Loved this challenge! I googled “sweet potatoes” and “peanut butter”, saw a lot of African Peanut Stew recipes, and immediately knew that’s what I would make. I’ve never had it before but it sounded really yum. I figured I’d make some kind of bowl out of the phyllo dough, but I was REALLY worried that the stew would just run right through the delicate phyllo and it would quickly fall apart. I almost switched to a popcorn bowl with a phyllo topping, but I’m glad I stuck to my guns, because the bowl really held up. I made the bowl using an extra-large muffin pan that I have (and don’t use often enough!) I made sure that the stew was thickened and slightly cooled, and I double-reinforced the bottom of the phyllo “bowl”. I ended up simply sprinkling crushed popcorn on top of the stew, kind of like croutons.
I wasn’t planning to add coconut milk, but when I tasted the stew, I kind of was reminded of jungle curry. I love Thai curries but I never get the “jungle” variety… I just prefer the sweet creamy flavor added by the coconut milk. So, I decided to make this peanut stew with coconut milk, which was a good decision.
The girl was away at camp this week, so she wasn’t around to taste. But the boy and the husband really liked it. We all agreed that the phyllo bowls were too big… the stew would be best enjoyed as smaller bites. Instead of the extra-large muffin pan, I might use a smaller pan (or even a mini-muffin pan!) We ate these like finger food instead of with a spoon … the stew was thick enough that it held up if you took a bite right out of the cup. The boy put extra popcorn on top… it tasted great!
African Peanut Stew
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1-1/2 lbs chicken parts (or 1/2 chicken, cut up)
- 1 large onion, sliced thin
- 1 Tbsp chopped ginger (I love Gourmet Garden when I don't have fresh)
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 large sweet potato, cut into large chunks
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp white pepper
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 cup tomato puree
- 2 small tomatoes, peeled and seeded
- 1/2 cup peanut butter (I used smooth)
- 1/2 cup coconut milk, unsweetened
- 1/2 box frozen phyllo dough
- 2 Tbsp butter, melted
- 2 cups kettle corn (popcorn), crushed
- 1 handful cilantro, chopped
Sprinkle crushed popcorn and chopped cilantro on top of the stew, and serve warm.