Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Beluga lentils with shitake mushroom

Two days into vacation, the weather forecast for the rest of the week is mixed: thunderstorms in the afternoon. Trips with shopping adventures are still in the cards, but also staying home, getting summer cozy, writing real letters and taking the time to cook more elaborate meals.

I fired up the slow cooker for dried chickpeas. Hummus is on the menu. In a stove top cast iron pot, beluga lentils simmered with sauted onions and a bay leaf, and in a second cast iron pot dried shitake mushroom plumped up in a mix of hot water and braggs amino acids. The hummus would only be ready the next day, but a pan fried dinner of red onions, lentils and shitake mushroom with a dash of salt and crème fraiche gave me just the right amount of fuel for the evening run.

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The cats are on vacation, too. They enjoy a whole bouquet of catnip from the garden. Good feelings, all-around.

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Beluga lentils:

  • 1 cup of dry beluga lentils
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1/2 small red onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 ts olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf, fresh if possible

In a small enough cast iron pot with a lid, heat the olive oil and saute the onion. Add the garlic once the onion is slightly charred. Pour in the dry lentil, and fill with 2 cups of hot water. Stir, cover with lid and turn down the heat to medium low. Cook for 20-25 min with lid closed. Stir occasionally and check consistency of lentil (if you like more or less al dente lentils).

The water should be cooked off once the lentils are soft.

Shitake mushroom:

  • about 10 dried shitake mushroom caps (or sliced dried shitake)
  • 1 sharp serrated knife
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 TB braggs amino acids or tamari sauce

Use a cast iron pot with a lid, add the water, the amino acids, and keep hot on the stove. With the serrated knife (bread knife is best), cut the shitake mushroom into thin slices. Once a mushroom is sliced, add to the boiling water mix. Once all mushrooms are sliced, stir the pot, cover with a lid and let simmer on low for 20min so that the mushroom ate completely soft and meaty.

Lentil Shitake fry:

  • other 1/2 of the red onion
  • 1 ts olive oil
  • 1/2 cup cooked lentils
  • 1/4 cup reconstituted shitake mushroom
  • pinch of salt, fresh ground pepper
  • option: teaspoon ground cumin
  • dash of Worchestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of crème fraiche (best: vanilla crème fraiche)

Sautee the onion in the olive oil in a regular non-stick pan. Add the remaining ingredients, combine, taste for flavor and serve.

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