Category Archives: leftovers

lentils and carrots

I went to New Orleans (amazing!) and only ate fried food for four days.  That is too many days of fried food!  Don’t worry, I tempered it with a bazillion raw oysters and too much fun.  But, when I got back, all I wanted was vegetables.  So, I flipped through Diana Henry’s Plenty, again.  Such a lovely book, and I haven’t even gotten past the section on “Vegetable Love.” This lentil and carrot dish seemed like a good idea, since it isn’t quite amazing vegetable season right now.

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  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup green lentils
  • 4 large carrots, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 cups, or more, vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • juice of one lemon

Sauté the onion in oil until soft, then add the garlic and spices.  Next, add the lentils, carrots, tomato paste, sugar, and cover in vegetable broth.  Bring this to a boil and cook until the liquid has been absorbed.  You may have to add more broth, or water.  Add the herbs and lemon juice, and make sure the coriander and heat is okay.  I served this with frozen, fried theplas, which are totally delicious.  I actually want to eat everything with my hands.  And I will be, for awhile, because this made so, so much, so basically it’s going to be leftovers forever.

orange stew

It is fall.  I know this because it’s been raining for what, like, two weeks, and the heat in my apartment magically turned on and I just keep listening to Nina Simone.  So, yeah, fall is here.  I have to embrace it or else I will just whine about how much I love summer and that is annoying.  Plus, I love cooking fall meals, not only because I get to use cast iron and heat, but also because they’re delicious and hearty and generally awesome.

I moved out of Kensington, which is hard, and sad, but I still work Sundays at Good Egg, which lately has meant that I buy one cookbook a week (except last week, when I bought two) and spend the day dreaming about delicious food.  So much so that I got home on Monday and made this stew from Diana Henry’s beautiful book Plenty with Katie.  This book is gorgeous and covered in post-its right now because I am just that lame.

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The problem with stew is that it’s kind of not too photogenic, and the lighting in my kitchen isn’t great and it’s fall, so natural light isn’t doing what I need it to, so there is a picture of this stew that is not the best.

  • olive oil
  • 15 new potatoes, halved
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2 leeks, diced
  • 1 large bulb of fennel, cut into strips
  • 5 tomatoes, quartered
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 pinches of saffron (thanks, Jen, for all the saffron!)
  • 1 strip of orange zest
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • salt and pepper

Heat the oil and sauté the potatoes, onions and leeks until the potatoes are browned a bit.  To be fair, I didn’t really want to wait that long because I was hungry, but if you can, it would probably be best.  Add the garlic and chili flakes and sauté for about a minute, then add in the soup stock.  Bring to a boil, then add the saffron, orange zest, thyme, salt and pepper and let everything simmer for about ten minutes.  Once the potatoes are basically cooked, add in the fennel and tomatoes, and cook for another ten minutes.

Diana Henry serves this with a rouille, but I don’t really love rouille so I just ate it as is.  The orange is surprising potent, and saffron really does make everything better.  I am into this stew, which is good because it made about a dozen servings.  Please call me if you want to come over for stew.

pickles

I love pickles.  Making pickles has been on my to-do list forever, but higher on the list is “not die of botulism” so I kept not making pickles.  But, then!  I found a lovely book on quick pickles at Good Egg, and the main selling point was not speed and ease, but the lack of botulism potential. Basically, because these pickles are not canned, you have to eat them within two weeks, which is a fair price to pay for life. I know that the likelihood of getting botulism is low, but I am unwavering in my fear, so this book is the best.

Okay, enough about botulism. I made pickles! This book is also pretty exciting because it gave me lots of exciting pickle possibilities. This first round, I made smoky pickled corn. The book is a bit overwhelming because the recipes call for a lot of ingredients, but then you look at it closely and see that 8 of them are spices, so it’s okay.

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  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 8 cloves of garlic, peeled, whole
  • 2 red peppers, sliced
  • 2 yellow peppers, sliced
  • 1 onion, cut in rings
  • 4 tomatillos, quartered (take off the paper skins!)
  • 4 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 4 cups white vinegar (this was supposed to be white wine vinegar, but I misread it)
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons coriander seed
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 4 dried fresh chilis, sliced
  • 4 ears of corn, cut into chunks

Heat the oil in a skillet and add the garlic, peppers, onions and tomatillos until everything is softened.  Don’t brown them!  Set them aside, then bring all the other ingredients except the corn to a boil in a really big pot.  Boiling vinegar smells crazy, you might cry.  Add the corn once everything is boiling, and then let it simmer for 5 minutes.  Add the rest of the veggies and bring to a simmer.  Turn the heat off and let everything cool.  Keep these in the fridge and eat them for 2 weeks, no more!

I had many fake ploughman’s lunches with these pickles, and was pretty into it.  Eat the corn rounds like corn on the cob, they are pretty spicy but pretty delish, I think.

delicious salad!

Spring is here and I’m pretending it’s summer. Basically, this means bare legs even though it’s too cold, subbing gin and tonics for whiskey, and eating salads so happily. Last week I made this delicious chick pea salad, and then I made it again, and then Annie made it for our cookbook club, and it just keeps getting better. The recipe is from Falling Cloudberries, which is beautiful but, as we decided, very liquidy. Annie and I both judiciously decided to substitute a tablespoon or two of oil instead of using a cup of oil. It works, for real.

