I have somehow become infatuated with the SpikeTV show “Bar Rescue”.
Probably because it is on a marathon run right now, and because I always get sucked into reality shows.
I hate it. Reality shows=the black hole on television. They’re meaningless. Creativity-less. But damn are they entertaining.
So while watching my marathon-run of Bar Rescue, I had a big ole’ pot of intrigue cooking up in the kitchen.
My mom made this recipe a few years ago and I was smitten. I have no idea where she got it from (possibly our hometown newspaper), but it includes almost every vegetable and fungi I love all rolled into one delectable ragout.
What is a ragout? It’s technically a fancy French term for stew. A rich, slow-cooked stew. Typically, ragout is made with meat and vegetables and slow cooked for hours. Substitute mushrooms for the meat and crank down the slow-cooking part, and you have this rogue ragout that’s made in less than 30 minutes.
Ragout=French slow cooked stew.
Ragu=Italian tomato sauce with meat.
Both pronounced the same, both completely different dishes. There is a tomato base in this ragout, but it’s definitely nothing like a traditional Italian Ragu.
Another thing that drew me to this recipe was that it contained two amazing ingredients: black-eyed peas and kale.
I love leafy greens like mustard, turnip, spinach and kale. Kale prices have skyrocketed since it was declared a so-called “superfood”. Sure, kale has a lot of good-for-you nutrients, but I think hippie-grocers have used this term to drive prices on “hip” “superfoods”. Pomegranate. Acai berry. The list goes on. And not surprisingly, England has banned labeling foods as a superfood. Hmmmm….
I do love me some kale, though. I don’t buy into juicing it—a lot of fresh fruit and veggies actually LOSE nutrition this way—but I love stewing it and wilting it.
Mushroom & Black Eyed Pea Ragout
- 3 TBS. olive oil
- 1 large onion, sliced vertically
- 1/4 lb. shitake mushrooms, tough part of stems removed, thickly sliced
- 1/4 lb. mixed mushrooms (cremini, baby bella, oyster) sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 3 cups vegetable, mushroom or chicken broth
- 1 TBS. tomato paste
- 2 (15 oz.) cans black eyed peas, drained
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1/4 tsp. honey
- 1/4 tsp. Louisiana Hot Sauce
- 2 bunches kale, washed, thinly sliced & blanched
1. Heat oil over medium heat in large, non-stick skillet. Add onion, mushrooms and garlic; sauté until onions are soft, about 5 minutes.
2. Add broth, tomato paste, peas, salt, pepper, honey and hot sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly. Stir in greens; cook until thoroughly heated.
Keep the hot sauce handy! Use it to your pleasure on top of the ragout. Can’t find Louisiana hot sauce where you live? Tobasco sauce works just as well. Canned black eyed peas aren’t my favorite to use, so I usually pick up bags of frozen black eyed peas. One small bag should suffice, just make sure to thaw them and boil them for a bit before adding them to the ragout.