Plantain & Corned Beef Stew — 5 stars

Spain has won the World Cup.  This is not the team I wanted to win.  I, like every sane person, wanted Ghana to win.  (In case you’re wondering, no, my family being from Ghana did not bias my opinion at all.)  In respects to the Ghana team that should have been, here’s one of my favorite/staple/comfort Ghanaian recipes.  It’s not fancy, but it is tasty.

CORNED BEEF STEW

Ingredients
2 Tbsp oil
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
2 medium tomatoes, chopped (about 2 cups)
3 oz tomato paste
1 tsp red pepper
1/2 tsp curry powder
1 can corned beef
1 cup chopped carrots (optional)
2 eggs (optional)

Instructions
1. In a medium sized pot, heat the oil over medium high. Saute the onions until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes to the pot, and cook until tender, about 4-5 minutes.
2. Turn the heat down to low and add the tomato paste. Stir until combined. Add the spices. Let simmer for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. (As a side note, this gravy is the basis of several Ghanaian stews. You can serve it at this point, or add any of several different ingredients for corned beef stew, bean stew, spinach stew, etc…)
3. Add the corned beef to the stew. Break into small pieces, and let simmer for about 4 minutes
4. If desired, add the carrots. When adding in the eggs, crack the egg on top of the stew. Let sit for about 30 seconds, then fold in. My goal here is to have streaks of egg white in the stew
5. Let simmer, covered, for another 5 minutes. Serve over plantain or rice or some other starch.

FRIED PLANTAIN

Ingredients
2 large, ripe plantains (ripe as in beyond yellow, turning black)
1 cup oil
1/2 tsp red pepper (optional)
1/2 tsp ginger (optional)
1/4 tsp salt (optional)
These spices are completely optional, and the amounts are simply suggestions. I went much of my life having plantain sans spices, and I now usually increase the amount of red pepper and ginger.

Directions
1. Slice the plantain into 1/2 inch thick pieces.
2. If using the spices, place plantain pieces and spices in a bowl, and turn to coat.
3. In a large frying pan, heat the oil over medium high heat. (You’ll be deep-frying the plantain. I usually fill the pan so the depth of the oil is about as high as the 1/2″ thickness of the plantain slices.)
4. When the oil is heated, place as many plantain pieces as will fit without touching in the pan. Cook until golden brown on the bottom side (about 4 minutes), flip over, and cook till golden brown on the second side (another 4 minutes).
5. Drain the cooked plantain on paper towels.
6. Enjoy the deliciousness.

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