In recent weeks, when I was feeling ‘under the weather’, on account of my cold/cough, my desire to eat and cook was as lacking as my tastebuds. Now that I am all better, my appetite and interest in cooking have returned and, yesterday, my meal seemed like a feast; it tasted so good!
First up, we had brown lentils and mushrooms in pasta sauce. This is a dish I created using a combination of different ideas and recipes. It is an authentic mish mash rather than anything elegant with a specific and identifiable origin. Here is a small sample of the finished product.
As usual, my recipe for this dish is fairly carefree and easy but, for those of you who are interested, here is an outline of the ingredients and cooking method: Roughly chop one onion, 2 garlic cloves, 1 celery stick and 1 carrot and place in the blender and blitz. Place a little olive oil in a large pan and add blitzed mixture to the pan. Cover and let mixture sweat for about 10 minutes. Add a half teaspoon of dried oregano, and about a half teaspoon of salt and a cup of canned, chopped tomatoes in thick juice. Stir and cook covered for a couple of minutes. Add one tin/can of drained and rinsed brown lentils (about 400gm) and stir. Then add one bottle of thick pasta sauce. I use Bertolli Five Brothers Pasta Sauce, large size, in the summer tomato and basil flavour. Stir again and cover and simmer gently for a few more minutes. Lastly add about 200 gm of quartered, button mushrooms and 3 Tablespoons of bulghur wheat. Cover and cook on low heat for another 15 minutes, or until the bulghur wheat is tender. Before serving add freshly ground pepper and 2 or 3 Tablespoons of cream to the pan.
The textures of the ingredients and the smooth richness of the sauce are wonderfully hearty on a winter’s night. I served the sauce on creamy mashed potatoes with steamed carrots and steamed broccoli stalks. And ,because the recipe makes a large amount, we will be having the sauce again tonight, but this time with polenta.
To follow the main meal, I made a scrumptious fruit crumble, using an absolutely excellent crumble recipe from blogger Valerie Davies; excellent because it is both delicious and makes a large amount (which means at least enough for two fruit crumbles in my house). For the fruit component of the dish, I used freshly sliced cooking apples and a good handful of less than perfect grapes which I blanched and peeled and sprinkled with lemon juice. The results were so good that I had to restrain myself from taking a third helping. Thanks Valerie 🙂
If you would like the recipe take a look Here.
While you are there, check out her other delicious recipe for Convent Eggs. http://valeriedavies.com/2013/07/13/the-real-dalai-lama/
I am sure it was the Convent Eggs that finally set my tastebuds on the road to recovery. Food has been tasting superb, since the day I made those delicious eggs.
Finally, what’s a feast without something for the eyes as well. I am so thrilled to have these three lovely books on my table today. The two Virago books arrived by post this morning, via Amazon. The third book, With Bold Needle and Thread by Rosemary Mcleod is on loan from the library. It is subtitled Adventures in Vintage Needlecraft, and so it is, so it is; a very lovely adventure.