Sunday, December 21, 2014

Great Dane Inner Warmth Stew

The Great Dane is a Madison institution both for its delicious brews and its fantastic food. Although my tastes tend toward the carnivorous when I'm dining out, it's also a fantastic place to eat vegetarian if you're so inclined. I can't recall a dish of the herbivorous or omnivorous variety that I've been disappointed with. My home cooking trends toward the plant-centered, so I couldn't pass up trying out a recipe from a favorite restaurant when my CSA farm suggested it in one of the latest newsletters.

There's no ingredients in this dish that's unexpected, but they just couldn't make a better family of flavors. This stew is both boldly garlic-y and ginger-y, bought into silky harmony with squash and tomatoes by the rich and creamy peanut butter. Timid taste buds may want to stop there, but I can't resist heating with up with generous amounts of spicy peppers or hot sauce, cooled perfectly by tangy yogurt and fresh cilantro. This is great on its own, over rice, or scooped up by naan or pita, a wonderfully satisfying vegetarian main even for the meat-eating set. Accompanied by a starch, this recipe fills four bellies generously, but can easily be scaled up to feed a ravenous (holiday?) crowd.

Great Dane Inner Warmth Stew
adapted from Crossroads Community Farm
serves 4

¼ cup of olive oil
½ of a medium onion diced
4 tbsp minced garlic
4 tbsp minced ginger
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
16 ounce tomato juice or one 8-ounce can tomato sauce plus 8 ounces water
14.5 ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
1-1 ½ pounds squash such as acorn or butternut, peeled and cubed into 2″ pieces
½ cup of peanut butter
Hot peppers, optional
½ bunch of cilantro chopped, plus more for serving
Yogurt, for serving (optional)
Hot sauce, for serving (optional)

1. Sauté onions, garlic, ginger, black pepper and squash in oil until they start to soften.

2. Add tomato juice, tomato strips and salt.Simmer until the squash is tender. Add peanut butterand hot peppers, if using. Mix well and simmer until a thick stew is formed.

3. Serve over steamed rice with additional cilantro, yogurt, and hot sauce, if desired.

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