Winter and Spicy Stew

Well, Buffalo's climate is once again living up to its reputation. We got pelted with something like a foot of snow today (judging by the news, so did much of the rest of the northeast). I was out driving in it today (yes, I do use a vehicle now and again) and at points it was near whiteout conditions...traffic would come to a halt because the farthest you could see was maybe ten feet in front of you.

Here's a shot of my backyard, note the Chinese trike buried in snow...I won't be riding that any time soon (to read more about the trike click here).

By this point you'd think I'd learn to use the firewood in the backyard before the snow really hit, leaving wood on the front porch for times like this. Anyhow, I had to retrieve firewood from the backyard and had to shovel not only a path to the wood, but also shovel out a small clearing so I could split a few logs.

I was craving something hearty and spicy for dinner, so I scoured my refrigerator and freezer. In addition to leftover frozen turkey and turkey stock I had plenty of vegetables to work with. I also had some kim chi, some not-quite-ready citron confit (preserved lemons), and a can of white beans.

I used a basic stewing/braising method; it's simple and can be done with most foods. This is how I made mine: Start by dicing the vegetables (note my two pugs in the background waiting for scraps to fall).

I sauteed the harder vegetebales first in a little olive oil, then added garlic, a little curry, a couple chilies, cumin, allspice, cracked black pepper, and alittle sea salt.

Then I added the turkey stock, a couple preserved lemon wedges, a good scoop of kim chi, and the rest of the diced vegetables and potatoes. After simmering it for a few minutes I added the drained and rinsed white beans.

After simmering it for about twenty minutes longer, I ladled it into a bowl that I warmed over a flame (the rear of my house is cold this time of year). Not bad, I thought as I ate it...for being made out of leftovers and a few other ingredients I had on hand. It was perfect food for a cold winters evening such as this.