Thursday, June 26, 2008

Home cooking tonight

I'm happy to be home from vacation and back in my kitchen. For dinner tonight I made a cauliflower/lentil stew, curried roasted potatoes, and (not pictured) salad greens from our garden. For this picture, I garnished the plate with foraged cherries from our neighbor's tree, and cilantro from our garden.

Here are my approximate recipes -- I didn't keep track as I cooked, because I'm an amateur. In fact, I think these are the first recipes I've ever posted, because usually I follow published cookbook recipes. But tonight I felt like eating lentils, cauliflower, and potatoes, and this just sort of fell together.

Curried Roasted Potatoes

3 fist-sized potatoes
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. curry powder
Salt to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Thinly slice potatoes with a mandolin or knife. (I got to use my new mandolin, woo!!!) Place in a 1-gallon ziploc with olive oil and curry powder, and shake to coat potatoes evenly. If you're like me, the ziploc seal will break while you're shaking the bag, and several slices of potato will fall on your kitchen floor. It's times like this you will be glad you have a compost heap, so you don't really feel like you're wasting those fallen slices. Anyway, spread the non-soiled potato slices onto a baking sheet, sprinkle with salt, and bake about 30 minutes, or until potatoes have reached your desired level of brownness and crispness, flipping once during cooking.

Cauliflower and Lentil Stew

1 Tbsp. mustard seeds
1 tsp. cumin seeds
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 jalapeno, diced
2 cloves garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 tsp. turmeric
2 cups red lentils
4 cups water
1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
Salt to taste
Cilantro for garnish

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large-ish pot, add mustard and cumin seeds until mustard seeds pop (it only takes a minute). Add onion and jalapeno, saute until onion is translucent (about 10 minutes). Add garlic and turmeric, stir for a minute, then add lentils, cauliflower, and water. Cover, bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer until water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Season with salt to taste. Garnish with cilantro.

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