Tim and Zainab = Pork Chops + Peanut Stew

A week ago, I had the good fortune to meet a great couple, Zainab and Tim, who were kind enough to invite me into their home and let me film them each cooking a dish they had learned from their respective mothers.  Now, if the dishes they turned out are any indication, then they grew up eating well because their moms must be some damn fine cooks.   And fortunately the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree because Tim and Zainab could rock it in the kitchen as well.

Tim made Filipino style pork chops, or in the words of his mother “Filipino Bacon”.  According to Tim, that’s what his mother called it in order to get her kids to eat it.  Well, they could have been called Filipino Dirt Clods as far as I’m concerned because after tasting one I would have come away thinking, “Damn, these Filipino Dirt Clods taste like heaven!”  Check out the recipe and video below of how Tim prepared these tasty pork chops – in his words: Nature’s Candy.

1 cup soy sauce
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups water
Bunch of crushed garlic

Pork chops – preferably chops with some fat on them (none of that lean shit). Come to think of it, this marinade would be really good for spare ribs.

Not to be outdone (because really – at least in my brief experience,  isn’t marriage all about competition?), Zainab also cooked a dish handed down to her from her mother: peanut stew or as it’s known in various parts of West Africa, ground nut stew. That’s according to Zainab who while preparing the stew, informed me of a number of interesting facts of West African cooking, a culinary tradition of which I’m pretty ignorant. But after tasting her delicious peanut stew, I say “Ignorance be gone! Bring on the education!” In other words, the stew was amazing. Here’s her recipe (no quantities – as it is stew, you can pretty much put in as much or as little of whatever you want in it). Watch the video below for how to implement it.

Peanut stew ingredients:
peppers (e.g., bell peppers, poblano)
tomatoes (either canned or fresh)
scotch bonnet (habañero) chili
herbs (thyme, oregano)
peanut butter (mixed with hot water to thin it out)
fish (tilapia, sea bass, whatever firm fish you want to use)


2 thoughts on “Tim and Zainab = Pork Chops + Peanut Stew

  1. Made Zainab’s peanut stew a second time, again with raving reviews from those I’ve shared it with! This time, I made it with just one hot pepper (can’t burn the kids) and with red peppers instead of green (since that was all we had). At first, the flavor wasn’t so strong, so I added more thyme and oregano, and once I added the lemon juice, it was perfect! It was a hit with my mother-in-law, who claimed it reminded her of the way many South Indians use peanuts. Thanks for this. Plan to make it many times over!

  2. Yeah, we made it a couple weeks ago with catfish. It was awesome. But with two scotch bonnets, perhaps a bit too spicy for Shefali. I loved it.

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