Monday, May 08, 2006

Sopa de Lentejas

I was introduced to lentis some six years ago but didnt know how to cook it. I remember Em bringing a pack to the house and asking me to cook it, as it was one of his favorites, and still is. My first foray with lentils was a disaster, turned out it is cooked like mongo beans (I didnt know how to cook mongo at that time either). Yes, Im a late bloomer in the kitchen. Now I consider myself an expert, especially where lentils are concerned. Though most Spanish restaurants serve it soupy, Em and I like it with thicker consistency. I also learned from him to drizzle it with olive oil, just before eating and while still hot. It is quite simple to make, and you just need the following:

1 pack lentils
2 cups water (or more, depending on the consistency you want), salted
chorizo bilbao (spanish sausage)
1 big pack tomato sauce
garlic and onions

First, boil the lentils in salted water along with garlic and onions and chorizo bilbao - stirring occasionally. Add more water if it gets too thick. In a separate pan, saute onion and garlic in olive oil, add in the tomato sauce adn season with salt and pepper. Set aside. When lentils are soft, stir in the tomato sauce and simmer. Take out chorizo bilbao, chop into round disks, and put back to lentils. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil just before serving. Serve with french bread. Yummm!

Spinach - Iron Booster

I was browsing through the vegetable aisle of the grocery and chanced upon bunches of spinach (Baguio variety) . Now this is really rare and I figured maybe because its summer that the produce section is vibrant these days. Imported varieties I heard are so expensive that it reaches P650 per kilo. This one I only got for P37 for maybe 1/4 kilo. I have some leftover lasagna noddles at home, so I felt compelled to try making spinach lasagna. It turned out really good and tasty, though a bit runny coz I think I put in a lot of tomato sauce (no complaints there though). Also maybe because I used pureed tomatoes, instead of the basic sachet tomato sauce. I did not want to spend for mozzarella ( which I love, but really expensive) so I just used Quickmelt cheddar cheese. Here's what I did:

You will need:
Bunch of spinach, blanched in salted water
Lasagna noodles, cooked al dente
900 grams canned tomato puree
1bar Quickmelt cheddar cheese, grated and mixed with 1 or 2 eggs
Onions and garlic
Salt and pepper

Sautee tomato puree in olive oil, onions and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.
Grease a baking dish lightly with olive oil, add a little of the sauce. Arrange lasagna noodles, then top with tomato puree, then spinach, then cheese mixture. Repeat process til you run out of ingredients and ending with cheese. Cover baking dish with foil and bake for 10-15minutes or until bubbly.

This is a simple yummy dish, that is healthy at the same time. Bee finally took some greens without complaints, a mean feat for this 3year old.