Posts Tagged ‘stew’

Meatless Monday: Carrot Lentil Stew

Monday, January 30th, 2012

February is almost here and we’ve had just a couple of brief flirtations with snow thus far this winter, much to my kindergartener’s dismay. I keep reminding him that we tend to get our biggest snow storms in February, so there’s no need to completely give up hope just yet. In the meantime, we’re enjoying the unexpected bounty of sunny days, running around in the backyard and to the playground. And so quick and warming dinners are still very much in demand, like this hearty lentil stew. I’m sure Rachael Ray would classify this as “stoup,” thicker than soup but not quite a real stew. It hits the spot just fine on a chilly Meatless Monday, whatever you choose to call it.
carrot lentil soup

Recipe: Carrot Lentil Stew
Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups red lentils, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 4 cups water
  • salt and pepper

Instructions:

1. Soak lentils in cold water for 30 minutes. Drain, set aside.
2. Heat olive oil in soup pot over medium heat. Cook onion several minutes, until translucent. Add cumin and cook 1 minute. Add carrots, lentils and water, stir, and bring to a boil on medium high. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer 30-40 minutes, until lentils are falling apart. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

Note: Red lentils, sadly, lose their color when cooked. So the carrots add an important element of color to what would otherwise be a bit dreary looking. You could swap in cubed, pre-cooked squash or sweet potatoes if you prefer.

Moroccan Lamb Stew {and Del Ray & Dupont Winter Markets}

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

After an extended holiday absence, we finally made it back to the Del Ray Farmers Market this past weekend. The winter market is small, with ringleaders Tom the Cheese Guy and Smith Meadows meats holding down the fort. There’s a new vendor this year, The Dressed Up Nut, selling sweet spiced nuts and gluten-free biscotti. I had a hankering for stew and picked up the convenient pre-cubed lamb meat from Smith Meadows.

I was also craving some fresh produce, so it was off to Dupont Circle’s FreshFarm Market on rainy Sunday morning. It was the off week for Next Step Produce (who alternates weeks in the winter) so I missed out on my watermelon radishes. These pretty carrots were a welcome shot of color in the dreary weather, though, and made their way into my Sunday night stew as well. (I think they were from New Morning Farm, but I’m not positive.) I also picked up some ravioli from Copper Pot (newish to the Dupont Market, I reviewed Chef Frigerio’s pasta last spring) for a farmers-market-fast-food dinner later in the week.

When it came time to cook the stew, I wanted to keep it relatively light, so I went with Moroccan seasonings as found in an Epicurious recipe. I added fingerling potatoes and those carrots, and instead of using the orange zest called for in the original recipe, I just squeezed the juice from a clementine into the pot at the end. (The husband has a thing about citrus zest.) Served over cous cous, it was a flavorful, warming winter stew. Best of all, it elicited a hearty, “I LOVE it,” from the boy, who asked for seconds of both meat and carrots. (And ate the side salad, but that’s another post.)

Recipe: Moroccan-Spiced Lamb Stew
adapted from Epicurious.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 1/2 pounds lamb shoulder, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound fingerling potatoes, washed and cubed
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 4 carrots, peeled and sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • juice of 1 clementine or mandarin orange
  • fresh parsley, chopped

Instructions: Combine salt and spices in a bowl, then add lamb cubes and toss to coat. Heat olive in dutch over over medium high heat. Brown lamb on all sides, about 4 minutes. Remove lamb to a bowl. Lower heat to medium and add onion and garlic to pot; cook until tender and golden, about 5 minutes. Add potatoes and return lamb to pot. Add water and bring to a boil. Cover, reducing heat to medium low, and simmer for 1 hour. Add carrots and cook another 15-20 minutes, until lamb is tender. Remove from heat and stir in orange juice. Serve over cous cous and garnish with chopped parsley. Makes 6 servings.

Lamb and Leek Stew

Friday, April 10th, 2009

Did you know that lamb is one of the healthier red meats? It’s high in B vitamins, zinc and iron and half its fat is unsaturated. Its tenderness also makes it easier for young toddler palates, who tend to be more sensitive to tougher meats. Of course, it is also more expensive, particularly if you’re buying local and/or grass-fed, hormone-free lamb. If you’ve ever noticed, lamb is very popular in Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine, where it’s often cooked as kabobs or in some sort of stew — which is a great way to use a cheaper cut of lamb and stretch it further, especially if you increase the amount of vegetables in the recipe. I recently made this stew, bulked up with carrots and served over basmati and wild rice — it was delicious. You could even make it with leftover leg of lamb from your Passover or Easter meal, if you somehow wound up with too much meat.

