Last night I got to host book club and An Embarrassment of Mangoes was this month's selection. I'm still about 30 pages from the end, but I have completely enjoyed it. Basically it's about a couple who took a two-year sabbatical to move onto a 42-foot sail boat and travel through the Caribbean. Each chapter ends with a recipe for the various types of food that they ate during their travels. Tonight for dinner I plan to make Bahamian mac and cheese on page 82.
1lb braising beef
3.5 c diced pumpkin or other squash
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1-in piece fresh ginger root, finely chopped
1 tbsp sweet or hot paprika
1 c beef stock
14 oz canned chopped tomatoes
14 oz canned pigeon peas, drained and rinsed (i could not find this, so i skipped it.)
14 oz canned black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
salt and pepper to taste
2 dried bay leaves (this was my addition)
1. Trim off any visible fat from the beef, then dice. Heat a large, heavy pan without adding any additional fat. Add the meat and cook, stirring constantly, for a few minutes until brown all over.
2. Stir in pumpkin/squash, onion, and bell pepper and cook for a minute. Add paprika, stock, tomatoes, garlic and ginger root and bring to a boil.
3. Transfer the mixture to a slow cooker, add two bay leaves, cover, and cook on low for 7 hours.
4. Add the pigeon peas and black-eyed peas to the stew and season with salt and pepper. Recover and cook on high for 30 minutes.