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If only I had discovered the glory of Gourmet magazine a little bit sooner. But, no. I had to subscribe precisely nine months before Conde Nast decided to pull the plug. The inequity!

Two consolations followed.

First, a subscription to Bon Appetit arrived in place of the last few issues of my Gourmet subscription. Pretty and entertaining but, let’s face it, just not the same.

Second, Rob’s dad bought himself an iPad, which I borrowed for just enough time to discover the Gourmet Live app…another less than equal publication, but a substitute nonetheless.

This next recipe comes from the latest issue of Gourmet Live (whose content still expires despite having a paid subscription – robbed, I tell you! – but, I digress).

It’s pretty quick, it’s definitely easy, and it is wholly satisfying in the my-body-is-thanking-me-for-this kind of way.

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I actually took this photo the next morning while packing leftovers for Grandpa’s lunch…not quite as vibrant looking as the night before, but you get the idea!  It was amazing to see such rich colors become muted during the cooking process.

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Curried Red Lentil Stew

Serve with basmati rice (and plain yogurt if you wish, though it is quite saucy on its own)

Ingredients

6 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1 2×1″ piece peeled ginger, quartered
5 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
5 cups water (plus a little extra)
1 1/2 tsp. curry powder
3/4 tsp. ground turmeric
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 cup red lentils (they really look orange)
3 medium carrots, quartered and chopped roughly
3 cups chopped trimmed spinach (we used 3 oz. frozen)
1 cup frozen peas (we were all out so we left them out!)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 tsp. cumin seeds
1/4 tsp. hot red pepper flakes

Accompaniments

Steamed basmati rice, roasted cauliflower (salt, EVOO, roast at 450 until tender), fresh cilantro, plain yogurt.

Instructions

Heat 1/4 cup oil over medium heat in a heavy pot.  Saute onion with a little salt until golden (8-10 minutes).

Puree garlic and ginger with a little water in a spice grinder or food processor until very smooth.  Add to onion and cook until water evaporates and the onion begins to fry a bit in the oil.  Add spices and stir for one minute.  Stir in lentils and 5 cups water, then simmer covered while stirring occassionally for 30 minutes.  Add carrots and remaining salt and simmer another 15-20 minutes, covered.

Stir in spinach and peas and cook another 3 minutes, uncovered.  Stir in cilantro, salt and pepper to taste.  Add a little water if needed to achieve desired consistency.

Heat remaining 2 tbsp. oil in a small saute pan until shimmering.  Add cumin seed and pepper flakes and fry for one minute, then add this mixture to the stew before serving.

This is a delicious sweet and spicy stew we love served with couscous or egg noodles.  The hit of lemon and herbs at the end really makes the dish!

Serves 4.  Published May 1, 2006.  From Cook’s Illustrated.

Bone-in chicken parts can be substituted for the whole chicken. For best results, use four chicken thighs and two chicken breasts, each breast split in half; the dark meat contributes valuable flavor to the broth and should not be omitted. Use a vegetable peeler to remove wide strips of zest from the lemon before juicing it. Make sure to trim any white pith from the zest, as it can impart bitter flavor. Serve with couscous.

Ingredients
1 1/4 teaspoons sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 strips lemon zest (each about 2 inches by 3/4 inch)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice , from 1 to 2 lemons
5 medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 5 teaspoons)
1 whole chicken (3 1/2 to 4 pounds), cut into 8 pieces (4 breast pieces, 2 thighs, 2 drumsticks; wings reserved for another use) and trimmed of excess fat
Table salt and ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion , halved and cut into 1/4-inch slices (about 3 cups)
1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon honey
1 medium carrot , peeled and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick coins, very large pieces cut into half-moons (about 1 cup)
1 cup dried apricots , halved
1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas , drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Instructions
1. Combine spices in small bowl and set aside. Mince 1 strip lemon zest; combine with 1 teaspoon minced garlic and mince together until reduced to fine paste; set aside.