Recipe: Lamb and Leek Stew
Adapted from Epicurious

lamb leek stew

Ingredients:

  • 1 to 1.5 pound lamb* shoulder, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large leek, white and pale green part, thinly sliced
  • 3 small carrots, sliced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (zest optional)
  • 1 cup vegetable stock

Instructions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Heat oil in dutch oven on stove over medium high heat. Season lamb meat with salt and pepper and cook until browned, about 5 minutes total. Remove meat to plate and cover to keep warm. Add leek, carrots and onion to pan and cook 5-7 minutes, until onion is soft. Stir in parsley, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, a pinch of salt and ground pepper, and lemon juice (and zest if using). Cook one minute. Return lamb to pan and add stock. Bring to a simmer, then cover and place pan in oven. Cook, covered, for 1 hour. Lamb should be tender and the liquid mostly absorbed. Sprinkle with additional fresh parsley and serve over rice. Makes 4 servings. Enjoy!

Notes: The original recipe calls for lemon zest. My husband has a weird objection to zest in his meat, so I used juice instead. Use both for a fresh zing that lightens this stew for spring.

* Farm Source(s): lamb from Fields of Athenry (Va.). You can also get excellent lamb from Smith Meadows at the Del Ray Farmers Market and other DC/NoVA markets.

Tapas for Toddlers

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

It’s no secret that tapas are one of my favorite foods and Jaleo, the first outpost of gregarious local chef Jose Andres’ growing empire is my favorite local restaurant. When you think about it, tapas (“little plates”) are really the ideal toddler-friendly meal, with small portions, varied colors and textures that catch their eye without being intimidating.

I recently posed a question to Chef Andres via the PBS Engage blog‘s “Five Good Questions” feature (a great read, by the way).

I am a long-time fan and Jaleo was one of the first restaurants we took my son out to eat in. He was a big fan of the (original) patatas bravas. I know you have young children too so I’m curious what their favorite tapas recipes are? Colleen

My girls love croquetas! I think all children do. Crisp on the outside and creamy on the inside. They also love pan con tomate, the classic Catalan tomato toast. Many parents tell me that their children love tapas. They love the little plates and the fact that they don’t have to make up their mind and can try a little bit of everything. I think it also reflects the pure straightforward nature of Spanish cooking. Children respond to the pure flavors of dishes where ingredients speak for themselves. – Jose Andres

For our Los Reyes feast this week, I made the croquetas from Andres’ previous cookbook, Tapas: A Taste of Spain in America. The book includes all our favorites from the restaurant and is a great introduction to traditional Spanish flavors. (I don’t have his newest book, Made in Spain, yet, but it has even more inspiring recipes.) These croquetas are a fried, meat-filled (chicken and serrano ham) bechamel sauce, and while I added some finely chopped red peppers, they are still not exactly a healthy dish. But, as an occasional alternative to chicken nuggets (which the toddler thought they were, at first), these are a great treat. There’s not too much toddlers can do to help prepare this recipe, unless you put them to work rolling the dough into little logs. Of course, be sure to distract them away from the kitchen when you begin the frying.

Along with the croquetas, I adapted another Andres recipe for cider-braised chorizo, using a fresh non-alcoholic cider and adding carrots and garbanzo beans to make a main-dish stew. The toddler loves eating sausage with toothpicks, so this was designed especially for him. It would work for younger kids learning to eat with their fingers, too. Just use a mild chorizo or even a sweet Italian sausage if your little ones aren’t ready for the spicier ones. And we rounded out the dinner with a red pepper and orange salad and some citrus roasted olives. (My toddler actually hates olives, because he always thinks they are grapes and is then greatly disappointed by the salty taste. I’m sure he’ll come around eventually.)

Recipe: Cider Chorizo Bean Stew
Adapted from Jose Andres

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces chorizo, cut into 1/2-inch slices (or milder sausage)
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 2 carrots, cut in thick slices
  • 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • fresh parsley, optional

Instructions: In a medium saute pan, brown chorizo over medium high heat for a 2-3 minutes. Add carrots and beans, cook 1 minute. Pour in apple cider and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 40 minutes, until cider reduces and becomes syrupy. Top with a little fresh parsley and serve with crusty bread to sop up the juices. Makes 4 servings. Enjoy!

Update: Jose Andres cooked some recipes from Made in Spain on Martha this morning.