Sunday, November 06, 2005

don't forget the chocolate show

i used to love to go every year to the chocolate show here in nyc, until it just got too crazy. lately it's been so crowded you can scarcely approach the tables and due to the timing of the show, not as many real artisan chocolatiers can represent themselves there.

so you get squeezed like a lemon only to see ever more chocolate-covered potato chips. this is one reason why i will be sitting out this upcoming show again.

and of course my recent surgery will be another -- i still get tired a bit easily.

but otherwise i'm carrying on well, making pizza today as always and contemplating my hoard of yummy and surprisingly health-conscious goose fat. i recently pried open the first kilo to make lentils, a charming autumn dish i just like to have around.

today i had some as a side dish for lunch with cold duck breast, for example. i know, i know it's not a trendy foodie parsley foam sous-vide thing, but rather something straight outta elizabeth david, which is a commendation in my book, frankly.

i used organic lentils du puy and i made them in my beloved kuhn-rikon pressure cooker -- because while i do support slow, i also believe in saving energy. in the pressure cooker lentils come out great and only take 7 minutes, instead of 30+.

over time, this kind of thing saves natural gas, so as i like to say, no need to drill in the alaskan wilderness on my account!

the recipe i usually use is a variation of one of david's. in no way could it be construed as "healthy," altho' of course it is.

goose fat makes it all delicious:

3 tablespoons goose fat
1 small red onion, chopped fine
1 yellow pepper, cubed small
2-1/2 cups lentils du puy
5 cups water or stock
2 tablespoons good quality tomato paste
10 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
2 cloves garlic, minced
flavored or balsamic vinegar or lemon juice
black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon salt or more to taste

in the pressure cooker, melt the onion in the goose fat just until it softens. add the lentils, water or stock, cloves, cinnamon and bay leaves -- we'll pop the salt in later.

cover the cooker and bring up to pressure. cook for 6-7 minutes. turn off the heat and let the pressure release naturally (about 15 mins.)

open the cooker and turn the heat back on to a mild simmer. add more water or stock if you want.

otherwise just add the yellow pepper, garlic, salt and the tomato paste. stir all well and cook for 2-3 minutes more. taste to see if you want more salt and add as much black pepper as you like.

you can eat this dish as is on the side with meats or thin it out more with stock etc. to make a soup. i like to serve it as is with just a touch of that flavored vinegar or lemon juice to brighten the flavor.

you might find tons of stuff to do with it, actually, once you have it around.

posted by fortune | 2:46 PM | top | link to this | email this: | links to this post | | 0 comments

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