Creamy Potato Peanut Stew (Guatita)

Given that this weekend was generally uneventful, Luke and I decided that it would be an excellent opportunity to cook something completely out of our comfort zone for dinner, in order to keep things interesting. Does anybody else find this to be a perfectly reasonable way to spend a night in? Kitchen experimentation is far better than spending big bucks on a dinner out as far as I’m concerned, and far more rewarding when you’re making delicious dishes whose names you can’t even pronounce. What’d we make this weekend? Gua-ti-ta my friends. Guatita. Luckily my vegan latin cookbook, which was one of the bunch I bought and showed you here, also translated it into non-latino-foodie speak, which is ‘creamy potato peanut stew’. Phew.

It may have a foreign name, but guatita is not that hard to make. Well, the vegetarian version isn’t. I googled it, the meat version traditionally includes cow stomach so… you’re on your own with that one. But the potato, chickpea and peanut version is made of pretty easily obtainable vegetables and spices, and like any stew, just requires a liberal amount of cooking time. Also, it’s apparently an excellent cure for a hangover – but who’d be prepared enough to make this prior to a big night out? And hats off to you if you make this in your actual hung over state.

I don’t know whether it was because I scooped our rice into a measuring cup to plate it nicely next to the guatita, or because this potato peanut stew is straight up scrumptious, but eating it I felt like we were in a restaurant, it was that shockingly tasty. Who doesn’t love peanut-based sauces? (no seriously, I’d like to know. Is there actually anyone besides anaphylactics that don’t eat peanuts?) Another thing I love about this dinner is that it makes a lot of food, and you know how I feel about having enough leftovers for workday lunches.

Last thing, if you’re a vegetarian and you haven’t bought any cookbooks written by Terry Hope Romero and Isa Moskovitz, you’re crazy. Every single dish I’ve made from their books so far (including my vegan cupcakes, which are usually a direct version of or variation on their recipes) has been nothing short of amazing. Even if you’re not a veg and you’re looking to diversify your meals, I highly recommend their books. Alright already, let’s get to the good stuff, yea?

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs yellow-skinned potatoes (waxy skinned are best)
  • 1 can cooked chickpeas
  • 2 tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 large onion (about .5 lb), diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 white wine
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1.5 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground paprika
  • 2.5 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup creamy natural peanut butter
  • 3 fresh plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped finely
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
  • 2 tbsp lime juice (we used 1 lime)
  • 1 tsp salt, or to taste
  • freshly ground pepper
  • slices of avocado (optional garnish)
  • hot sauce (optional garnish)
  • 1/2 bunch of steamed kale (optional garnish)
  • cooked basmati rice (optional)

Directions:

  1. Scrub the potatoes, and without removing the skin, slice into 1/2-inch pieces and place in a bowl of cold water (this prevents browning — just drain the water before using the potatoes).
  2. In a large pot, heat the 2 tbsp olive oil and garlic over medium heat. Fry until the garlic just starts to sizzle, about 30 seconds. Add the onions and pepper, and fry until soft, around 12 minutes. Deglaze the pan with wine and add the oregano, ground cumin, paprika, and 1 tsp olive oil. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the drained potatoes, chickpeas and vegetable broth. INcrease the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat to low. Partially cover the pot and simmer for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally until the potatoes are tender.
  3. Ladle about 1/2 cup of the hot broth into a small bowl. Add the peanut butter to the bowl and stir to emulsify the peanut butter to a creamy, smooth mixture, adding more broth if necessary. Spoon the mixture back into the pot. Add the crushed tomatoes, nondairy milk, lime juice, and salt to the stew and stir. Taste and adjust the flavour with more lime juice or salt, if necessary. Turn off the heat, season the guatita with freshly ground pepper, cover the pot, and allow the stew to sit 15 minutes before serving.
  4. To serve, mound the rice on the plate, and ladle the stew around it. Serve with the kale and hot sauce, if desired.

For some reason, this was the first time I have ever had plain steamed kale. I usually put it in fruit smoothies, but have stopped lately because it can be quite bitter. Steaming kale takes all of the bitterness away (as long as you remove the stems), and what you’re left with is the most naturally tasty veggie I’ve ever eaten. Holy cow, who’s been keeping this a secret?! If you’re not eating this on the regular, do yourself a favour and try it as soon as you can, preferably as a garnish to your guatita! It is delicious. And for once, something this yummy is actually good for you!

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