Friday, January 1, 2010

1/1/2010~ Day 1 Lentil Veggie Stew with Italian Sausage

Here is the first recipe for the 2010 Mangia Mamma Recipe Challenge. I was going to make it when we went to Ron & Shelly's house for football games, but I wrenched my shoulder a bit and ended up getting pizza to take instead. I realized when we got home that I still needed to make dinner, so I asked Mary to whip up some drop biscuits while I went to work on the stew. We had most of the ingredients in the recipe which was originally in an old Bon Appetit magazine (yes, I know it wasn't a cookbook, but it is a magazine which I already had), but I twisted it around to what we had on hand. The verdict came in that it was probably even better than the original!

Lentil Veggie Stew with Italian Sausage
(adapted from Bon Appetit January 2010)

2 T. olive oil
1 pound Italian sausage, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 large onion, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped (about 2 cups)
4 parsnips, peeled and chopped (about 3 cups)
4 celery stalks, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 t. dried basil
1 t. dried oregano
1/2 t. dried thyme
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 pound lentils (about 2 1/4 cups)
3 quarts low-fat stock (I used a combination of beef and chicken, but you could use either or even vegetable stock)
1 cup red wine (I used a Tempranillo but again you could use what you have at home)
3 cups chopped cabbage (any type~ I used 1/2 a head of napa since it was in the fridge)

Cook the sausage in a large pot over medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes or browned. Remove sausage from heat and place on paper towel-lined plate. Add olive oil to pot along with onion, carrots, parsnips, celery and herbs. Lower heat to medium and cook for 7-8 minutes or until onions are translucent and vegetables are starting to soften. Add lentils; stir to coat. Add broth and wine. Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer until lentils are tender, about 20 minutes. Add sausage and cabbage and mix well. Let simmer for 7-9 minutes to blend flavors and wilt cabbage. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Makes about 10 servings. Like I said, I served this with biscuits, but I think it taste delicious over rice. For those of you who don't do meat, you can always skip the sausage and just do the veggies~ I am pretty sure it would still be delicious!

2010 Mangia Mamma Recipe Challenge

Okay, so when I started this blog~ thanks to a suggestion from my sister~ I thought it would be an easy thing to just post recipes and thoughts about how food really is an important thread that ties us together. Even though it felt frustrating doing this and then seeing no comments or just one or two after I'd post something, I still thought it was a good thing to be able to share with others. As I went through a really busy autumn, the frustration level rose a notch as I wasn't making time to even post once a week. So, I had to come to a decision- should I just quit the blog all together or should I do something that would help spur me on to keep writing and sharing? After talking with my kitchen kid, Mary, we decided that we would keep going this year with a 2010 RECIPE CHALLENGE.

I mentioned in earlier postings how important it is for us to glean recipes from our heritage. This gleaning doesn't always have to be straight from family members. Some of my most cherished recipes come from cookbooks I have either bought myself or, mostly, received as gifts.
My orange 1970's Betty Crocker Cookbook was a gift from Grandma & Grandpa Pitalo
Brian has also bought me a few cookbooks that have been well loved (and used) including Jan Karon's Mitford Cookbook and Kitchen Reader which has inspired and delighted me every time I go to use it.
Some of my favorite cookbooks would also have to be the ones I have picked up at garage sales and thrift stores. These are mostly vintage, and some have recipes I wouldn't even think of making. The main thing about these cookbooks are the history they tell us~ recipes and ideas our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents- not to mention any other "cooking relatives" we may have in our families- have used or even thought of using.

Okay, so enough blathering and let me get on with what our 2010 RECIPE CHALLENGE is all about! Mary and I have decided that we are going to go through every cookbook I own this year, and we are going to choose 1 recipe from each cookbook to make, eat, and share on the blog. I think I own about 150 cookbooks, so this isn't a challenge we are taking lightly. I am also going to try to not get recipes off the internet, but instead peruse through the collection sitting in my cupboard and on my counter to see if I can find something first.

My challenge for you is to join us on this recipe ramble. Even if you only have a few cookbooks at home, you can still cook a new recipe once a week. Whether you are a novice cook or have had the chance to cook gourmet meals, you can always expand your recipe repertoire! Come along on this journey with us- send me comments, recipes, photos. 2010 promises to be a great year, and we're looking forward to the challenge of making it a tasty one too!