Let it Stew / Lad det Småkoge

Tomorrow’s chance of rain is probably the last Fresno will see of any sort of springlike weather. We get so excited about rain here. We don’t really know how to drive in it very well. Fresnans also don’t know how to navigate roundabouts, so I’m not too hopeful about our collective driving intellect, but that’s probably best saved for another post.

This morning I woke up to the backyard lit up all in pink, like there should have been a rainbow or at the very least some dragon-shaped clouds. Has anyone else ever noticed how there’s usually a dragon-shaped cloud in August? That’s just me? Well, fine then, but you should really watch the sky more often.

Also when I woke up, it was a little brisker than it has been the past few days, almost sweater weather-ish, but not, and I thought, “Stew.”

Actually, I was thinking, “COFFEE!” because I had just got up, but I was concurrently thinking, “Stew,” because I am capable of complex thoughts only about food very early in the morning.

And so here is our favorite crockpot stew, which is cooking as I write this and we’ll be eating it in six hours. It’s kind of Grecian, since even when I make stir-fry it still comes out Greek (wtf?) but don’t hold me to it. It’s a Mediterranean mutt, just like me.


Favorite Stew

A little over a pound of cubed stew meat– I used beef

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 shallot, diced

Saute in olive oil until the meat has browned a little bit.

One pinch red pepper flakes (or sometimes I use one or two dried birds-eye peppers– whatever!)

One dash cinnamon

Three whole cloves

Finish the sauteeing, then remove from heat and put in the crockpot.

Add some cherry tomatoes– but sometimes they turn out bitter. I used leftover pizza sauce I’d made the night before. My Nona would have used tomato paste. Again– whatever! As long as there is a little tomatoey something in there.

Add one can of chickpeas, water and all. Add an additional cup of water. I add salt after the thing has been cooking a while, so I can taste it, but salt to taste.

Later, I’ll make steamed rice or pilaf, and kale.

Well, I was looking for an image of chickpeas for sale in some middle eastern market, and found this. It's rather obscene, isn't it? I'm not sure I'll ever look at a chickpea quite the same way, ever again!

This also works really well with chicken, but I’ve been meatless for a few days and am craving red meat.

I am listening to:

And also a really indecent amount of  T. Rex and Thee Oh Sees.

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