Egg Curry with Lentils

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Eggs really are a wonderful food.

I love to cook eggs many ways: scrambled, over easy, poached, and hard boiled to name a few. While I love a good runny yolk when I make eggs over easy or poached, when I am scrambling or hard boiled I love them well done.  I like to cook my eggs to death, and I love them that way. I like my scrambled eggs as dry as the dessert even though it is a serious violation of the foodie laws (which formally decree henceforth that scrambled eggs should be soft and runny- Ugh, nope).

Same for my hard boiled eggs- no soft boiled eggs for me here. I have loved hard boiled eggs since first trying them in my mom’s Spam salad (no shame). When I was younger, I used to eat around the yolks, just some salt on the hard boiled egg whites for me, but now I appreciate the richness of a good yolk.

This egg dish is a great dish for people who are looking to continue to eat healthy in the new year. The spicy curry and deep complex flavor of spices works really well with a creamy hard boiled egg.

EGG CURRY WITH LENTILS
From Cinnamon Freud

INGREDIENTS

4 eggs
2-3 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt, to taste
1-3 teaspoons curry powder, to taste
1 cup dried green lentils
2 1/2 cup vegetables stock
3-4 cups grape tomatoes, chopped
Extra vegetables, as desired*
2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
Juice of one lemon
Cilantro, for topping

DIRECTIONS

Place eggs in a large saucepan. Cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover with lid and remove from heat. Let eggs sit in water for 20 minutes (or however long you normally do based on personal preferences). Let cool slightly, peel, and slice. Set aside.

In a saucepan, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add onions and cook until softened and translucent, 6-8 minutes. Add garlic and cook until golden brown and fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Add cumin, paprika, turmeric, salt, and curry power. Toast 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Stir in lentils,vegetable stock, and tomatoes.

Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. Cook until the vegetable stock is mostly evaporated. Stir in any additional vegetables and cook*. Stir in Greek yogurt and place hard boiled eggs on top. Spoon any remaining sauce on top of the eggs and cook for 3-5 minutes. Serve with freshly squeezed lemon juice and cilantro on top.

Serves 3-4

*I used cauliflower, which I like with more bite, so I added with the tomato and vegetable stock.  You can also add other vegetables when you are cooking the onions before you add the garlic (adjust olive oil as needed when adding more vegetables)

Spicy Mushroom Tomato Sauce over Pasta: Secret Recipe Club

7-9 Spicy Mushroom Tomato Sauce over Pasta

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who was afraid of spicy food. She had a very traumatic experience once when she ate a pepper on her pizza by mistake. And she was always very cautious around Indian food. Eventually that little girl grew up, still afraid of spicy food. But one day she ate some buffalo wings. And some Pad Thai. And then she realized that spicy food wasn’t so bad after all. And then the little girl and spicy food lived happily ever after.

Lately I have had an insatiable obsession with spicy food. Given that I used to be a mild-only girl, this is a big change for me. I now cannot get enough of spice. Yesterday I actually suggested Indian food for lunch under my own free will. So when I was assigned Rhonda’s blog The Kitchen Witch for this month’s Secret Recipe Club, I knew I wanted to find something spicy.

When I saw this pasta with spicy tomato sauce, I was sold. This recipe uses crushed red pepper, which used to be my arch-nemesis, but works great in this tomato sauce. I added a pinch of sugar to my sauce to balance out the spiciness, and I added sliced hot Italian sausage instead of making meatballs because I was tired and getting hangry. This is a great spicy, quick, easy, delicious dinner!

Because this was so easy and delicious (and it was way past my dinner time), I only got to snap a photo with my phone which turned out less than desirable.  But I guarantee a happy stomach.

Make sure to check out Rhonda’s blog and what everyone else made this month!

