This week’s dinners

I’m trying really hard to come up with a “repertoire” of meals I can cook that does not require too much juggling with E.   The other thing is having the ingredients in the house.  I was very pleased to find, right next to each other in my Deborah Madison, two simple recipes based on quick-cooking dried legumes, lentils and splits peas.

The lentil recipe was especially great to find as it was for red lentils, which are fun to buy but not as easy to find recipes for (or maybe I don’t look hard enough).  In any case, while I didn’t have the cilantro for Red Lentil Soup with Lime, I had at least had the foresight to buy the limes, which were definitely an essential (why else would it be part of the name of the recipe).  I used parsley instead of cilantro which was fine though given the freshness of the flavors in the soup the cilantro would have been nicer.  I don’t always like cilantro but I’ve ome to the conclusion it is a great herb but easy to get wrong.  Deborah Madison seems to get it right.  Red lentils especially cook fast so I will be making it again.

The soup has a much nicer orange hue but this is what my camera could do.

The soup has a much nicer orange hue but this is what my camera could do.

As  I mentioned, this recipe was facing the other meal I made this week, split pea soup.  I de-“vegetarianed” it by using chicken stock (the recipe said vegetable stock or water but I’m always leery of using water instead of stock, just for fear of flavorless soups).  Most split pea soups have ham hocks in them or something similar so using half stock and half water hardly was going to get the flavor wrong.  The soup had a nice mix of spices:  marjoram, thyme, my favorite rosemary, bay leaves, etc….I loved being able to use all these spices in the cabinet, and while I can’t isolate the flavors of each I think it had a nice result.  I can’t tell you what marjoram smells like today, but hopefully with enough cooking these aromas will become as familiar as something like cinnamon. 
There was one glitch in using the stock, of course–I forgot to take into account that these always have salt added, so the soup was a bit salty.  Fortunately I only substited the chicken stock for half the liquid!
Split pea soup

The rest of the week was devoted to clearing out some space in the freezer!

I have several knitting projects to blog about, but I’m tired and frustrated with one anyway…why do I always have so much trouble with necklines?

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