December 22, 2008

"Three Sisters" Stew

Looking for a vegetarian-friendly main course for Thanksgiving, I stumbled across this recipe. Everyone loved the complex flavors and smooth texture.

-1 large butternut squash (about 2 lbs)
-1 T. olive oil
-1 medium onion, chopped
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1/2 medium green pepper
-1/2 medium red pepper
-14 oz. can diced tomatoes, with liquid
-2 cups cooked pinto beans
-2 cups corn
-1 cup vegetable stock
-1 small fresh hot chile, seeded and minced
-1 t. cumin
-1 t. oregano
-3 to 4 T. fresh cilanto, minced

1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
2. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and fibers. Cover with aluminum foil and place the halves, cut side up, in a foil-lined shallow baking pan. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until easily pierced with a knife but still firm. When cool enough to handle, scoop out the pulp, and cut into large dice. Set aside until needed.
3. Heat the oil in a soup pot. Add the onion and sauté over medium-low heat until translucent. Add the garlic and continue to sauté until the onion is golden.
4. Add the squash and all the remaining ingredients except the last 2 and bring to a simmer. Simmer gently, covered, until all the vegetables are tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
5. If time allows, let the stew stand for 1 to 2 hours before serving, then heat through as needed. Just before serving, stir in the cilantro. The stew should be thick and very moist but not soupy; add additional stock or water if needed.

Shepherd's Pie

A hearty and easy meal that's sure to please!

-1 clove garlic
-2 large carrots, diced
-2 medium onions, chopped
-1/4 cup celery
-2 cans pinto beans
-2 small cans mushrooms
-14.5 oz diced tomatoes
-15 oz canned corn
-1 can peas
-1/2 t. dried parsley
-1/2 t. marjoram
-8 cups mashed potatoes
-40 oz cheddar cheese, grated
-parsley flakes

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Sauté garlic, carrots, onions, and celery until soft.
3. Add beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, corn, peas, parley and marjoram. Stir well.
4. Turn heat off under pan, and let filling sit.
5. In a large bowl, combine mashed potatoes and cheese. Season with salt and pepper, and add about 2 T. of the parsley flakes.
6. Pour the vegetable/bean mixture into a 9x13 casserole dish. Using a spatula, spread cheesy mashed potatoes over the top, coating evenly.
7. Sprinkle the top with parsley flakes, and put the Shepherd's Pie into the preheated oven.
8. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are golden brown.

This recipe is perfect for leftovers, as you can add or subtract the vegetables in the filling, and use up any extra mashed potatoes!