SPICY MUSHROOM TOMATO SAUCE OVER PASTA
Slightly Adapted from The Kitchen Witch

INGREDIENTS

1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
28 ounces crushed tomatoes
6 ounces mushrooms, sliced
Pinch of sugar
Dried basil, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4-1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
8 ounces dried pasta
Hot Italian sausage, cooked, optional

DIRECTIONS

Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add oil and let heat for 1 minute. Stir in onion and cook until tender and slightly browned, about 5-9 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.  Pour into tomatoes and their juice.  Bring  to a boil and reduce heat to simmer.  Let cook and thicken for approximately 15-20 minutes.

Stir in mushrooms, sugar, basil, and crushed red pepper.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Let cook for an additional 5-10 minutes.  Prepare pasta according to package instructions.  Top pasta with tomato sauce and sausage, if desired.

Serves 3-4.

Brie en Croute: Improv Challenge

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Brie.

Let me count the ways in which I love thee.

I love you with fruit, on a cheese patter, on bread.

Some days my love for you can go to my head.

But you are a tempting, secret holding devil

Wrapping you with puff pastry and spreading on jelly takes you to another level.

Bow. Curtsy. Applause, applause.

I thought I liked brie before, but now that I have eaten it warm and wrapped in puff pastry, my love has reached new heights.  When I saw the challenge for this month’s Improv Challenge, so I took some wonderful brie, wrapped it in puff pastry, baked it, smeared with sweet and spicy pepper jelly, and went to town.

And then I ate it all for lunch.  And it was a good day.  A very good day.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

BRIE EN CROUTE
Barely Adapted from from Cook’s Illustrated

INGREDIENTS

8 ounce wheel of Brie
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
1 egg white
1/2 cup sweet pepper jelly
Crackers, for serving

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Roll puff pastry sheet into a 12 inch square. Place brie in the middle and wrap around the puff pastry, making even pleats and leaving an opening on the top of the brie. Place wrapped brie in freezer for 20 minutes.

Remove brie from freezer and brush the puff pastry with egg whites. Place brie on baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. Spread jelly on top of brie and let cool for 10-20 minutes (if you can wait that long). Serve with crackers.

Thanks to Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker for hosting the challenge!  Make sure to check out what everyone else made this month.

Pad See Ew

Typically, you don’t want to hear the word “ew” during dinner.  Nor do you want it included in the name of your dish.  But I promise you the only “ew” involved in this dish is in the name only.
Pad See Ew is a Thai stir fried noodle dish with a sweet, charred, spicy sauce.  I used to shy away from anything associated with Thai cuisine for fear of spiciness, but I’ve grown to love spice more and more (although what I call spicy is considered mild by most).  I actually even bought my first bottle of sriracha, and I love to cook with it at home, especially since I control the heat.  You can use sriracha in this dish (highly recommended), red pepper flakes, or any kind of spice you love.  Or, you can leave out the spice completely.  Also feel free to throw in any type of meat your heart desires: shrimp, pork, chicken, or beef.
I think we should unofficially call this Pad See Yum.
PAD SEE EW
From Cinnamon Freud
INGREDIENTS

8 ounces wide rice noodles
1/4 cup dark/black soy sauce*
3 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Sriracha sauce, to taste
1-2 teaspoons sesame oil
4 cups broccoli florets
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chopped broccoli
3 eggs lightly beaten
Salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS

Bring a pot of water to a boil.  Cook rice noodles according to package instructions (use the least amount of time).  Drain and set aside.

In a small bowl whisk soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce, rice wine vinegar, brown sugar, and sriracha sauce together.  Set aside.

Heat a wok over high heat.  Coat pan with sesame oil.  Add broccoli and cook until crisp tender, about 4-5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.  Push aside.  Add additional sesame oil if needed and add eggs.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook 1-3 minutes.  Flip and cook an additional 1-3 minutes.  Break into small pieces with spatula.

Add rice noodles and mix everything together.  Reduce heat to medium.  Stir in sauce and mix together.  Cook, not stirring, for 2-3 minutes, until the sauce is absorbed and noodles are slightly charred.  Stir and cook an additional 1-2 minutes.

Serves 4.

*This is different from normal soy sauce and can usually be found at an Asian grocery store.  It’s thicker, tangier, and more potent.