Eggplant and Peanut Stew that Takes Too Long

we got new bowls!! I was sick of the Anthropologie latte bowls as much as you were. These are Pantone Fish Eddy’s bowls…we got 1 in each color, so they’re so fun!

On Sunday, after my race/long run, I was exhausted to say the least. I kinda felt like a walking zombie (and not a fast one, like in 28 Days Later), a slooow one who just wanted to go to bed. No go though…no bed for me. I had to meet my friend for brunch (or whatever you go eat at 2:30…mid-afternoon snack?) so I had to kinda rush when I got home from my run. No quiet me time. But, maybe my run this morning was my me time? Maybe I need to rethink this whole thing. Anyway…brunch (mid-afternoon snack?) was delish (I scarfed down my food. Long run days I tend to be starving the entire rest of the day) and afterwards I planned on dropping by Whole Foods then my regular grocery store to pick up my weekly goodies (i.e. groceries). (wow-this is turning into the post of parenthesis. Goal-no more parenthesis for the rest of the post.) I had already pulled a recipe online to make that night from Post Punk Kitchen, so I walked around Whole Foods and then Key Food grabbing bits and pieces and magic for my concoction, all while exhausted and hungry. And my foot was starting to hurt-my mood was going downhill. By the way, if you are ever in New York, please visit the Whole Foods on Houston and Bowery. It is amazing and huge and airy, very un-New York supermarket-like. At most supermarkets in NY you can barely fit a shopping cart through the aisles. Not this amazing Whole Foods. I lurve it. I almost brought a sleeping bag there to sleep among the carrots and Almond Butter. Tangent!!!

What was this recipe, you ask? Spicy Peanut Eggplant and Shallot Stew. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Wouldn’t you be tempted to making it? I sure was! I, however, did not read the recipe very closely at all and did not realize that it had many many steps. If you’ve noticed in the past, my recipes tend to take not much time to throw together, and then they just cook for a while. This one…lots of steps. Must read things more closely, Betsy!!! I started it at 5:30 and what time did I eat? 8:45. For someone who was exhausted and hungry, that process was not a winner. When my roommate came home and I was sweating over the stove, and I told her how long I had been cooking, she said “Man-I hope it’s worth it!” And you know, it hadn’t crossed my mind. I just assumed it would be good. But, I veered from the recipe several times and was nervous that my eggplant was not ripe at all (smelled like unripe bananas when I was salting it and cooking it-not a good sign I’d say.) Oh no!! I used parenthesis. Don’t hate me. Anyway, so then I got nervous-what if it sucked?? I’ve made stuff that’s sucked before, so it could happen. 3+hours of my life down the drain for a crappy soup with banana-tasting eggplant?

When it was finally done, I filled my new bowl (yay!) with a serving of stew-it looked good, it smelled good. Whoa-relief…it tasted good. REALLY good. Well, we all know Isa’s a genius, so no surprise here, but it was good. Kinda creamy and spicy and very flavorful. It didn’t really taste like shallots though, I think I might add more next time. And last night, when I came home late from work from an event, exhausted, I heated up some more and it tasted even better. And tonight, hungry from a hard workout, even better. This is definitely a winner-blue ribbon even. And don’t be nervous if your roommates doubt you or you eggplant smells like bananas, cause you know, deep down inside, that it would tickle your tastebuds and make your tummy happy. And taste grrrrreat! Like Tony says.


Eggplant and Peanut Stew (adapted from Post Punk Kitchen)

1 eggplant about 1 lb
1 tsp salt
2 shallots (I suggest to use more-I am going to next time)
Sesame Oil
Olive Oil
1 medium yellow onion
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, minced
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 tablespoon yellow curry powder
a little less than 1/3 cup tomato paste
1 16 oz can of diced tomatoes
3.5 cups of veggie broth
1/3 cup chunky natural pb
a bunch ( as much as you desire) green beans chopped into 1 inch pieces
1/3 cup chopped cilantro

