feijoada – Brazilian Bean Stew


we’ve been waking to low temps lately,
maybe not as low as the northern states,
but lower than the southern states,
and you know what?
low is low
and comparison is the thief of joy.
our kitchen is currently out of commission
but before we started
the renovation
dw made a stew that warmed us through,
staving off the chill,
and comparing to all other stews
i’ve thrown together,
let’s just say it’s
such a joy that dw can cook too.


feijoada – a brazilian bean stew
as dictated to me from dw who read 5 recipes and then mashed them all together

*note: feijoada is a stew of portuguese origin, with the respective portuguese colonies having versions of their own. dw went with a brazilian bent, though we did top off with asian rice vinegar to cut through the richness. using lime would be fine too. finish the meal with some slices of clementines or tangerines, to cleanse the palate. this is a super fatty, but sooooo good, stew.

1 onion, fine diced
5 cloves of garlic, minced
olive oil
6 slices of smoky bacon
1 lb pork shoulder, large cubes
1 cup dried black beans, soaked overnight
chorizo sausage links, sliced
3 bay leaves
dried chili flake to taste, optional
1 TBL coriander seeds, toasted and then finely ground
enough water or stock to cover
rice vinegar to serve

in a pan with a bit of olive oil saute the onions until translucent season with salt, add in the garlic and coriander seed to warm through. add the entire onion and garlic saute to the bottom of crock pot.

return pan to stove top and cook the bacon until crispy. pull bacon out and crumble. add to onion/garlic mixture in crock pot. (though, it can be added at the end, prior to eating. up to you).

drain off excess bacon fat, but reserving enough fat to cover pan (about 1-2 TBL) and brown the pork cubes on all sides. add pork cubes to crock pot.

saute the chorizo sausage, just to give it crisp edges. add to crock pot.

add soaked beans to crock pot, discarding the soaking water.

add the bay leaf and smattering of dried chili flakes, if using.

add water or stock to cover.

put crock pot on high until beans are soft, about 4 hours.

serve over plain rice with splash of rice vinegar and side of clementine slices.



1 year ago: frozen old fashioned waffles
2 years ago: kale + tofu balls with pasta
another portuguese concoction: chicken curry + chorizo and olives

african chicken stew

African Chicken Stew - outtake
African Chicken Stew

we’ve been working,
like it’s a regular work week.
which isn’t out of the ordinary.
i mean,
there are no holidays this week.
but you see,
there was supposed to be a blizzard
of epic proportions.
we were misinformed.

the one thing the meteorologists
got correct though:
freezing temps.
on sunday, after making our
weekly soup,
experimenting with egg tarts,
and other chinese new year prep work
i had it in my head to make
another pot of soup
i figured a snow day week
warranted comfort in a bowl.
we didn’t get the former,
but the latter was just fine.

African Chicken Stew

african chicken stew
loosely adapted from simply recipes
makes 6 servings

4 drumsticks, about 1.25 lbs.
olive oil
1/2 large onion, sliced or diced, either way
3″ piece of ginger, peeled and minced
4 garlic cloves, chopped roughly
4 carrots, rough chopped into chunks
2 parsnips, rough chopped into chunks
1 15-ounce can of fire roasted diced tomatoes, we use muir glen
4 cups chicken stock (i used the last of my bullion cubes + water to equal 4 cups)
2-3 generous TBL peanut butter, honestly, i don’t remember but that seems about right
1/2 cup roasted peanuts
1 TBL coriander seeds, roasted and then ground
1 tsp cayenne, or to taste
Salt and black pepper

season chicken drumsticks. brown in a bit of olive oil in a large pot. set aside.

in same pot, add more olive oil if you need to, add in the onions and saute for a few minutes. your goal is to brown the onions and pick up the brown bits from the bottom of the pot. season with salt & pepper. add in the garlic and ginger, as well as the ground coriander and cayenne, mix through.

add in the broth, crushed tomatoes, peanut butter and peanuts. stir until the peanut butter is thoroughly incorporated. last, return the chicken drumsticks to the pot, nestle them in. cover & simmer on low for about an hour.

after an hour, remove the drumsticks. add in the carrots and parsnips. cover and simmer. when the drumsticks are cool enough to handle, remove all the meat off the bones, shred and return back to the pot. stir and simmer till the vegs are tender, but not mushy. adjust seasoning if needed.

serve with rice, or as is, which is how we ate it.


