The Thrifted Kitchen {Artichoke & Potato Stew}

What? Something savory?? I know...I'm excited, too. I was finally able to plan enough in advance to get dinner together from a thrifted cookbook and still have enough light outside to snap a photo of it! It comes from a book called New Vegetarian Cuisine, which I picked up ages ago in Kansas City. All the recipes are vegetarian (obviously), and this is the first one I've tried from it, but certainly not the last!

The hubs and I loved this dish. It had a surprising amount of flavor in the broth, and we eagerly dipped some slices of French bread into our bowls to sop it up. We also made some tweaks and additions, which I'll make notes of in the recipe directions. But up front I'll tell you they include the addition of heavy cream and butter; two things that, in my book, never hurt a stew! :)

This is a great dish to make as the temperatures outside start to drop, so be sure and give it a try on a night when you want that comfort food feel.

Artichoke & Potato Stew
Makes 4 servings

1 tablespoon margarine (we used butter)
1/2 cup chopped scallions
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound small potatoes, quartered (I found some really small Yukon golds, which are my favorite.)
1 cup cut (1-inch pieces) green beans
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 teaspoon dried thyme (I used fresh)
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups thawed frozen artichoke hearts
1/2 cup vegetable stock
2 tablespoons tarragon vinegar (which I didn't have, so I used red wine vinegar)
2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 bunch spinach or kale (I used half a bunch because sometimes kale overtakes a dish)

*If you follow the tweaks we made, double the stock, vinegar and soy sauce (see notes below). You'll also need 2 more tablespoons of butter and 1/4 cup heavy cream.*

In a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat, melt the margarine (or butter). Add the scallions and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Add the potatoes, beans, mushrooms, thyme, mustard seeds and pepper (also add a couple pinches of salt). Cook, stirring frequently, for 15 minutes.

Stir in the artichokes, stock, vinegar and soy sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.

**Now, here's where I started deviating. after the 5 minutes, I repeated the step I just did. So I added the same amount of stock, vinegar and soy sauce as before because I wanted to have it a bit more saucy than the original recipe intended. After you cover and cook it another 5 minutes, then go on to the next step. **

Stir in parsley; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and the liquid has been absorbed. (If you did like me and added more liquid, just cook until the vegetables are tender, and you should still have some liquid hanging around.)

Meanwhile, wash the spinach or kale in cold water to remove any grit. Shake off leaves, but don't dry them. Place in a 3-quart saucepan. Cover and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes or until wilted. Drain and transfer to a large platter.

**Instead of cooking the kale in a separate pan, I just tossed it on top of the stew and covered it to wilt it. Then I gave it all a good stir so it was combined, and added some more salt to taste.**

After this we added 2 tablespoons of butter, 1/2 tablespoon at a time, to the stew. Make sure each pat is melted before adding the next one. Then pour in 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream and stir to get everything combined. Season some more to taste (if needed), then dish it up in some nice big bowls!

And, if you want to add some ambiance, set up a romantic scene on your back patio!

But watch out for hungry pups!

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