June 2, 2008

Bacon, Chick-Pea, Carrot Stew

The title pretty much says it all, my friends.

I've been working too hard to grocery shop. When I get spare time on the weekends, I take the opportunity to hang out with E, visiting Bro & niece, or E2. So, no shopping.

Upon arrival home this evening, I was greeted with a grim sight in our fridge (those who know me well will ask whether the sight was any grimmer than usual -- and honestly, I could not say...).

So, as a much needed break in the middle of my 13-billable-hour-day (groan... 8:30-7:30 straight at work plus an additional 2 hours of billable work at home make BT something-something...) I cobbled together a healthy stew that we both enjoyed from the random bits in the fridge and pantry. If, for some reason, you find yourself with these ingredients, enjoy!

Clean out the pantry and fridge healthy stew

-1/4 lb bacon, left over from camping, chopped into 1/4 inch squares
-4 carrots, washed, peeled, and chopped into 1/4 inch rounds
-1/2 white onion, diced
-4 cloves garlic, diced
-3 T of "La Bomba" red chili flakes mixed with herbs and dried porcini from a friend who lived in Italy and brought it back as a present (R's little bro, the chef)
-2 cans chick peas (garbonzo beans)
-1 can stewed tomatoes
-1 box chopped Pomi
-1/4 box beef broth
-3 sprigs fresh rosemary from your herb box [insert happy I-love-my-herb-box-grin]
-2 sprigs lemon thyme from your herb box [repeat]
-4 sprigs Italian Oregano from your herb box [repeat, cautiously]
-3 longer sprigs majoram [okay, so the entire point of this post is to point out how happy an herb box can make you when you spend your entire life on the busy-busy treadmill of capitalist business support.]

1. Brown bacon on medium heat. Drain 3/4 of bacon fat into empty wine bottle. Watch southern husband scowl.

2. Add 2 T olive oil, garlic, onions, and carrots. Stir vigorously for a few minutes. Add "La Bomba" and cough at the red chili pepper flake smoke. Potent stuff!

3. Add tomatoes & beans. Lower heat to simmer. Add washed and minced handful of herb-box herbs. Note that no one is as impressed as you are by the herb-box herbs. Leave covered on low to simmer for 30 minutes.

4. Stir. Add broth (and water if necessary). Continue to simmer until carrots are the correct level of cooked (total of 50 minutes or so).

5. Remove from heat. Serve into large bowls. Enjoy. Serves 3 hearty appetites for dinner (or, more importantly in our case, happily serves 2, with enough to feel like a good wife when you look at what you're leaving for lunch for your husband for the next day).


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