Today’s recipe is a vegan version of a Peruvian dish called estofado de pollo, or chicken stew in English. In Peru, this simple entrée is made in most homes on a regular basis, as it’s easy to prepare, doesn’t call for a long list of ingredients, and it pleases almost everyone. After all, who doesn’t enjoy eating a comforting, juicy and tasty homemade stew?
A few weeks ago, my mom and I published a new book called The Peruvian Kitchen. I included some vegetarian and healthy recipes in this book, but most of them are traditional, meat-packed recipes prepared by my mom. She poured her heart and soul into this project, trying to give the reader the most authentic experience of Peruvian food possible. For that reason, I cannot prepare several of the recipes in the book myself, but every time I scroll through its pages I get lots of inspiration and ideas on how to make plant-based versions of those dishes. Preparing this vegan stew was one of them. (If you would like the original version, check out the book.)
My original idea was to make this stew using morel mushrooms, which as I mentioned in my post about spring produce a couple weeks ago, is in season around this time of the year. However, I couldn’t find them, so I guess they haven’t hit the markets yet! (They seem to be more of a late April mushroom). So for now, I decided to go ahead and try out this stew with regular button mushrooms to see how it came out. And it came out great!
This is something I will be definitely trying again once I find some morel mushrooms in my local farmer’s market, as I think they will add an extra layer of earthy flavor to the dish. If you want to make this recipe, use any mushrooms you like or find at your farmer’s market. I think most mushrooms have the perfect “meaty” texture to replace the chicken in this stew. Another thing to keep in mind is that Peruvians accompany EVERYTHING with rice. That is why this stew is usually served with rice on the side even though it has potatoes, which are already filling. I like to serve the stew with just a few pieces of potato, and add a small portion of brown rice on the side. My favorite part of this dish is eating the juicy rice that has absorbed all the tasty liquid at the bottom of the plate or bowl. But that’s just me! If you think this is too much, serving the stew without the rice is a satisfying meal on its own. It’s your body, so you decide what works best for you.
|Mushroom Stew|| |
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or ghee
- ½ red onion, chopped
- 1 large (or 2 small) garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon organic tomato paste
- 1 pack mushrooms (about 8 oz), sliced
- 2 medium sized (about the size of a fist) organic potatoes, sliced
- ½ cup sliced carrots
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- ½ cup white wine (optional)
- 2 cups low sodium vegetable stock (you can also use homemade vegetable stock or just water)
- 1 bay leaf
- ¼ cup raisins
- ¼ cup peas
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- Cooked brown rice (optional)
- Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat, and sauté the onion for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the garlic and keep stirring for 1 more minute.
- Add the tomato paste, mushrooms, potatoes, and carrots, season with salt and pepper, and keep cooking and stirring for 2 more minutes.
- Pour the wine, if using, and the vegetable stock or water.
- Add the bay leaf, raisins, and peas, and stir well.
- Bring to a boil, cover, and lower the heat. Leave the stew simmering like this for 10 minutes, and then check if the vegetables are cooked. If they are, it's ready! If not, keep checking every 5 minutes until they are ready. You should be able to pierce them with a fork or knife easily.
- Sprinkle with the chopped parsley, and serve on its own, or with some brown rice on the side.