Nov 19, 2010


Sometimes I just end up craving lentils.  Not sure why or how, but it just has to happen.  This time of year that means a more western lentil soup; in the spring for whatever reason that tends to be dal instead.

This time I just went 'sperimenting (again based on what I had around the house).  Worked like a charm, kept in the refrigerator, and reheated perfectly.

Any good lentils should start with bacon.  In this case, six slices, chopped and then crisped in a stock pot.

To that, add about six stalks of celery, chopped and the same amount of carrot.  Onions would be traditional here but, well, I didn't have any.  Or any garlic; powder had to do there.

And then the fun starts: melt all that together along with two diced jalapenos and one red bell pepper (slightly larger bits are fine here).

In a separate pan, brown a pound of kielbasa and add to the stock pot when maillarded properly.

Retain the fat, though, and roast another sliced red pepper (and two more jalapenos; why not) in it before adding that all in together.

  • about 3/4 pound of lentils
  • chicken broth
  • water if needed
  • balsamic vinegar
  • one can of tomato paste

Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with fresh parsley or mustard greens on top and a dense bread on the side.  Perfect for a slightly chilly day.

Nov 11, 2010

Chili con carne take 2

It's that season again.  And when the pantry is relatively empty it's easy enough just to go with what you have.  This worked out fine and basically proves that con carne is just one of those things you can do just about anything to without messing it up too badly.

This time, sweat two smallish white onions in olive oil until nice and tender.

Add in one to 1.5 pounds ground beef (70-30 if you can get it of course; 80-20 works though I wouldn't go much lower than that).  When that's mostly cooked through, throw in (of course) cumin and oregano along with cayenne in relatively equal parts.  Don't worry, the bulk of the heat will come later.

To that, add:
  • 1 can black beans, half drained
  • 1 can pinto beans, half drained
  • 1 can great northern beans, half drained
  • 2 cans tomato paste
  • 1 can chipotle in adobo, chopped
Mix that together adding water as needed.  Garnish with cilantro (or parsley as that's what I had and it worked fine) and cheese of your choice.

Relatively quick, dead simple, and quite hardy.  Plus, well, hot.  Chipotle in adobo tends to lend itself to that quite well.