The last night we were in Calatuyna, we were are “restauranted” out and since there are limited options available on Sundays in Spain, we decided to hop over to the little market and make dinner ourselves.
Well, let’s be realistic. I made dinner, the boys ate it. But, hey to their credit they did do the dishes…after I told them they had to.
I was inspired by the food we had in Barcelona and a dish some of the staff at our hostel made the first night we were there.
We wanted to make some kind of stew over rice so I basically went around the store and picked up what I thought would be good.
Packets of baconGarlic
Can of whole tomatoes
Chicken bouillon cubes
Jar of chickpeas
One pimento (pepper, they love them)
One zucchini (or courgette for my UK readers)
Bottle of rioja (red table wine)
And yes I got this all at the little grocerette for 10 Euros for 3-4 people.
So I went to work, making it up as I went along, which honestly is how I make every recipe. I know a lot of the more professional bloggers do “test recipes” and make them several times before posting. For me, as a college student, my posts are my real dinners so I don’t have the luxury of cooking just for “testing,” mine’s for eating!
But if I don’t really like the way a recipe turns out, I don’t post it, so I swear you are in safe hands.
Most of this ingredients you can find in your own kitchen pretty easily. For me growing up, my mother always had two or three cans of chickpeas in the pantry. I don’t know if that’s normal, but that’s what I’m used to. As for my Spanish “Poor man” stew as the hostel workers refer to it, there are lots of ways you could make this your own:
· Sautéed some mushrooms along with the veggies
· Add diced chicken (the market didn’t have any, so I’d recommend it if you have it)
· Put over a different kind of grain such has quinoa, or lentils
· Cook down the sauce more for a Spanish ratatouille
· Eat with crusty bread and top the stew with cheese
· For vegetarians: you can easily take away the bacon and replace to chicken bouillon cubes for oil and veggie broth
Make it your own and let me know how it turns out!
Spanish “Poor Man” Stew: 4-5 Servings
1 Packets of bacon- 4 large slices chopped, (about half of an American size pack)
2-3 Garlic cloves, chopped or minced
1 Onion medium sized, chopped
Can of whole tomatoes (24 ounces roughly)
2 Chicken bouillon cubes, crushed
Jar of chickpeas-12-16oz.
One pimento pepper, sliced thinly into small strips
One zucchini, sliced thinly into small pieces
Two carrots, sliced very thinly
Dash of Chili powder to taste
Rioja wine, half bottle
Dash of Salt
Begin cooking desired amount of rice or grain according to package instructions
In a medium large pot over medium-low heat, add chopped bacon and gently sweat the meat until the fat begins to separate but not enough to fry the bacon or absorb the fat
Once fat is in the pot, scoop out the bacon pieces and set aside
Turn up the heat and add the garlic and a little bit of butter
Add the chopped onion and gently sautéed
Then add the sliced zucchini, carrots, and pepper and begin to sautéed
Once the vegetables begin to soften and fry a little bit, add 1/4 bottle of wine and turn up the heat to medium-hot. Add a little more butter if needed.
Allow the vegetable to absorb the wine and add a little bit of salt and chili powder
Once wine is mostly absorbed, add another ¼ bottle of wine, and the crushed bouillon cubes.
Allow the sauce to thicken for 5-10 minutes. Add bacon and spices to taste.
Once the sauce is at a good thickness, add chickpeas and only allow to cook for 1-2 minutes.
Then turn off heat, and serve over rice or grain.
Drink the rest of the wine and eat!
I like a lot of sauce so I can dip bread but if you want a thicker stew, just keep it on heat a bitt longer.
Enjoy my version of Spanish cooking!
The College Cuisiner