When it’s cold outside, there’s nothing better than a hearty bowl of stew to warm you up. This all vegetable version is big on taste and loaded with healthy ingredients. It’s also versatile enough for you to customize it with any combination of different vegetables you might like to add. The cheddar and mascarpone cheese filled jalapeño cornbread whoopie pies are an added treat to this dish. They are great with the filling, but the little disks are also pretty tasty as is. So, if you want a lighter meal, enjoy the cornbread without the filling.
Hearty Vegetable Stew
makes 3 quarts of stew
1 lb Fresh Tomatoes
1 1/2 tbl Olive Oil
1 lg Yellow Onion, chopped
3 med Carrots, cleaned, trimmed, and sliced at an angle, about 1 1/2 cups
3 Celery Stalks, cleaned, trimmed, and sliced at an angle, about 1 cup
2 Garlic Cloves, peeled, smashed and minced
4 oz Baby Portobello Mushrooms, sliced
3 tbl Tomato Paste
2 tsp Dried Oregano
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
1 cu Red Wine
2 cu Vegetable Stock
1 cu Water
2 lb Russet Potatoes, peeled and cubed into 1” pieces
1 lg Yellow Squash, cubed, about 1 cup
1 can Cannellini Beans, rinsed and drained
1 can Black Beans, rinsed and drained
4 oz Fresh Spinach
1/4 cu Parsley, chopped, for garnish
Peel the tomatoes by first bringing a medium pot of water to a boil. Using a sharp knife, score an “X” across the bottom of the tomatoes, just below the skin, and place them one at a time in the boiling water for 30-45 seconds. Remove tomatoes from the water and set them aside to cool. The skins should already be peeling away from the tomatoes.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large stockpot over medium to medium-low heat. Add onions and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add carrots and celery and sauté for 4 minutes. Add garlic and mushrooms and sauté for an additional 4-5 minutes, stirring often.
Peel skin away from tomatoes and roughly chop them. Add the chopped tomatoes to the stockpot along with the tomato paste, oregano, salt, pepper, vegetable stock, wine and water. Increase heat and bring mixture to a boil. Add potatoes, squash, cannellini beans and black beans. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 20-25 minutes. Add spinach and stir until leaves have wilted and they are incorporated into the stew. Remove stew from heat and ladle into individual bowls. Garnish with chopped parsley.
Jalapeño Cornbread Whoopie Pies
makes 10-12 whoopee pies
2 tbl Butter, softened
3 tbl cu Sour Cream
1 1/2 tbl Granulated Sugar
1 lg Egg
3 tbl buttermilk
1 tbl jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
1/4 cu Yellow Cornmeal
1/2 cu All Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/8 tsp Salt
1/4 cu Whole Kernel Corn, rinsed and drained
4 oz Mascarpone Cheese
1 cu Finely Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 tbl Sour Cream
1 tbl Buttermilk
20 cup whoopie pie baking pan
2 teaspoon size mini ice cream scoop (optional)
Place baking pan in the middle rack of your oven and preheat it to 350 degrees F.
In a medium sized bowl, cream together melted butter, sour cream and sugar. Add egg, buttermilk and jalapeños and mix thoroughly. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, mix together cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and corn. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until fully incorporated.
Open oven door and slide out the rack with the baking pan. Spray pan with cooking spray and then quickly but carefully scoop a scant 2 teaspoons of batter into each cup of the baking pan. Don’t overfill the cups. You may have a bit left over.
Slide rack back into the oven and bake for about 8 minutes or until the disks are a light golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool. If you did have leftover batter, remove the finished cornbread and refill the pan with the remaining batter and bake.
These cornbread disks are great "as is" for a side to go with any soup or chili. But, if you’d like to make them into formal whoopie pies, then mix all four filling ingredients into a small bowl. Transfer the mixture to a sealable disposable bag. Cut a medium sized hole in a corner of the bag and then pipe a portion of the filing onto the bottom side of one of the disks. Take a second disk and press its bottom side into the filling. Repeat with remaining disks.