Friday, May 15, 2015

Chickpea and Vegetarian Sausage Stew

I didn't bother with a photo as there's no way to really make a bowl of stew look photogenic. This is such an easy thing to make, and a batch will last several days to be served with potatoes, rice or flatbreads. You can skip the veggie sausages as they really only add a bit of texture. I had them, so I used them.

You Will Need:

1 lb. cooked chickpeas (or about 3 tins if you prefer to skip the cooking) skins removed
1 large, sweet onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
5-6 large carrots, finely diced
(about) 1/4 cup olive oil (more or less to taste)
3-4 tablespoons Merguez spice (recipe follows at bottom, but commercial is fine if you can get it)
Water to cover
1 lb. mushrooms, finely chopped
1-2 tablespoons olive oil for cooking mushrooms
Veggie sausages, cooked according to package directions, and chopped

In a large, heavy stockpot heat the oil over medium heat and add the onions. Fry until softened, then add garlic and carrots. Cook a few minutes to soften then add Mergues spices and stir to coat. Add chickpeas and stir again. Cook for a minute or two to absorb spices. At this point, if it looks like the spices are burning, add a drop more oil if you wish. Add enough water to just cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook half covered while you prepare the mushrooms.

Heat the oil in a skillet, and add chopped mushrooms. Cook until all the water they give up is evaporated. You may wish to brown the mushrooms for deeper flavour. When this is done, add them to the pot of stew.

Leave the stew to cook until the liquid is reduced by about half. Gently mash with a potato masher (or a wooden spoon) until some of the chickpeas are crushed to thicken the stew. You don't want refried beans, so try not getting carried away with it. Most of the chickpeas should remain intact. Taste and adjust spices keeping in mind veggie sausages tend to be salty. I used a chorizzo style sausage from Light Life, a company out of Turner's Falls Mass. I am not being paid to endorse their products, but I do buy them and find them superior to the others on the market. They are a small company, and their products are more expensive than than the Con Agra products (they're gonna kick me out of Omaha for saying this as they're a major employer here) but I do think the quality is much, much better. They're also not filled with a bunch of genetically modified crap.

The sausages should be added near the end of the cooking time. Keep in mind that the stew will thicken as it cools, but resist the temptation to add more water until you re-heat it. Most likely, it won't need it.

This makes a tonne of stew that re-heats and even freezes well.

Merguez Spice Recipe:

1/4 cup sweet paprika
2 tablespoons ground fennel
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I used chipotle because I like the smoky flavour)
4 teaspoons icing (powdered) sugar

Combine, pour into a jar and store in the fridge. I like to shake it up a bit before using as the spices settle. Having the spice results in finding all sorts of things to use it in. Lamb is the obvious thing if you eat it, but I frequently use it in soups, stews, and even eggs. It keeps a good long while, but odds are you'll use it up long before it would lose strength.


Rebecca said...

What a fantastic recipe! It does sound so delicious and I would love to make it myself! Thanks for sharing it! You are right there are no need for pictures as it really never looks great in a picture! LOL!


Curtise said...

Love a Middle Eastern chick pea stew, that sounds delicious. xxx

Beth Waltz said...

Serendipity, thy name is Eat the Blog! A new commuting schedule has been inflicted upon us worker bees which will double my time en route and halve my time for lunch prep. I'm collecting my recipes for lunches made-on-weekends -- this scruptious garbanzo stew now tops the list. Thanks! (Any other cook-in-batches recipes would be appreciated!)

Goody said...

@Beth Waltz

You've given me a good idea for a post, but in the meantime here's a few ideas.

Burrito factory-Spend a couple hours making them, wrapping and freezing. Use as needed. They thaw slightly on the commute, then in the work fridge and by lunchtime can be blasted in a microwave. I wrap mine in wax paper as it microwaves.

Calzones-they hold up several days in the fridge, and are portable.

Quick chickpea salad:

2 tins chickpeas, skins removed
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 gloves garlic, minced
3 sage leaves (or a teaspoon dry sage)
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
Pinch cinnamon
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Saute the garlic and spices in oil until fragrant. Add chickpeas, stir and cook 1 minute longer. Remove from heat, toss with lemon juice. Serve warm or at room temperature.

If you bring along rice or flatbreads it makes a good lunch.

Good luck.