- Mike Sula
- West African peanut stew
This month’s issue of Saveur features 150 Classic Recipes, from Thai laab and pasta primavera to bigos and butterscotch pudding. I executed the West African peanut stew from Jessica Harris, author of High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey From Africa to America, mostly because I was looking for something cool to do with a jar of West African shito made by Friend of the Food Chain Onur Usmen for a recent spicy condiment exchange. (Or, after my adventures with mirchi ka salan, maybe I just have peanuts on my mind.)
Shito is a Ghanaian hot pepper sauce usually made with some combination of tomatoes, onions, garlic, chiles, and most importantly, some kind of funky dried seafood, like shrimp or herring or both. I used to toss a couple spoonfuls of it with pasta for a quick dinner. You can find different brands (also sometimes known as “Liberian Fried Pepper”) in African markets like Uptown’s Old World Market (5129 N. Broadway) and La Fruteria in South Chicago (8909 S. Commercial).