African Chicken Stew

other soups & stews:
autumn harvest soup
3 bean chili
vietnamese beef stew
caribbean oxtail stew
miso ramen bowl
chicken pho
portuguese chicken + chorizo curry
chickpea & sausage stew
beef, squash & white bean chili

Carne Rustida de Navidad

Carne Rustida de Navidad

i had this meal
the first time in barcelona
4 years ago.
it was a trip that almost didn’t happen
due to snow in england,
i shed more tears that day
than when i tended to
my disappointed heart that year.

we have tentative plans
for a spain trip soonish
there’s also talk of
taking spanish classes.
in the meantime,
we have this to tide us over.

this was our first supper
in 2015.
to many more sweet, delicious
meals this year.

Carne Rustida de Navidad

Carne Rustida de Navidad
adapted from nuria’s aunt trini

*note: like most recipes handed down by family or people who don’t typically follow/write recipes, what i received was not very detailed (but, did have at least measurements). i’ve made this dish a handful of times, each time differently depending on pantry items and what was in season. what i’ve listed below is what i made this time around and what you see in the pictures in this post.

2 lb chicken, chopped into 6 pieces
10 sundried tomatoes that were packed in olive oil, or 2 big tomatoes, rough chopped
1 big onion, rough chopped
6-7 pickled garlic cloves, homemade, or fresh is fine
1 generous tsp tomato paste, homemade
1/3 cup of brandy (white wine or cognac would work too)
1/2 bag of dried prunes
very generous handful of pine nuts
2 TBL bacon fat, or coconut oil or olive oil

in a heavy bottom pot, on medium-high, heat up bacon fat or whatever fat oil using. add in the sundried tomatoes, along with any oil it was packed in. (the original recipe called for 1/2 cup of olive oil, i did not use that much oil). mix in the garlic and onions and sautee, for at least 5 minutes. spoon everything out into a bowl, leaving behind the oil/fat.

in the left behind oil/fat, brown the chicken pieces. do this in batches, do not crowd the pot, you’ll just end up steaming the meat. you’re aiming for a golden hue on either side. when all the meat has been browned, lay them all in the pot as close together as possible. put the sauteed onion/tomato/garlic mixture back into the pot, fill in the nooks & crannies, smothering the meat on top.

lower heat to low-medium. add in the tomato paste and brandy (or wine or cognac), and water (or stock) until the entire thing is submerged. allow to simmer until half the liquid has evaporated (about 45 minutes – 1 hour) at that point, add in the prunes and pine nuts. raise temp to medium and allow to simmer until most of the liquid is gone, about another 20 minutes.

serve with rice or crusty bread. excellent the next day.


Carne Rustida de Navidad

other chicken stews/soups:
phở gà – vietnamese chicken noodle soup
Portuguese Chicken Curry with Chorizo + Olives

beef, squash & white bean chili

Beef, Squash, White Bean Chili

it’s a known fact,
probably even scientific,
that the cold makes us all shitty people.
the general lack of sunlight,
or enough of it in the day,
the hovering around freezing temps,
the static hair,
it’s enough to make this girl
add to that
the decline in desire
to be in the kitchen.
the first week after thanksgiving
i had no meal plan,
some lunches consisted of
sorry apples and oranges
and cookies.
that had to be remedied.

this chili came out far
better than i anticipated.
in our house,
dw likes the tomato based,
hearty chilis and stews,
while i prefer the
brothy, noodle bowls.
this week,
to combat the dreary
this became our lunch.
and boy did it improve
my disposition.

Beef, Squash, White Bean Chili

beef, squash & white bean chili
adapted from the everyday squash cook by rob firing, ivy knight and kerry knight
about 8-9 servings

*note: i received this great cookbook from movita beaucoup, after winning her pumpkin carve off. thanks to all who voted for us!
the recipe is very straight forward. i doubled a few of the spices for kick, and i also added more liquid than it calls for.

