put this right in the center.
And as I'm putting these in,
we will talk a little bit about them.
We've got some ground cloves.
These I measure.
A quarter teaspoon of each so you don't get
too much of an overload.
That's your cloves, a little coriander,
cinnamon, paprika we double up.
Everybody asks me when you are working
and you've got all this out, how do you know
paprika from cayenne pepper?
If you overdo the cayenne, it's tricky.
If you look, you can see cayenne
is more orange in color.
This is good Spanish paprika
and it makes a big difference.
Again, tricky dish.
If you can't remember everything in it,
go to our website:.
You can get this exact recipe.
So we've got in our cayenne,
our cinnamon, nutmeg, ground clove,
garlic, black pepper and ground ginger.
With all of these out-of-the- way,
let's move all of this.
Set that down below.
Stir all of this up.
Makes what they call in Africa a ground red pepper.
It's like a ground pepper sauce.
You will see with this just like the peanut stew,
there are so many different versions of this.
Some people add in almost a homemade mayonnaise.
Some don't.
Some like it this strong.
I think it's a little overpowering like this
so we are going to do now is carefully mix in this
and fold it as we go with this zero fat,
zero salt yogurt.
It makes a wonderful dipping sauce for those plantains.
Keep adding it in.
You see we are not adding it all at once.
It's a little warm and you don't want it to overwhelm
that yogurt to where it simply becomes watery.
Now we are ready to finish up.
I love add a sauce.
It's spicy.
It adds a great flavor.
Something you don't see a lot of.
And if you look at it, I don't think anyone anywhere
has got a recipe that's got all the variety
of spice that's in that.
So it's a great dish.
Now what we're going to do is create
a little side cup, if you would.
This will be enough for about eight people
what I've made.
So you will take this and hold it.
It will stay in the refrigerator quite some time.
Makes for a lot of fun to keep the dish like that
where you can use it.
We had talked a little bit about grinding the ginger
before we got into checking on the okra.
I want to show you this.
Anyone can get one of these at the store.
If you don't have one, get one that is stainless steel.
They don't cost much at all.
It is an affordable thing and you can use it
to shred cheeses, to grate fresh herbs,
you can do them really fine on this side.
I'm going to do it a little bit coarser than the fine.
Kind of a medium.
This goes in to the stew at the tail end.
Check the difference.
You compare the flavor of this
to what you would get from a dry product.
You move it off with a nice knife or spatula.
And we going to do with this?
It is going in the stew.
I'm only going to put about half as much.
And it is a shame that you can't get the aroma
of this because ginger, when it is fresh grated,
has an incredible aromatic quality.
It has a lots of great health aspects
to eating fresh ginger.
Remember, there is such a difference when you can put
some fresh herbs into what you are cooking.
So there it is into that beautiful African peanut stew.
Where we are going to head with this,
we are going to make this look really pretty
because when you're eating healthy, I think it is
every bit as important to make sure things look good
as taste good as are healthy.
That's where we are heading.
Here's how we are going to do this.
We are going to take a nice,
generous portion of the stew,
set it directly on the plate.
Often times, they will be serving this with rice.
If you wanted to add rice with this,
your natural addition would be brown rice.
Far healthier and great advantages in using it.
So we've got our stew on the plate.
We are going to add in our add a sauce.
And then put our plantains right here on the side.
Look how beautiful they are.
Then take and top with a couple of pieces
of our fried okra.
Garnish it with some cilantro.
I love the cilantro because of the aromatic quality.
A little piece on the add a sauce is great.
Put it all around the sides.
I tell you what, you've got an incredible,
healthy vegetarian dish that absolutely is delicious.
And remember, you can find all of my recipes
with the nutritional information on our website:.
I'm Chef Rob Stinson.
Thank you for watching Fit to Eat.
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