A Little About Me

New York, New York
As a newly married woman, it has become my mission in life to learn how to cook. Gone are the days of picking up sushi and ordering curries. In order to jump-start my education, I enrolled in the Institute of Culinary Education's Fine Cooking I course where I learned the basics, from roasting to boiling to mousse-making (ok, maybe not that basic)! I've attempted to replicate some recipes - somewhat successfully- and create a few of my own. This blog is for friends and foodies and is intended to document my cooking adventures (and occasional fiascoes). Enjoy the pictures and bon appetite!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Apple Weekend Extravaganza

Every year, my husband's family gathers in their in Long Island home for an apple extravaganza weekend. The backyard contains a beautiful apple orchard where we all gather to pick small red and green apples. Apple picking weekend has become a yearly tradition and the most fun part is returning home to make dishes showcasing the homegrown apples. Since we have enough bakers in the family, I've always leaned towards savory dishes like brie and apple quesadillas or apple and butternut squash ravioli. This year was no different.... I made a wonderful curried butternut squash stew with lentils and apples. The dish was a hit and there was plenty left over for lunch the next day. Expect some more apple-licious recipes and pictures from our apple weekend in my next posts!

2 cups red lentils
8 cups vegetable broth
1 tbsp canola oil
1 large onion, diced
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 cups peeled butternut squash, chopped
2 peeled potatoes, chopped
2 peeled carrots, diced
2 cups spinach, chopped
2 peeled apples, chopped
3 garlic cloves, diced
1 1/2 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp ground cloves
3 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Start by chopping and dicing all your ingredients so they are ready to go when you start cooking. Measuring out the spices beforehand also saves time later on.

Place the lentils, vegetable broth and garam masala in a saucepan or pot and cook on medium-low heat until the lentils are tender, or around 30 minutes.

Once tender, drain the lentils and save the liquid for later.

Heat the canola oil in a large saucepan and add the onions, cooking until transparent, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and garlic and cook for another 5 minutes. Mix in the curry, cumin, cloves, salt and pepper.

Add the cooked lentils, reserved liquid, pumpkins, potatoes and carrots to the pan and mix well.

Cover the pan and let the vegetables cook until they become tender, for about half an hour. The smaller you chop your vegetables, the less time they will take to cook through. Larger chops require closer to 45 minutes to cook.

Finally, add the chopped spinach and apples and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes.

In the end you'll have a great apple dish that's both lactose intolerant and vegan friendly!

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