Friday, 16 March 2012

Meatless gourmet evening?

I have a stew cooking, but I'm starving hungry, so tonight is a meatless feast of Puy lentils cooked with cumin and cider, finished with cream. And how about some home made garlic bread? Lentils are very cheap and cook quickly. Adding cider and cream lifts them to the sublime.

I cook according to the items that present themselves and today it was some slices of Italian bread in Waitrose at 69p for 1/2 a loaf. As they contain durum wheat, they are high in protein and not as fattening as French bread.

Creamy lentils

4 oz green or puy lentils (dried)
A blob of butter or a splash of oil
1 teaspoon cumin seed
1 teaspoon of thyme leaves (1/2 if using dried)
1 clove garlic
1 onion or 2 shallots
4 fluid oz (just less than 1/2 pint) dry cider
3 fluid oz single cream

Rinse the lentils and put them in a pan covering them with cold water. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for 20 mins whilst you cook the rest.
Chop the onions/shallots and the garlic. In a separate pan, melt the butter over a medium heat and add the onion, garlic, thyme and cumin. Stir frequently until the onion mix is softened and starting to brown; about 10/15 mins.
Drain the lentils and add them to the onion mix with the cider. Simmer until most of the cider has evaporated. Ideally you need about a tablespoon left. Season with pepper and plenty of salt.
Add the cream and heat through.

Garlic bread.

A few slices of French bread (or Italian)
2 oz butter
1 crushed garlic clove.

Mix the butter into the garlic until it will spread well.
Toast one side of the bread, spread garlic and butter onto the uncooked side. Slide under grill and toast until brown. 


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