Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Cooking for the attention-span challenged

When Sarah said she was signing up for NaBloPoMo I scoffed that I would have to start posting recipes from the internet as my normal day simply isn't interesting enough for a blog post (I know what you are saying--"That's never stopped you before!"--but just play along). But here it is only November fourth and I am indeed sending you a recipe from the internet.

This recipe, from Rachael Ray's website, is one of my favorites to make because it is:

B) easy
C) requires only one pan

Also, it contains Garbanzo beans. I am trying to cook with beans instead of meat a couple of times a week because I am hoping the boys will grow up liking them. Why? Because beans are cheap and knowing how to cook with them will make their transition to grad school, and it's lucrative $9000/year salary, that much easier. It's because I care about their futures.

Here are the ingredients. I've noted my substitutions in italics.

•2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
or butter, canola, vegetable, whatever you have seems to work fine

•3 cloves garlic, smashed
3 cloves = a heaping cereal spoon-full of the pre-minced stuff in a jar

•1 pound crimini mushrooms (about 16-20), halved
a styrofoam box full of the pre-sliced normal mushrooms works for me!

•1 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces
I use two to make up for using fewer mushrooms and I can't really picture it the other way, although I don't know what a crimini mushroom is and I don't think they sell them at my store, so I could be missing out on something really great.

•1 medium onion, chopped

•Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Normal pepper also works, even if you bought it when you lived in another city then moved it here in a truck

•1 can chickpeas (15 ounces), drained

•1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

•1 can diced tomatoes in puree (28 ounces)
Just realized I forgot to get the "in puree" kind this time and it came out a little watery but still good.

•2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
I loved it with rosemary the first time I made it, but ran out this time and substituted basil. It was still good.


1. Sautee the garlic and mushrooms in the olive/canola/whatever oil for a couple of minutes (I like to start it cooking, tend to some minor emergency like Charlie emptying the recycle bin all over the living room, remember, then go back and find that it's doing just fine without my intervention. I'd use low heat if you're going to go with that option)

2. Add the onions and zucchini, season with salt and pepper, mix it up and let it go for a few minutes

3. Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, and spices, mix it up again, bring to simmer, simmer ten-ish minutes (Or, you know, twenty if you forget)

And then the recipe says you should serve it over these delightful cheesy hashbrown cakes, which does sound really freaking delicious, but I am afraid of frying in grease because I can never remember if it's baking soda or what that you are supposed to put on the fire to make it go out. I have come up with some alternatives if you, like me, are fry-phobic.

(I recently overcame my fear of the broiler setting on my oven and it has CHANGED my LIFE. Y'all, I can make hamburgers when Ryan is not home to make the grill work!)

Alternative 1: Mashed potatoes. Use whatever recipe you want and then dump a bag of asiago cheese in and let it melt and then call me and thank me profusely for making mashed potatoes even more delicious than they already were. And then try not to eat the whole pan before your husband comes home. Go ahead and try.

Alternative 2: Asiago Foccacia from le Target. After the wild success of the asiago mashed potatoes I figured I'd just roll with the asiago train. It seems to go very nicely with the cumin in the stew. You cut it into triangles like a pie, then slice one open like you are going to make a sandwich with it, then arrange the halves side by side on a plate and spoon the stew on top of them.

And then you get to EAT IT.

The first time I made this it was a huge hit among the family. This time Charlie ate some of the bread and a couple of tomatoes and then threw his cup of milk at me and had to leave the table. Wes had two helpings and then ate Charlie's leftovers, though, so I'll call it a success!


Kim said...

This sounds yummy! And, if Aidan ate a garbanzo bean, I think I'd have a heart attack. Maybe if I cover one in peanut butter?

sarah said...

I will have to try this. Ethan will eat garbanzos right out of a can (not that I let him) and I'm trying to make dinner we can all eat together, instead of constantly whipping up a batch of beige food--tater tots, chicken nuggets and corn--for Ethan.

Sarah said...

I love beans! This sounds delish. I have always been intimidated by Rachel Ray ever since my MIL got me a 30 minute meal cookbook by her, and every damn recipe took at least 2 hours. Are you sure it's doable for the cooking challenged??

apathy lounge said...

Sounds delicious!!

choral_composer said...

Woohoo someone other than me blogging a recipe - I am so proud.

I will try making this tonight complete with the potato cakes :)

Another fun thing to do with Chick Peas is to stir fry them in olive oil and salt. After about 10 minutes they get wonderfully crunchy and it brings out the nuttiness wonderfully!

Anonymous said...

I am very afraid of the broiler also. Please help me!

Alyssa said...

This sounds fantastic! Perhaps I'll try it next week.

Rima said...

That sounds good! I have a similar - yet even simpler! - recipe that calls for pasta, onions, garlic, cannellini beans, diced tomatoes, and Italian seasoning. It is totally scrumptious and very filling. You gotta love beans.

(Hey, maybe you're a flexitarian, too!)

choral_composer said...

So I made this last night, complete with the potato cakes. It was really yummy. I do have to say that I couldn't make it in 30 minutes even with 2 of us making the dish.

The potato cakes take 4 minutes per side to cook and as they are 12 of them that is 3 skillet fulls for a total of 24minutes. There is no way I can do all the other prep work in 6 minutes!!!!!!!

The only change I made was I used a mixture of Cremini and Button mushrooms instead of all Cremini, and as that mix came to over a pound I also added some extra tomato sauce into the stew. Oh and instead of frying the potato cakes in EVOO (that is such an annoying abbreviation!) I used left over bacon fat for added flavor and calories!!!!!

Don't be afraid of the frying. It is just enough fat to cover the bottom of the skillet so there's no real danger of fires or anything like that.