Thursday, March 31, 2011

Play Ball!

Today is Opening Day of the 2011 baseball season.   In honor of the Cardinal's start for the year I wore a red shirt to work.  When I got there I found out that the lead teacher and the other assistant had the same idea, as did several of the students.  I completed my errands and housework in time to watch a bit of the pregame show, and I was sitting on the couch for the beginning of the game at 3:15.

Pepper the cat sensed I'd be there for a long time and arranged himself on my legs for a nap.  (He woke up enough to give me the evil eye each time I cheered too loudly.)  Tony wasn't around, so for dinner I heated up some untraditional baseball fare--Ethiopian-Style Chickpea Stew left over from last night.

When I read this recipe last week I knew I'd be making it.  I thought I had all the ingredients in the house, although after I started I realized there was only one can of chickpeas in the pantry.  Since I wasn't cooking for a crowd, I solved the problem by halving the recipe.  There was some celery in the vegetable drawer that needed to be used, so I chopped it and threw it in with the carrots and potatoes for an untraditional touch.

I used the higher amount of cayenne and the stew had quite a kick!  A big spoonful of yogurt took care of that problem, and turned the sauce a pretty light red color.  I ate the stew, then sopped up the last of that sauce with bread.  The Cardinals ended up losing 5-3, but my good dinner made the loss less painful.

1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon ground fenugreek (optional)
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 (15-ounce) cans no-salt-added chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 (8-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato sauce
1 quart low-sodium vegetable broth
1 pound red potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

Preheat oven to 450°F. Stir together paprika, salt, allspice, black pepper, cardamom, cloves, coriander, cayenne, fenugreek (if using) and ginger in a small bowl; set spice mixture aside.

Toss chickpeas with a tablespoon of the oil on a large rimmed baking sheet and spread out in a single layer. Roast chickpeas, stirring occasionally, until somewhat dried out and just golden brown, 16 to 18 minutes; set aside.

Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add garlic, onion and chopped ginger and cook, stirring occasionally, until very soft and golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in reserved spice mixture and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until spices are toasted and very fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in tomato sauce and cook 2 minutes more.

Stir in broth, potatoes, carrots and reserved chickpeas and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until potatoes and carrots are just tender, about 20 minutes. Uncover pot and simmer until stew is thickened and potatoes and carrots are very tender, about 25 minutes more. Ladle stew into bowls and serve with flatbread on the side.


  1. Your favorite sport to watch alone and yummy leftovers for just can't have a better timee than that! :)

  2. Awesome that you got to watch your game, so baseball is big there I take it?

  3. interesting recipe Kathy, thanks for sharing. I'm leaning towards more vegetables these days, and less meat.