Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Lentils and Rice: the lazy way

Busy week. Jewish fast day on Tuesday (no food or water all day until 8:30 pm!) Terrible heat all week- at least 35 degrees every day, and HUMID!! It's a good thing I've started wearing scarves because otherwise my hair would be out of control frizzy. As I'm sure you are not interested in the frizziness of my hair I will get back to the topic at hand: Lentils.

Lentils are awesome- besides being packed with protein, fiber and all sorts of minerals, they are ridiculously cheap. One 500 gram package costs 5 shekels- the equivalent of $1.30. Mix some lentils with rice and not only do you have a complete protein meal, but you did it for under a dollar. Kudos to you man!

Usually I make lentils and rice the not lazy way:
I toast up some cumin and fennel seeds in oil in a large pot, add copped onion and garlic and fry them until golden, I toast the rice for a min, then add enough water to cook the rice in. Add the lentils, and enough additional water (1 part lentils to 2 parts water- so if you added a cup of lentils, add another 2 cups of water) to cook. And then I season! Paprika, cumin, curry, cayenne, salt, pepper, turmeric, ginger, garlic... and let it cook for about half an hour.

Now for the lazy way:
  1. pick through lentils and discard any funky looking ones, and stones. soak lentils in water for about an hour. Drain them and add to a large pot with lots of water.
  2. Add about 1/2-3/4 c of rice. (Really you can use as much rice as you fancy, just make sure theres enough water in the pot).
  3. Chop up an onion and add it to the water. Add some smashed garlic, salt, a bay leaf if you want, and any spices that float your boat. I like to add cumin and curry, but sometimes I add parsley, thyme and sage.
  4. Bring to a boil, and let simmer for about half an hour until the rice is cooked and the lentils are tender.

Friday, June 25, 2010


don't be fooled by its ugly appearance... this baby tastes AMAZING

I just finished the longest exam I ever took on US securities law (Waddup Prof. Steinberg!) It was a take-home exam that took me three whole days to write, non-stop. For the last six hours of writing I listened to Shakira's "This Time for Africa" song so many times that I had to stop myself from unintentionally writing waka waka eh eh in my exam. 

"What did you eat while you were writing non-stop?" you may ask. Excellent question. 
I made strombolini. Sometimes I find a recipe online that gets stuck in my head and won't leave me alone. I think about them while I'm spacing out in class and before I go to sleep at night. This is one of those recipes. I found it while cruising the Fresh Loaf website, and before long I was thinking about all the different fillings I could make it with. 

The dough is really simple- you just mix everything together and knead it till smooth. Let it rise, roll it out into a rectangle and fill it with anything.... Don't roll the dough out too thin like I did or the dough will break when you roll the strombolinis up. 

I spread mine with tomato paste and some vegetables that I took out from a soup I was making (before I poured the water in)- caramelized leeks and onion, and roasted peppers, and cheese. Yum. You could really fill this with anything though- sausages/salami and mustard, any combo of veggies and cheese, or artichokes, olives, etc etc. Delicious!!! Trust me, they don't look like much but that didn't stop me from eating three in one sitting (please ignore my sheepish expression). 

Oreganato Bread- courtesy of "dstroy" from the fresh loaf
4 C flour
3/8 C polenta or corn meal- thats a little under half a cup
2 tsp granulated garlic or 2 T crushed fresh garlic
3 tsp dried parsley
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp black pepper
1 T instant yeast
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 - 1 3/4 C water
Mix all the dry, add water and mix, then knead it for approx. 10 minutes. Let it rise for 1 1/2 hours.Roll it out flat into a rectangle and top with any of your favorite toppings. Roll it up jelly roll style and slice it into 1 inch thick slices. Let rise for 1 1/2 hours then bake for 30 minutes at 350.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Cheese Danishes and a Wedding

cheese danishes!

and chocolate danishes!

easy peasy

Well, I'm back in class. Literally- I'm right in the middle of learning about internet law. Well, "learning" is kind of relative at this point. Either way, I'm in class. Since my last post I've gotten around to doing a few things. I got married. I made cheese danishes.

This recipe is dead easy- just dump all the ingredients for the dough in a bowl, and mix together till it's all combined. Then knead it for a few minutes till you get a smooth and elastic dough. Let it rise for about an hour and a half or until double in bulk. Then turn the dough out- and working in batches, roll the dough into rectangles. Mix together all the ingredients for the filling in another bowl. Cut the dough into small squares, and fill with the cheese filling. Close the dough any way you wish- I closed mine by folding a corner into the centre, and then folding the opposite corner in. Repeat with the remaining two corners. Bake at 350 for about fifteen minutes.

You can fill this dough with any type of filling you want- cooked fruit, chocolate, chocolate spread, hazelnut spread- you can even go savory with mozzarella cheese and pizza sauce.... yum!

I'm sending this recipe into YeastSpotting- a stunning weekly showcase of yeasted breads, cakes, etc.

1 kilo flour
2 c lukewarm water
200 grams butter or margarine
1/2 c sugar
50 grams instant yeast

750 grams 9% white cheese
1 egg
5 Tb sugar
1 pckg instant pudding
2 pckgs vanilla sugar