Wednesday, February 6, 2008

kravin' some kugel . . . and lentils!

Recovered from nasty cold: check.
Survived artery clogging kugel: check.
Got out from living under a rock and discovered lentils: check.
Royaly screwed up lentil recipe to create something wonderfully delicious: check!

I'm not entirely sure what a lentil or a legume really is, but when simmered in broth for a while, they are quite tasty, quite healthy, and unlike rice, you're not hungry again half an hour later. I found this magnificent recipe for Lentil Barley Soup on the Epicurious website, and then proceeded to mess up nearly every measurement (especially that pesky liquid measurement!). And you know what? It turned out just divine. Here's my sfanu'd version:

Lentil Barley Stew

2 tbsp oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp cumin
l large container chicken broth (about 4 cups)
1 cup pearl barley
1 can diced tomatoes
2/3 cup dried lentils
1 small bunch swiss chard
salt & pepper

Saute onions and carrots in oil until soft. Stir in cumin and garlic. Add chicken broth and barley, and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low, and simmer for 25 minutes, partially covered. Then stir in tomatoes, and lentils. Bring back to a boil, then turn heat down to low, and simmer for 30 minutes, or until lentils are tender, and most of the liquid is absorbed. Chop chard into 1” pieces, and add to stew. Season with salt & pepper, and enjoy!

Excellent winter comfort food. Speaking of comfort food, I had a major kugel craving last weekend. So there was nothing to do but make my mom's traditional, buttery, artery clogging lukshen-kugel (noodle pudding, and pronounced exactly how it looks). This recipe is so Paula Deen that for the first time I will be offering (and pushing you towards!) healthier recipe options. Swap out the noodles for flour, and I swear you've got cookie dough.

Mom's Lukshen Kugel
1 12oz package egg noodles (or “No Yolks” egg-less noodles)
1 stick butter at room temperature (or margarine)
¾ cup sugar (or sugar substitute)
5 eggs (or equivelent egg-beaters)
1 large can crushed pineapple
½ cup white raisins
2 tbsp vanilla

Cook egg noodles according to package directions. Combine all other ingredients except cinnamon in a large bowl. When noodles are cooked, rinse under cold water, and fold into other ingredients. Pour into a greased 8x8 baking dish, and sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes.

Not much in book news right now. Actually, quite a bit of news. . . way too much to cram into this double recipe entry. So next time, no recipes, but maybe a double or triple dose of book news. Sound good? See you next time!

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