My husband and I are not from the same country (but both African) so although some of his and my cultural dishes are similar or slightly different versions, others are or at least were completely unfamiliar to me and same with him when we started dating.
This particular pork stew is something that my mom used to make, but she would use beef instead. I realized that I liked it better a lot "hotter" (as in spicy) than my mom made it and I swapped the beef with pork chops.
The story is that it is not an easy task to find good meat with some bone (the flavor is in the bone they say) at a reasonable price and I am not about to pay $5 or $6 for a pound of beef. Pork is cheaper and depending on how you cook can be even tastier.
So back to our couple being "multicultural", for some reason I tend to believe that he wasn't sure if I could cook or no. Then I realized maybe he thinks I can cook but nothing out of the ordinary, probably he was wondering if I could make tasty meals. Well for those of you who are not African, let me tell you, in the mind of most African men (and women) a woman who cannot cook (and especially who is not willing to learn) is a disgrace... and that is one the key criteria when looking for/"choosing a wife"... But I wasn't necessarily in a hurry to show him or my in-laws my skills just because I thought than I didn't really have anything to prove... and that was a "defensive" move. You know how we women get, anytime we think or suspect somebody is doubting our "womanly" or feminine qualities...
Anyways, this is the one dish that I made and that I know for sure wiped most of his doubts away. Notice I say "most of his doubts" because maybe me knowing how to make good food was most of his concern in that area. The other concern I believe was "can she make home food just like someone from my area would make it?". Now again African culture is quite macho but hey this is who we are and in certain instances we do love being that way!!!
So as a woman especially from a different area than my man, the burden lies on me to prove that I can feed him properly (meaning being able to make those meals that he grew up eating and loving) and not just him but also my many "husbands", meaning here my in-laws or anybody that would visit us.
Well, I don't know if this is all in my susceptible feminine imagination but all I know is that I am fully trusted in that department and this Pork Stew contributed to it!!
Basically it's a tomato based pork stew to which I added spinach. So I spiced up my pork chops which I had cut in smaller pieces and brown them in a little bit of oil. Once golden brown I added minced onion. I blended half an onion, 2 habanero peppers (that might be way too much heat for some people, you can do 1 or a half), some garlic, 2 tomatoes, some ginger root and added that mix to my pork and onions. I let it cook stirring often for about 10-15 minutes on medium heat. Then I added 12oz can of crushed tomato, my seasoning cubes and a cup of water, covered my pot, and let it cook for about 30 minutes or so. I then adjusted my seasoning (you can skip if you are ok with your seasoning) and added about 1 1/2 to 2 cups of frozen spinach (you can use fresh cut up spinach if you so choose).
I would have eaten it with medium riped boiled plantains if I had any but since my husband could eat anything under this sun with rice, I went with rice!
I'll make sure that next time I make it I have pictures outlining the process.