Since this is my first post, and at the moment I have nothing interesting to say, I decided to share a few recipes that I enjoy making and then eating.

Lentil Curry with Chorizo and Veggies

  • 1 can of cooked lentils (get over buying them raw and boiling them for an hour. Just buy them already cooked)
  • 1 tomato
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup-ish chopped spinach
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons of curry powder (you heard me)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger
  • Chorizo to taste. I used about 5 1/4-inch slices. It’s also halal chorizo.

Mince and cook down the pepper and onion in a large frying pan. Add spinach and lentils. Add curry powder, ginger and cumin. Add tomato. Mince and add chorizo. Simmer on medium heat for 15 – 20 minutes stirring frequently.

We like to drink red with this. I made this curry today, sans Chorizo, and we had the wine from the local co-op. A heavy red, Côtes du Ventoux, 13.5%, simple but tasty and at 1.5Euro per liter (that equals 1.25 bottles) you can’t go wrong.

Salmon and Pea Risotto adapted from Martha Rose Shulman’s recipe Shrimp Risotto with Peas

  • 3/4 liter of vegetable stock
  • 1 tbls of olive oil
  • 40 grams of chopped onion
  • 150 grams of risotto rice
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1/8 liter of dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon of Saffron
  • 75 grams of peas
  • 200 grams of salmon
  • Pinch of corriander
  • ground black pepper

Heat oil in a pan and add the onion, cook until tender about 2-3 minutes. Then add the rice and the garlic. Cook until rice is separate and starts to crackle.

Slowly, stir in wine, cook over medium heat. When wine has just about evaporated stir in chicken stock ladle at a time, just enough to cover the rice. Stock should bubble. Cook stirring often until stock has evaporated, then add another couple of ladles to the rice. Add saffron. Cook stirring often about 20 minutes.

When rice is chewy but not hard in middle, add more stock and cook until al dente. Then add peas and salmon. Continue cooking until salmon is pink and cooked through. Add another small ladle of stock, remove from heat, add pepper and corriander, let sit for a few seconds and serve.

Drink a dry yet fruity white with this. Pinot gris is a new favorite of mine but Riesling is a classic standby.

Chickpea Salad with Ginger – This can again be found in the New York Times and is by “The Minimalist” Mark Bittman. He says the cilantro is optional. Since the husband is not a fan of cilantro, I made it without and to be honest, I think cilantro is necessary to dull the bite of the ginger and give that fun “cilantro freshness.”

Otherwise, it’s a very easy and refreshing recipe that I made for a picnic salad. Try a tasty rosé or a fruity white wine with it.

For the aperitif du jour, I give you: Lemon-Drop Martini, which is by far one of my favorite drinks.

  • 2 jiggers (shots) of vodka
  • 1 jigger of orange flavored liquor such as triple sec, cointreau or Grand Marnier.
  • 1 1/2 jiggers of lemon juice
  • confectioner’s sugar to taste – I usually add a teaspoon or so.
  • ice cubes

Combine it, shake it, taste it, add more sugar if you’re a wuss. This is my favorite martini-style cocktail. When the recipe was first given to me, I was skeptical of the orange liquor, but it definitely works and is better than buying cheap citron-flavored vodka.