Chop the eggplant into 1/2 inch cubes, toss with salt and set aside for about 45 minutes. After, rinse well with cold water.
In a dutch oven, heat about a teaspoon each of sesame oil and olive oil. Cook the shallots that were sliced very thinly, until they’re caramelized. Mine kinda fried and cooked really really fast, so next time I’m going to cook them over very low heat. Set shallots aside. Add a little more oil to the pot and add the eggplant cooking for about 25 minutes till tender. Scoop out of pot and set aside. Add little more oil and add the ginger and fry for 30 seconds. Add the spices and fry for 30 more seconds. Add the onion, that you diced and cook for about 8 minutes. Add the tomato paste to the pot and cook for 1 minute. To review, OUT of the pot should be the shallots and eggplant. IN the pot should be the ginger, spices, onion and tomato. Add the diced tomatoes, broth, eggplant and shallots to the pot (the recipe calls for the string beans now, but I like mine on the crunchy side so I added them in the end) and bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Test for spice and add any additional spice. I added more of everything-I always do. In a separate bowl, combine the pb with a laddleful of stew liquid and stir until the the pb is completely emulsified. Add to the pot. Simmer on low, covered, for about 45 minutes. Add the 1/3 cup of cilantro and stir into the stew. Top with more cilantro. Collapse into a chair, exhausted and eat carefully, cause it’s hot!

See-longest directions ever!


14 Responses to “Eggplant and Peanut Stew that Takes Too Long”

  1. 1 Cara April 2, 2008 at 12:13 am

    you make me laugh. a lot. πŸ™‚ Looks like a pretty good stew πŸ™‚

  2. 2 Maggie April 2, 2008 at 10:57 am

    You really are a vegetarian….

  3. 3 Lisa from CA April 2, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    This post made me laugh because my roommate did the same thing. He came home with a recipe for some kind of a tofu enchilada, which he had hoped would be his dinner. He ended up cooking that thing until 10pm and ended up not really liking how it turned out. It wasn’t that bad, if you ask me! But I will let him know that someone else knows his pain. I’m glad your stew came out delish, though!

  4. 4 arielle April 2, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    I love that whole foods. It’s like being in the suburbs.

  5. 5 lindzakins921 April 2, 2008 at 6:37 pm

    mmmm delish… you are a fabulous cook AND picture taker (they come out SOOOOO good)… everytime i look at your blog i just start craving whatever you made that day… now i want eggplant!!!!

  6. 6 VeggieGirl April 3, 2008 at 6:47 am

    I LOVE the new bowls – so vibrant! And reminiscent of spring, with the green color :0)

    Haha, I’ve done that before (not reading recipes carefully enough, only to find out that it will take me all day to make) – but it looks worth it for that stew!! Sounds/looks PHENOMENAL!! Yum!!

  7. 8 Robin April 3, 2008 at 10:55 am

    I seriously have never made my own stew or soup from scratch. I should try that someday. I think I’m just lazy.

  8. 9 Tina April 3, 2008 at 11:46 am

    Yum! Lovely photos too!

  9. 10 Molly April 3, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    As the person you ate that mid afternoon snack with and went to Whole Foods with, I must say that this looks delicious! Glad it was worth the work. πŸ™‚

  10. 11 Nick April 3, 2008 at 8:02 pm

    I like the sound of this stew! I haven’t had too many soups/stews with peanuts or peanut butter in it, but the few that I’ve had were amazing. The curry sounds especially tantalizing. But see, the best part is, you already made the time mistake and considering I would follow your steps, it’s almost impossible for me to do it too! So thank you! Nice pictures by the way.

    The Peanut Butter Boy

  11. 12 Em April 4, 2008 at 8:28 pm

    ha. tony the tiger. i always get really mad when I say his ” they’re greeeeat” and no one knows what I’m talking about. like honestly.

  12. 13 Betsy April 4, 2008 at 10:41 pm

    haha-thanks. it WAS good

    Duh. You know that. You’re an idiot. But I still love you!

    I was uber-relieved it actually came out well. I think I got lucky! Poor your roommate!

    I could live in that Whole Foods. Sometimes I just go in an wander around even when I have nothing to buy. It makes me HAPPY.

    I take lots of photos for my job so I guess I have good practice. Also, I’m pretty good at photoshop-it’s my little secret. shhhh.

    Are you kidding!?!? Please make some!!! it’s soo easy and satisfying. just throw a bunch of stuff in a pot with water or broth and cook away!!


    haha-it was. thanks for being my company. and letting me wander around Whole Foods aimlessly that day, cause I totally was, I think you know that.

    Thanks for stopping by! If you make it, just make sure that you give yourself enough time, but now that you know how long it takes, I think you’ll be ok.

    are you kidding?? who doesn’t know tony the tiger?? Well, I do and you can say it to me over our blogs!! haha.

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