Cookbook review: Cowgirl Chef by Ellise Pierce
A homesick Texan finds home in Paris by recreating Tex-Mex favorites with Parisian ingredients.
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French LentilsSkip to next paragraph
Kendra Nordin is a staff editor and writer for the weekly print edition of the Monitor. She also produces Stir It Up!, a recipe blog for CSMonitor.com.
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Makes 6 to 8 servings
1 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 carrots, diced
3 cups/720 ml of Save Your Scraps! Veggie Stock (recipe follows), or you may use store-bought
1 pound/500 g of lentils du Puy or small green lentils, rinsed
1 bay leaf
a couple of sprigs of fresh thyme
sea salt and pepper
1. Drizzle a bit of olive oil in your heavy stockpot, add the onions and garlic, and turn the heat to medium-low. Let this cook just until the onions become translucent, just a few minutes, then toss in your carrots. Stir them around and let them cook for a few minutes, too.
2. Add 4 cups/1 liter of water and your veggie stock along with the lentils, the bay leaf, thyme, and a big pinch of salt and pepper. Put the lid on and turn the heat up to medium. When it boils, turn the heat back down to a simmer and cook until the lentils are tender but not mushy, for about an hour. Taste for seasonings and serve hot, cold, or at room temperature.
Save Your Scraps! Veggie Stock
Makes about 4 quarts/4 liters
1 (1 quart/1 liter) plastic bag filled with scraps (carrot peelings, onion skin, celery leaves, zucchini ends, or
whatever you’ve collected)
3 bay leaves
a few sprigs of fresh herbs, such as thyme, basil, and parsley
5 quarts/5 liters of water
a big pinch of sea salt
Put everything in a large stockpot and bring this to a boil. Cover, turn the heat down to a simmer, and cook for 4 hours. Taste, and add more salt if needed (or you may simply leave out the salt if you’d rather).
Strain the stock through a piece of cheesecloth placed over a colander on top of a large bowl. Let your stock cool completely and either use right away or freeze.
Cowgirl Tip: I like to freeze my stock in 2 cup/1/2 liter and 4 cup/1 liter containers, since those are the sizes that I use the most when making soups.
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