Thursday, March 17, 2011

Moroccan lentil stew (aka yuppie hobo stew)

Moroccan lentil stew for St. Patrick's Day sounds very wrong, but it actually goes well with Guinness...

Moroccan lentil stew (aka yuppie hobo stew)
a splash of olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 small potatoes, chopped
2 carrots, cut in rounds
about 5 cups of water
1 can of crushed fire-roasted tomatoes
one cup of crimson lentils
cumin (about four hearty shakes)
cinnamon (one little shake)
ground cloves (a teensy shake)
one dried bay leaf

Sautee the onion and garlic over low heat. Then add the the potatoes, carrots, and water. Bring to a boil. Add tomatoes and simmer for at least 20 minutes over low heat. Then add the lentils and spices. Let simmer for as long as you want-- the longer you simmer, the heartier your stew.

This recipe was inspired by a customer who came in looking for simple recipes. He said, "I want a cookbook that tells me how to make a goulash. Or a hobo stew. That's all I want." I couldn't find that on my shelves, but I did write out this recipe but simpler for him to try at home--using plain canned tomatoes, no cinnamon, not even any cumin, just salt and pepper, and chopped celery at the water stage to add some flavor. (I had to explain what lentils were. I showed him a photo online and explained that they're small and flat, "about the size of my little pinkie nail." Mr. Hobo Stew thought this was one of the funniest things he'd heard all day.)

So here is my yuppie hobo stew! I don't really know what a hobo stew is, but I figure it has to be cheap and simple, it has to stick to the ribs, it is cooked all in one pot, and it must be easy to eat even without teeth, since hobos don't get to brush, floss, or see the dentist regularly.


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