Sunday, November 10, 2019

Spinach, Coconut & Chickpea Fish Stew from "Home Made in the Oven" by Yvette Van Boven for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays & #AbramsDinnerParty

I am very excited to share a review of Home Made in the Oven by Yvette Van Boven, a cookbook I received from Abrams Books as part of the #AbramsDinnerParty. It's a cheerful little cookbook full of some fabulous-sounding recipes and adorable graphics. Today's soup is the Spinach, Coconut & Chickpea Fish Stew from the book.

For some reason I had not yet been introduced to the delights of Yvette Van Boven and her Home Made series and the wonderful illustrations that bring such a sense of charm to her books before receiving this book to review. (Check out a slide show of the illustrations here on the Abrams Books Site.) Home Made in the Oven continues that pattern of whimsy. There are small photos of each recipe and larger pictures of some in addition to the drawings, but they (and the mostly simple recipes) are the standouts here. As the title suggest, the oven is the focus for all of the dishes in the book (or at least many of the recipe components). The book is divided into the Intro (notes about the oven, measurements and ingredients she uses), then Vegetables, Fish & Meat, Baking and the Index. The recipes are then listed by month so you can make the most of the available seasonal ingredients. (Please don't notice that my stew is from May although since our weather refuses to say November, I guess my recipes don't need to either!). ;-)

Abrams Books (October 15, 2019) 
Hardcover 208 pages, 200 Four-Color Illustrations

I tagged multiple recipes to make like Butternut Squash Risotto with Sage, Vegetarian Enchiladas, Gnocchi Alla Romana, Roasted Celery, Cabbage Rolls with Caraway & Hazelnut, The Greenest Crustless Pie, Zucchini with Ricotta & Lemon, Stuffed Autumn Portobellos, Grilled Eggplant with Burrata, Nobu's Tomatoes, Salmon, Fennel & Lemon with Spinach Miso-Mayo, Mediterranean Fish Pot Pie, Cloud Eggs, Apple Almond Crumble, Clementine Yogurt Cake, Baked Apples with Blueberries, Blackberry Ricotta Cake and Star Anise Crème Brûlés. It should be noted that there are several meat and chicken recipes in the book but I don't eat them and appreciate that it has plenty of fish and veggie options. Home Made in the Oven is a book I am truly looking forward to cooking more from--the Roasted Celery (topped with blue cheese and hazelnuts) and the Cloud Eggs are next on my list to make. 

The recipe that caught my eye first was the Spinach Coconut & Chickpea Fish Stew with so many of my favorite ingredients. Van Boven makes this stew with black chickpeas but since those are not easy to find here and I didn't mail order any in time, I used yellow chickpeas. She also stuffs the stew into sliced pita breads but I only found naan bread at my local stores this week so I toasted a piece to dip in the creamy broth.

Spinach, Coconut & Chickpea Fish Stew
Reprinted with permission from Home Made in the Oven by Yvette Van Boven
(Serves 4-5)

2 teaspoons ghee or olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
juice and grated zest of 1 lemon
pinch of chile flakes
14-ounces (400 g) pre-cooked dried chickpeas
1 pound 2 ounces (500 g) white fish (ideally Marine Stewardship Council/MSC label), cubed
7-ounces (200 g) spinach, preferably wild
1 (3.5-ounce/400 ml) can coconut milk
4 or 5 large pita breads
1 bunch fresh cilantro (1/2-ounce/15 g), coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

Heat the ghee in a heavy ovenproof saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and saute for about 5 minutes, then add the garlic, ginger, lemon zest, and chile flakes. fry for about 3 minutes, stirring.

Add the chickpeas and the fish, place the spinach on top, and pour the coconut milk over it. Season with salt and pepper. Place the pan without the lid in the oven for 20 minutes, Slide the pita breads directly on the rack for the final 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir the cilantro into the stew.

Slice the pita breads open, scoop in the stew, and serve immediately.

Notes/Results: This is a rich stew, silky, creamy and very tasty. I like the simple flavors and textures from the chickpeas, fish (I used frozen halibut) and spinach. There was no mention of what to do with the lemon juice so I added it towards the end with the salt and pepper and like the lemony flavor it added along with the zest. I think you could use any mild fish in this dish. I would have used a local fish but the wild frozen halibut looked far better this weekend. I also added one cup of light vegetable stock to give my stew more broth. I would happily make it again.  

Many thank to Abrams Books and #AbramsDinner Party for this delightful new cookbook that I know will become a favorite part of my collection. This post is sponsored by Abrams Books, as part of the Abrams Dinner Party, however my thoughts, feelings and experiences cooking from it are my own. #sponsored

Now let's look into the Souper Sundays kitchen and see who is here.

Debra from Eliot's Eats shares a delectable Peanut Soup from Jubilee, a cookbook she reviewed and says, "Although the book is not jam packed with recipes, what is included is quality stuff. Since the thermometer is dipping down to freezing here some nights, I immediately went to the soup section and landed on a rich but simple sounding recipe. Tipton-Martin made this soup even richer by increasing the peanut butter and using cream instead of plain milk. I whipped this up in about thirty minutes, from chopping board to table. It’s a perfect weeknight meal."

Tina from Squirrel Head Manor shared a Roasted Acorn Squash and Caesar Salad pairing and said, "Speaking of lunch at home let me share a very simple meal. It's that time of year acorn squash is available and what's easier than chopping one in half and roasting it. This time I added a tablespoon of butter and some maple syrup to melt inside. ... As for an accompanying salad, it doesn't get much easier than a Caesar. Lots of toasted breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. Yes, I did have tomatoes to toss in but that's just an extra I wanted."

Finally Judee of Gluten Free A - Z Blog brought Arugula Salad with Shaved Parmesan and Sliced Apples and says, "Sweet red onion rings, slivers of colorful apple, elegant arugula, and shavings of Italian Parmesan cheese, burst with flavor when tossed in my homemade creamy lemon olive oil dressing.  This beautiful salad will delight your family and friends whether it's for a weeknight family dinner or upcoming holiday dinner."

 Thanks to Debra, Tina & Judee for joining in this week!

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.
If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:

  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up to Souper Sundays in order to be included in the weekly round-up.

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and add a link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to this post or my blog on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (completely optional).
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter  
Have a happy, healthy week!


  1. I love the looks of that soup, Deb. The recipes that you mentioned you tagged to try sound more than fabulous. The book is too cute! (Linking up again this week---can you believe it?)

  2. Yes to anything with chick peas. That is another one for me to try sometime. I like everything you are posting for the Abrams dinner party


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