Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Story of an evening

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, Patrick has class from 6 to 8pm. This is how I like to fill that time:

Laying out all the colorful veggies, setting up my cutting board and chef's knife.

Putting the sexy blushed peppers into the oven to roast.
Spilling the little brown lentil coins onto a dinner plate, listening to the sound they make.

Shaping sweet potato biscuits, chopping carrots and beets.

Admiring the roasted peppers, all sweet and melty.
Thinking about the way Patrick will smile impishly and say, "You only made eleven?"

Lentil stew with roasted pepper cream, savoring the first night it's too chilly to eat on the porch.

Lentil Stew

1 medium onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 stalks celery, chopped

3 tomatoes, cored and chopped

1 cup dried lentils, picked over and rinsed

2 bay leaves

2 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp dried basil

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

2 carrots, sliced into half-moons

1 medium beet, peeled and diced

2 medium Red Bliss potatoes, scrubbed and diced

1 cup chopped fresh kale

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

salt and pepper to taste

First, saute the onion and garlic in a drizzle of oil for about five minutes. Add the celery, and saute over medium heat for another ten minutes. Then, add the tomatoes, lentils, seasonings, and about two cups of water. Cover, and simmer about ten minutes. Add the carrots, beet, and potatoes, cover, and cook an additional ten minutes. Stir in the kale and parsley, and taste to adjust the seasonings.

Roasted Bell Pepper Cream

3 bell peppers, halved and seeded

1/2 cup plain yogurt

2 tsp sugar

olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil a baking sheet, lay peppers face down on the sheet and brush the tops with more oil. Roast on the top rack of your oven for about 30 minutes, or until the skins are browned and blistered. Set them aside and let them cool, then gently peel the skins away from the flesh. Discard the skins. Place the flesh, along with the remaining ingredients, in a blender or food processor, and whir until combined. Serve the lentil stew with a dollop of cream on top.


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