Date: Tue, 16 Nov 93 23:14:03 PST
From: mrum@firebug.Berkeley.EDU (Marc Rumminger)
MEXICAN LENTIL STEW WITH ROASTED GARLIC AND CHILIES
adapted from "Fields of Greens", by Annie Sommerville
1 1/2 cups brown lentils
4 cups cold water
1 bay leaf
2 fresh sage leaves (or 1/2 t. dry)
1 fresh oregano or marjoram sprig (or 1 t. dry)
1 head of garlic
24 ounces canned tomatoes with juice
1/2 cup water
1 red onion, diced
1 teaspoon cumin seed, toasted and ground *
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, toasted *
1 small carrot, diced
1 small red or yellow bell pepper, diced
3 new potatoes, preferably roasted, cut in eights
Chili powder to taste
1/2 teaspoon Chipotle Chili puree **
1 Tablespoon chopped cilantro (optional)
Put the lentils, water, bay leaf, sage, and oregano or marjoram
in a soup pot. Bring the water to a boil, then turn down to
a simmer. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the lentils are
tender. Remove the bay leaf.
While the lentils are cooking, preheat the oven to 350 F. Put
the head of garlic on a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes.
After it has cooled, squeeze the garlic out of the skin and into
a food processor or blender. Puree with the tomatoes and juice.
Put the 1/4 cup water in a skillet or large saucepan and turn
the heat to medium. Add the onion, the cumin and oregano.
Cook until soft. Add the carrot and red pepper and cook until
tender. Add chili puree, the potatoes, and the tomato-garlic
puree and cook for 10 minutes at medium-low heat.
Combine the lentils and liquid with the vegetables. Cook over
low heat for 30 minutes, covered. Test for salt and chili flavor.
If not hot enough, add some chili powder. Just before serving,
sprinkle the cilantro on top (if desired).
* Toasting herbs and spices: Use a small and heavy skillet.
Place the herb or spice in the skillet over low heat. Shake
the skillet until the aroma of the herb or spice is released.
Be careful not to burn them. Then grind the spice if necessary.
** Chipotle chilies are jalapenos that have been smoked and
dried. They are pretty hard to find dry (Epicurean
Specialty, WestWorks, Inc, San Francisco, CA 94121 is
one company that sells them. They also sell other dried
things like mushrooms, chives, etc.), but most Mexican
groceries carry cans of the chilies packed in sauce.
Puree a whole can and store the puree in the refrigerator.
They keep forever. For Bay Area readers: You can get
"fresh" chipotle chilies at the Marin and SF Ferry Plaza
Farmer's markets sometimes. I'm not sure which week
the farm sells at which market, though.