1 lb of lean ground beef, grass fed
1 onion, chopped
1 28oz can diced tomatoes, with juice (i used muir’s fire roasted diced tomotoes) + 2 cansful of water or stock, divided
2 cups peeled and 1/2″ cubed butternut squash (fine, it may have been more than half the squash)
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/2 TBL chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp ground cumin
2 bay leaves
1 cup dried navy beans, soaked overnight and cooked until al dente (or a can of white beans, drained and rinsed)

in a big soup pot, brown the ground beef on medium high. depending on how lean/fatty the meat is, you may need to add a few swivels of olive oil. break down the meat until crumbly. at this point, you can drain the meat reserving some of the oil/fat, or you can be lazy like me and push it to the side and add in the chopped onions. saute until translucent. at this point, i season with salt/pepper.

next add in the minced garlic and stir it around, until fragrant. just kidding, it’ll be fragrant almost immediately. add in the spices/dry ingredients. allow the spices to get thoroughly mixed into the meat and onions, about 5 minutes. carefully pour in the can of dice tomatoes + juice. allow to reach boil status and lower the heat. for the next hour, as the liquid reduces, add in a can’s worth of water or stock. do this twice.

for the last time that you pour in can’s worth of liquid, also add in the cubed squash. bring to a furious simmer/gentle boil. you don’t want the squash to get mushy but you do need to cook it through, about 15-20 minutes. for the last 10 minutes of cooking, add in the cooked beans.

can be served with cornbread or eaten as is. i’ve been dipping pretzel crisps for an added crunch.


Beef, Squash, White Bean Chili

other soups & stews:
autumn harvest soup
3 bean chili
vietnamese beef stew
caribbean oxtail stew
miso ramen bowl
chicken pho
portuguese chicken + chorizo curry
chickpea & sausage stew

chickpea & sausage stew

Chickpea + Sausage stew

oh, mid-autumn.
in most cases,
i can be found bundled up,
ensconced in lap blankets,
fingers tangled in yarn,
dw next to me reading
or perusing the internet.
upon the early setting of the sun
there isn’t much that can
inspire us to be out
in the dark,
not when we can be snuggling
and noshing on comforting fares,
mostly of the sweet variety.

Chickpea + Sausage stew

now that the cold has settled,
permanently it seems,
my cooking leans towards
the measured and lazy.
this is the time i tend
to slow down my pace,
finding comfort in a pot of soup,
a pot that feeds us for a week straight,
the kind of dish that
warms us through and through,
sometimes even coercing me
off the couch for seconds.

Chickpea + Sausage stew

chickpea & sausage stew
serves 6-8

*note: this is a soup that we are having for lunch this week. the whole having a huge pot of soup on the stove on sunday to feed us during the week has been such a relief for me, not having to worry about packing lunches. the repetition hasn’t gotten to us, yet, and hopefully it won’t, because seriously, lunch during the work week is my least fave meal to deal with.

olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1-2 lbs Italian sausage, thawed and casings removed
2 TBL tomato paste
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
4 cups homemade chicken stock, or leftover water that cooked the garbanzo beans, or combo of both
1 1/2 cups dried garbanzo beans, soaked at least 8 hours, cooked until tender, reserving water
head of kale, washed and rough chopped
1/4 cup of teeny tiny pasta, like acini di pepe (optional)
kosher salt and pepper

heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. saute onions until soft & translucent.

throw in the sausage and cook, crumbling it with a wooden spoon, until browned.

add in the tomato paste and parsley, cook for a few minutes.

add in the liquids, along with the garbanzo beans. bring to a boil.

throw in the kale, allow to simmer for about 20-30 minutes.

if using, add in the acini di pepe.

season to taste.


Chickpea + Sausage stew

other soups & stews:
autumn harvest soup
3 bean chili
vietnamese beef stew
caribbean oxtail stew
miso ramen bowl
chicken pho
portuguese chicken + chorizo curry