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  • 1 can chick peas
  • 1 red onion
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 3 hot chili peppers
  • 3 scallions
  • handful coriander
  • handful parsley
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 handfuls of feta
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil

Salads are salads and I don’t really believe in serious measurements when it comes to salad.  Add more of anything you love, and you will probably love it more.  Fry the diced onions, garlic and peppers, season them and let them cool as much as you can.  Add in the chick peas (the author recommends peeling the skins off but that feels like a lot of work for a meal that would otherwise take ten minutes), the chopped greens, the feta and the lemon juice.  I think feta is kind of a lame cheese, so I subbed in oka once, and do not recommend it.  Stick with the feta!  This is a good salad!

lentils

I think it basically goes without saying that my new year’s resolution was not to blog.  Sorry.  Let’s not talk about it.  But, I’m here now, and people are coming over for dinner seven minutes ago, so hopefully this works!

Leslie fully inspired me with her awesome blog, and her love of enameled cast iron.  When I saw her lentil and sausage recipe, which has been popping up all over the internet in various forms because it is hearty and sort-of healthy and wintery, I knew it would be dinner.

Plus, there’s a new butcher in my neighbourhood, and they are awesome! I went in to buy sausages as the butcher was making them, and he just snipped them off the end, which I find terribly romantic even though the key part of this story is ground pork.

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Basically, this is a super easy recipe that takes about one inactive hour to make. And, seriously, don’t lentils and kale make you feel virtuous?

  • 1 cup green lentils
  • 1 onion
  • 1 can whole tomatoes
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • some bay leaves
  • dried chilies, to taste
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • water
  • 3 sausages (from Sanagan’s! They get my full endorsement!)
  • oil
  • 1 head of kale

Preheat the oven to 375.  Fry the sausages in a bit of oil, if they need it.  This is where having a stovetop to stove cooking vehicle will come in handy.  While they’re frying, chop the onions, open the tomatoes, and halve the garlic.  Once the sausages are charred, set them aside.  Next time, I’ll fry them longer, I like a bit more char rather than a bit less…  Fry the onions, then add the garlic and then tomatoes and spices.  Bring this to a boil, then add the lentils and about two cups of water.  Stir everything, throw the sausages on top, put the top on, and cook in the oven for about 45 minutes, until the lentils are totally cooked.  You may want to check on them part way through and add more water if you think they need it.  When you take the pot out, set the sausages aside and put the pot back on the element at medium heat.  Add in the head of (chopped) kale, and cover for about 5 minutes.  Slice the sausages, stir up the kale into the lentils and sauce, and serve with the sausage on top.

This is pretty delish and very easy!  It isn’t the prettiest meal ever, I will concede this, but totally worth it since it makes me feel so good to eat lentils and kale.

ricotta pie

I am actually a pretty horrible baker, for many reasons.  One, I like to add things to the recipe, which sometimes works but less so with baking.  Two, I always add things in the wrong order.  Three, I get so excited and always check on things a million times while they’re cooking.  Four, I really can’t resist sampling while I make treats, which definitely throws off the recipe.  Anyway, I don’t bake too often, but this recipe looked like it might turn out alright, and I tweaked it enough so that even if it didn’t work, it maybe would only sort of be my fault.

The original recipe is from Tessa Kiros’s Falling Cloudberries, which is a beautiful beautiful book, and is actually for a ricotta tart with a chocolate crust.  Because of my super basic baking skills, I didn’t feel up to making a crust from scratch.  I also kind of hate store bought crusts, so I decided (with help! best idea from Kristina!) to make a phyllo crust.

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For the crust:

  • a package of phyllo
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter

First off, because I was sort of making this up as I went, I’m not so sure about the measurements.  But you just grease a pan, with butter (or I guess a pie plate would be so pretty but I’m way better with straight lines), and then lay down a sheet of phyllo.  Mix the butter and honey together.  Using a pastry brush (one of the very few times I prefer silicon to a more natural material since it cleans so much better than a brush), spread on the butter honey mixture to cover the phyllo completely.  Add another sheet of phyllo, and repeat as much as you’d like.  I think I did about eight sheets but it’s really up to you.

For the tart

  • 2 cups ricotta
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar
  • 2 dozen cardamon seeds (really as many as you’d like)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 375.  Whisk all the ingredients together and pour the filling into the pie plate.  Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until it looks set and a bit golden on top.  I can’t lie, this is a good dessert and a really amazing breakfast. The cardamon makes it taste like you are maybe having a chai instead of dessert for breakfast.  Next time I’m going to add cloves, too.

black bean soup, again

I love beans.  I love this black bean soup recipe, from the Moosewood cookbook, that uses orange juice to make everything tangy and delicious. But when I saw a recipe for black bean soup on the Kitchn, that claimed to be the best ever, I had to try it. They are totally different soups, different textures, different flavours, and I’m really not sure which I prefer. This one is smokey and so not vegetarian, thanks to the ham hock. Also, I can’t lie: ham hock looks kind of gross. But you really don’t end up eating it, just stealing the porky, smokey flavour.

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  • 2 cups dried black beans, soaked overnight
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 smoked ham hock
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Soak the beans overnight, exciting if you’re me and this is the closest you ever get to science.  Drain the rehydrated beans and add enough water so that they are covered with an extra inch of water.  Add the onion and pepper, the minced garlic, the olive oil, pork hock and a bit of salt and pepper.  Bring everything to a boil, skim the froth off the top and then let it simmer for four or five hours.  Add more water if you think it needs it (I didn’t, because I wanted a very thick soup and because the hock was bigger than I expected and I was running out of space in my pot…), and just stir it when you think of it.  After it seems basically ready, add the vinegar and let it simmer for fifteen more minutes.  Pretty, pretty delicious.  I ate this as a soup on its own, which is a lot of beans, seriously, but it was thick so I brought some to family fajita night and we ate them as a dip for chips and possibly as a spread on fajitas, too.  Versatile beans!