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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Callaloo Stew

By Juvy S. Iliwiliw

Named after the heart-shaped callaloo leaves from the taro plant, this traditional stew can be made with crab, lobster, and shrimp, or taro root and coconut milk. But all versions of the dish call for okra, and of course callaloo leaves. Spinach makes a great substitute for callaloo.

You will need:

1 cup chopped green onions

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 large fresh thyme sprig

1/2 Scotch bonnet chile or habanero chile, seeded, minced

4 cups low-salt chicken broth

2 cups 3/4-inch cubes seeded peeled sugar pumpkin or butternut squash (about 3/4 pound)

1/2 pound smoked ham, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 1½ cups) 

 1½ cups ½-inch-thick rounds trimmed okra

1 pound fresh callaloo or 10 ounces spinach, stalks trimmed and discarded, leaves chopped

Here's how:

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add green onions, garlic, thyme, and chile. Saute until soft, about 2 minutes. Add broth, pumpkin, ham, and okra. Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add callaloo; cook until wilted and leaves are tender, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

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