• New York Times Spiced Chickpea Stew with Coconut and Turmeric

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    THE STEEEEEEW. Okay, I am so far behind on this stew I know it came out so long ago now, I just never got around to trying it out. You better believe that now I’m kicking myself because I can’t imagine a life without this. It takes less than an hour to come together, and is somehow light and refreshing while simultaneously the perfect filling Fall stew. I know, I don’t get it either, it’s a beautiful contradiction. For those who maybe have a social life and don’t follow food people as obsessively as I do, here’s the lowdown. This stew recipe from Alison Roman came out ages ago to an explosive following. Everywhere I turned, it seemed people were talking about “The Stew”. At some point, a particularly scathing review was posted and claimed that the reason so many people liked the stew was because no one was actually following the recipe, to which Alison Roman replied that the recipe is whatever we want it to be. First of all, I love that. Second of all, whoever wrote that article was WAY off base. And THIRD of all, I followed this recipe exactly and have not even 1 regret. NOT ONE. In conclusion, who’s to say.

    I have to admit, I really love recipes that give you options for putting your own spin on it. So much of how I learned to cook involved tweaking recipes that I already knew. And, while I support anyone who wants to change this around, I stuck pretty closely to the recipe. The base of this stew is simple- garlic, ginger, onion, red pepper flakes, and *duh* chickpeas. Turmeric gives it this gorgeous color, and the coconut milk is smooth and silky. Stir in some kale towards the end, top with a generous swoop of yogurt and a toasted pita and eat with rice. Boom, your new favorite meal.

    Before we get started, here are 5 things to be happy about today!!
    ONE. Supermarket free samples.
    TWO. Pumpkin waffles and cinnamon syrup.
    THREE. The first tree that starts to turn for Fall.
    FOUR. Connecting with a stranger’s dog on the street.
    FIVE. Getting a seat on a crowded subway.

    Let’s cook!!

    New York Times Spiced Chickpea Stew with Coconut and Turmeric

    I finally took on this insanely popular stew and my god, it lived up to the hype. Somehow both light and also filling, I cannot wait to make this stew once a week forever.
    Prep Time15 mins
    Cook Time45 mins
    Total Time1 hr
    Course: Dinner, Main Course
    Keyword: chickpeas, coconut, fall cooking, the stew, turmeric
    Servings: 4 people

    Ingredients

    • ¼ cup olive oil
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 large onion, chopped
    • 1 [2-inch] piece ginger; peeled and minced
    • tsp ground turmeric
    • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
    • 2 [15-oz] cans chickpeas; drained and rinsed
    • 2 [15 oz] cans full-fat coconut milk
    • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
    • 1 bunch kale; stems removed and torn into pieces
    • Mint, plain yogurt, toasted pita, basmati rice; for serving
    • Salt + Pepper; for seasoning

    Instructions

    • In a large pot over medium heat, cook the onions, garlic, and ginger with some salt and pepper in the oil until the onion is translucent, around 5 minutes.
    • Add the turmeric, red pepper flakes, and chickpeas, and season again with a little more salt and pepper. Cook so that the chickpeas begin to fry slightly, and get crisp and browned, about 10 minutes. Remove 1 cup of the cooked chickpeas and set aside in a bowl for the finished stew.
    • Using a wooden spoon/ spatula, gently crush the remaining chickpeas in the pot, so that they break apart and release some of their starch, which will help thicken the stew later. Add the coconut milk and the stock, and bring to a simmer.
    • Cook, stirring occasionally, for approximately 30-35 minutes, or until the stew has reached your desired level of thickness. (I thought my stew looked too thin, but keep in mind that adding the greens will help too!)
    • Add the kale about 7 minutes before you're finished cooking, until they're slightly wilted and softened. Do a seasoning check and adjust salt + pepper levels accordingly.
    • To serve, put a portion of rice into each bowl, top with the stew and then some of the reserved whole chickpeas. A scoop of yogurt and a handful of mint, as well as a toasty pita, and you're SET!

    Looking for more stew content already? Fear not, I’ve been thinking about cold-weather food for a month now. Look here and here!

