When The Husband’s Away The Lentils Will Play Curry

Curry has many meanings, but my fave definition, “sauce”, was shared by a cookbook writer years ago. He also offered a strategy for a quick lentil curry that at least two of us love. My daughter and I have eaten this dish straight from the pan, and although I’m not sure I adhere to all of the cultural particulars, this is the basic outline. Fast, vegan, dairy and gluten free. Feel free to vary by taste. When the lentils are cooked, it takes less than 30 minutes.

1 dry cup green lentils, cooked according to package instructions

1/2 large onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chapped

1 jalepeno, seeded and chopped (don’t touch your eyes)

Two handfuls cherry tomatoes, any color, halved

1/2 cup of broth or water

Handful of cilantro, chopped

Vegetable oil

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground coriander (if you have it, I didn’t)

1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt

2-3 pinches cayenne

1/2 a lime

Heat a tablespoon or two of oil over medium heat. Cook onion for 8-10 minutes until soft. Add garlic, jalapeño and spices with half the salt at first. Cook for a couple of minutes to get the spices going. Add as many tomatoes as you like for a few minutes, stirring on occasion. The skins may wrinkle, 2-3 minutes. Combine the lentils and give it a good whirl to combine everything.

If anything sticks at any time, lower heat. Add enough liquid to make some sauce but not a lentil drink. Lower heat and simmer a few minutes.

Give it a taste, adjust spices. Stir in cilantro and squeeze the lime before servicing.

Enjoy,

B

Is it Summer Yet?

Good gosh will this winter ever end?! Nothing says channeling warm weather like something blended in the coupe. So drink up my lovelies! And don’t just hoard this strawberry syrup for cocktails. Stop paying for flavored seltzer and make your own. Or strawberry whip cream or vinaigrette. Or drink it by the spoonful. Just sayin’… It’s good.

https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/frose-frozen-rose-wine

Cheers!

B

Homemade Mayo (not Fallen Chocolate Cake)

The dog ate my cake (and survived both the chocolate and me). So here’s a picture of the mayo. And the dog.

I didn’t intend to make mayo, but ignored a golden rule for making hard boiled eggs (fresh eggs, what was I thinking?! See link below) and wrecked the whites late Friday night during the peeling process. So I succumbed to egg salad. Then I realized we had no requisite condiment. I did however have more eggs, oil, and a stale but still useful lemon. Ok then.

I mostly followed the recipe below. Except I used one whole egg and a hand blender. Take your time, these ingredients certainly do in order to emulsify. (Also below a link to the chocolate cake – my only slice was delicious! Separate eggs when they’re cold.)

Eat up!

B

https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/homemade-mayonnaise-241868

http://edinformatics.bmobilized.com/?ref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.edinformatics.com%2Fmath_science%2Fscience_of_cooking%2Fboiled_eggs.htm

https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/fallen-chocolate-cake

Summer Salvation 

                                           
Ennui (noun) – a feeling of weariness and dissatisfaction. Miriam-Webster.comKitchen ennui (noun) a a feeling whereby the cook lacks inspiration. An infectious state of culinary boredom, weariness and dissatisfaction. Betsy Karetnick

 It’s not for lack of actual cooking that I’ve been absent these past few months. I’ve actually committed quite a few dishes in two kitchen in as many states. I think maybe I caught a case of kitchen ennui, possibly sparked by packing one kitchen into another, at times a little like ill fitting Tupperware. There were even a couple of seminal dishes I will recount at a later date – I’m talking about you spiced nut, citrus salad! Or perhaps it was the 6 inches of April?

Regardless, summer produce has romanced the cooking stones right out of the cabinet. The attached recipe is a reminder that a simple and delicious dinner is a google search away…even if the tomatoes aren’t from Jersey. 😉

 I followed the recipe but feel free to abandon or reduce the basil. Cooking with fresh thyme and/or oregano would be great too. Don’t bother to strip or chop a few sprigs, just layer them in and remove before serving. Also don’t cheat the olive oil, or garlic. Have some guts.

                                               

 

Chocolate Pudding!

Pot de creme is just fancy pudding, but this recipe is the opposite of the original. No need to waste time with a water bath. All the ingredients minus the chocolate get cooked together (watch the heat so the egg yolks don't curdle!) and blended with chopped chocolate. Hellooo Ninja – it's been a while. Leave time to chill in the fridge and feel free to meringue the leftover egg whites. (Click here for the recipe from The Food Network)

Notes: lazy chefs (me) use chocolate chips. If it's not smooth enough, push all the ingredients through a sieve after blending, then chill.

Eat –B

 

When Life Gives You Leftover Challah Pudding

So this seemed like a good idea and the non-baker's way to offer up super fast dessert. Adding chocolate chips makes bread pudding Valentine's Day friendly too! More to the point, I scored some major household points.

As this was a first timer for me, I admit I may make adjustments. That said, baking eggs and milk is science, just not the rocket kind. It's forgiving.

Ingredients

2 cups milk room temp

2 eggs room temp

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla, or more

Pinch of salt

(Maybe 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon next time)

1/2 challah or loaf of brioche, stale or not, roughly 1 inch cubes

Big handful of chips, or more

Unsalted Butter for baking dish, 2 quart dish

*note, mine was more deep than shallow meaning extra baking time. More shallow = less baking time

Preheat oven 350

Rub butter all over baking dish and up the sides. Mix milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt. Toss that mixture with the bread. Let it soak a few. Pour half into baking dish, sprinkle generously with chips. Pour in the rest. More chips! Bake 50 min – 1 hour until the middle shows no sign of liquid when pressed.

Rest 10 minutes.

Eat – B

 

Thanks, Mario

Thanks, Mario…

Mr. Batali saved me a trip to the grocery. And he can save you too if you have a head of cauliflower, pasta and a handful of pantry/fridge staples. I'll tell you flat out I reduced the pasta by 25% and could have done with even less. I also added 3 pinches of pepper flakes (much less) and had a free hand with the cheese (atrophied piave in my case but perfect for grating.).

Btw the recipe uses the whole head of cauliflower, stems included. Leave an hour for slow cooking. It's worth it. Vegetarian! Can be gluten free. Click here for the recipe.

 

Eat -B