2. Season both sides of chicken pieces liberally with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large heavy–bottomed Dutch oven over medium-high heat until beginning to smoke. Brown chicken pieces skin side down in single layer until deep golden, about 5 minutes; using tongs, turn chicken pieces and brown on second side, about 4 minutes more. Transfer chicken to large plate; when cool enough to handle, peel off skin and discard. Pour off and discard all but 1 tablespoon fat from pot.

3. Add onion and 2 remaining lemon zest strips to pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions have browned at edges but still retain shape, 5 to 7 minutes (add 1 tablespoon water if pan gets too dark). Add remaining 4 teaspoons garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add spices and cook, stirring constantly, until darkened and very fragrant, 45 seconds to 1 minute. Stir in broth and honey, scraping bottom of pot with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits. Add thighs and drumsticks, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 5 minutes.

4. Add carrots, apricots, and breast pieces (with any accumulated juices) to pot, arranging breast pieces in single layer on top of carrots. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of breast registers 160 degrees, 10 to 15 minutes.

5. Transfer chicken to plate or bowl and tent with foil. Add chickpeas to pot; increase heat to medium-high and simmer until liquid has thickened slightly and carrots are tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Return chicken to pot and add garlic-zest mixture, cilantro, and lemon juice; stir to combine and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

This is a recipe that was given to me by a friend and coworker.  She is vegetarian and always looking for recipes that are hearty crowd-pleasers without meat.  This was a crowd-pleaser for sure!  I made it twice over the winter holidays, once for family and once for friends.  The first time I followed the recipe for the topping but made some adjustments to the stew (couldn’t find celery root).  The second time I followed the recipe for the stew but made adjustments to the crust (trying to achieve a more cheddar-y and less biscuit-y result).  I preferred the second iteration…the celery root was delicious and the crust less bready.

The recipe below is the original version.  Quantity substitutions for the less biscuit-y crust are in parentheses.

Ingredients – Cheddar Topping
2 cups flour (sub: 1 1/2 cups)
1 tsp. kosher salt
4 tsp. baking powder (sub: 3 tsp. baking powder)
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into small cubes and well chilled
1 to 1 1/3 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 tsp. finely chopped garlic
pinch ground pepper (or more to taste)
1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar (sub: 3/4 to 1 cup)

Ingredients – Vegetable Stew
3 tbsp. EVOO
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 red onion
2 medium carrots
1 medium celery root
1 medium acorn squash
1 parsnip
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup dry white wine
3 tbsp. tomato paste
3 cups chicken or veggie broth
1 tbsp. chopped fresh marjoram (or other fragrant, tender herb such as sage, thyme, etc.)
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper

First make the topping so that it has time to rest before baking.  Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl.  Cut in butter using forks, fingers, or pastry cutter until mixture resembles coarse meal.  Add the cream, garlic, and pepper.  Add the cheese and mix lightly until just holds together (note: the second time around, I added the cheese to the flour first then the wet ingredients and found this much easier to do quickly).  Set aside to rest at room temperature.

Next make the stew.  All vegetables should be peeled and chopped to about 1-inch cubes.  Heat half of the oil and butter in a large saute pan over medium-high heat.  Add the onions, carrots, and celery root; cook, stirring occasionally, until veggies are browned (about 7 minutes).  Transfer veggies to a large (13 x 9) casserole or roasting pan.  Repeat this with remaining butter, oil, and root veggies, cooking about 7 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two until just fragrant.  Add this mixture to the casserole dish.

Increase heat to high and add the white wine, tomato paste, and broth to the saute pan.  Bring to a boil, scraping brown bits from bottom of saute pan.  Lower the heat and simmer for 3 minutes.  Add this liquid to the casserole (it will seem like a lot, but trust the recipe…it works!).  Sprinkle with marjoram, season with salt and pepper (be careful…if you used cooking wine or canned broth, it may not need more salt).  Cover the casserole with foil and bake until the veggies are tender, about 30 minutes.  There will still be lots of liquid at this point.

Remove the foil.  Using a large spoon, drop ping-pong size balls of the topping onto the veggies.  The lumpier, the better!  Crevaces are good.  Return the casserole to the oven, uncovered, until the topping is cooked and browned, about 25 minutes.

Let me know what you think!