I was searching for a recipe online the other day (I can't remember what for) and accidentally came across a recipe for Chorizo, Chickpea and Kumara (Sweet Potato) Stew. It caught my attention and I kept it in the back of my mind for a few days and then yesterday when I went to the supermarket I decided to try something similar out. For some reason, "Chorizo" and "Stew" together evokes the idea of Gumbo in my head (even though I've never before cooked, or even eaten Gumbo) so today I did a bit of research on Gumbo and got some further ideas for refining this Stew. I'm not sure what I ended up with could reasonably be called Gumbo, but it was pretty delicious. Here's what you'll need:
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Traditionally, Gumbo apparently has Okra in it as a thickener but I didn't have any and didn't fancy my chances finding any, so I started with a Roux, which is something I'd never really heard of and lacked the patience to investigate properly, but basically what I did is:
Chop all ingredients in advance. I use the sort of ingredient bowls that chefs use on cooking shows, because I'm a pretentious pig, but also because I don't cook to a recipe and the best way to know how much sausage, prawns or kumara to use is to put them in a bowl and make sure it's about the same amount as in the chickpea bowl.
Onion should be chopped in mid sized chunks, and the garlic should be roughly sliced.
In a large stew pot, start cooking the chicken stock, canned tomatoes and a whole bunch of red wine. I also added the Bay leaves and ground spices.
At the same time, I used 3 tablespoons each olive oil and flour to start the roux, in a small non stick frying pan. I really had no idea what to expect with this, but it kind of felt like cooking dough. After I got bored of watching it, I added the onions, garlic, chilli and whole cumin seeds. Eventually it started to smell pretty good (I'm guessing this is after about 10 minutes on a low heat) and I added the whole thing into the stew pot. I was actually quite amazed at how fast it thickened up.
At this point, I added the chickpeas and kumara to the stew, and pre-fried the sausage. No need to add oil for this! And then added that to the stew as well.
Basically I just let this cook until the Kumara was soft to the bite, then I preheated the oven, cooked my bread rolls (8 minutes) and halved the prawns and added those. Mine weren't pre-cooked, but if you're using pre-cooked ones, you'll want to add them later.
Dish into bowls, garnish with fresh coriander, serve with the bread and some butter.
The finished product
Our crispy bread
My husband (!!) Martin trying to take it all in at once, while simultaneously giving thumbs up and "yumming"
I wouldn't change anything about this recipe if I was going to cook it again, although I added some more red wine later on because I had a bizarre feeling that the kumara wasn't cooking fast enough because the sauce it was cooking in was too thick (stupid) which led to it not being quite as thick as it possibly could have been. Regardless, it was extremely filling and both of us were super happy.
I think this is the first time I've posted a food related thing on this blog but I've recently started reading food blogs and I really like them, so expect more of this! Eventually if I ever get around to reorganising my websites I'll split up the various posts so people who want to read about how much I hate mysql don't also have to read about prawn, chorizo, chickpea and kumara stew, but for now you'll have to suck it up.