  • Cheesecake Pudding Pie

    Spring has sprung, ladies and gentlemen!!! At least, I hope it has since I have frantically purchased a new pair of rain boots AND a rain coat (from here and here, respectively if you’re at all interested in my shopping problem), so I say bring on those spring showers!!! Also not for nothing, this new rain coat is made from 25 renewed plastic bottles and I feel great about it. ANYWAY, back to food which is the real reason why we’re all here. This weekend I had the pleasure of doing truly nothing- you know when you realize that you have not one single plan for the weekend and suddenly the possibilities are endless? That was me for the first time in WEEKS so I knew I had to make it count. Aside from sleeping until 11 on Saturday, I took a trip to the garden near my house and wandered around the greenhouses with my sister, and then promptly came home to make this pie.

    Adapted from this recipe from The New York Times and created by Erin McDowell, it starts off its life as a heavenly cheesecake pudding, which is essentially created like a pastry cream, only with a generous amount of cream cheese for that classic cheesecake tang. And, because I can never let well enough alone, I decided to jump a step further and pour the whole thing into a graham cracker pie crust and voila! A pie is made!! This could also probably be classified as a lazy person’s cheesecake, because it doesn’t require the temperamental baking in a water bath or hours of chilling, and in a pinch, you could even use a store bought pre-made graham cracker pie crust. I myself discovered that Honey Maid makes boxes of already crushed graham cracker crumbs, which is really a genius idea, and I hope whoever thought of it gets a promotion.

    I even had some leftover filling which I turned into this baby pudding cup!! (And then promptly devoured)

    This recipe could be embellished in all sorts of ways if that was something you wanted to explore, I think next time I may swirl in some raspberry coulis on top because literally why not, you know? For the time being, I topped it with a handful of fresh berries, and I can confirm that the whole pie was gone by the next day. Gone, yes, but certainly not forgotten. Now go forth, and make your cheesecake dreams come true!!

    But first, here are 5 things to be happy about today!!
    ONE.
    Old computer games.
    TWO.
    Mystery books.
    THREE.
    “Adopt Don’t Shop”.
    FOUR.
    Reusable straws.
    FIVE.
    The tropical gradient of a mango skin.

    MAKES: 1 9-inch pie (plus maybe enough filling leftover for one ramekin of pudding!)
    PREP TIME: 45 minutes
    BAKE TIME: 12 minutes
    CHILL TIME: 1½ – 2 hours

    PIE CRUST INGREDIENTS

    5 Tbsp melted, salted butter
    1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
    2 Tbsp sugar

    CHEESECAKE PUDDING FILLING

    2 1/3 cups whole milk
    1/3 cup heavy cream
    ¼ tsp kosher salt
    ¾ cup white sugar
    ¼ cup cornstarch
    4 egg yolks
    12 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
    2 tsp vanilla bean paste (or extract)
    Raspberries or other fruit, for decoration

    PIE CRUST STEPS

    ONE. Preheat  your oven to 350ºF. In a large bowl, mix together all your crust ingredients until everything is incorporated. The crumbs should be packable and hold together if pinched.

    TWO. Pour the crumbs into a lightly buttered 9-inch pie plate and gently but evenly pack down along the bottom and sides. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until the crumbs are toasty. Set aside to cool.


    CHEESECAKE FILLING STEPS

    ONE. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the milk, heavy cream, salt, and a ¼ cup of the white sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

    TWO. In a heat-safe bowl, whisk the remaining ½ cup of sugar plus the cornstarch to get rid of any lumps. Add in the egg yolks and mix until everything is combined and the eggs are thick and pale yellow.

    THREE. Once the milk has come to a simmer, slowly drizzle about 1/3 of it into the egg yolks, whisking constantly so that you don’t scramble the eggs. Once the egg mixture is warm to the touch, pour the contents of the bowl into the saucepan with the rest of the warm milk and mix thoroughly.

    FOUR. Heat over medium, whisking constantly, until the mixture gets thick, about 5-6 minutes. At this point, switch to a rubber spatula, scraping the sides of the saucepan as you stir, until large bubbles start to come up to the surface.

    FIVE. Off the heat, stir in the cream cheese and vanilla extract. Push the filling through a sieve to remove any lumps or accidental cooked egg, then pour the filling into your cooled graham cracker crust. Allow to chill in the fridge for at least 1-2 hours before serving. Top with fruit or whipped cream (or both) and enjoy!!!

    XoxoxoxoxoD