I’m back! I will be trying to blog fairly regularly now – as long as Kat Burns manages to provide me with the photos of our exploits in a timely manner. You see, my dear KB, ever the opportunist (ha! jk lol lmao kb!) seized her chance to eat my delicious creations on a regular basis while also securing herself a city couch on which to sleep. What the hell am I talking about? Well, Kat Burns moved to the island to hone her artistry. She comes downtown to work with adorable children on Monday and Tuesday, and as such she likes to just stay in the city overnight on Mondays to ease her commute. And so! My broken camera plus her need for a bed have begot a wonderful weekly evening! Kat comes over around 6 and we cook and eat things, take pictures of those things and of us cooking and eating them, and then we sit and watch Beverly Hills, 90210 on dvd until I have to go to bed. We’ve done this for two weeks now, but just now have the two of us gotten ourselves together enough to get the photos up on the internet. And so! I will tell you about the first week today, and then if I’m feeling generous I will write about the second Monday before the weekend is over.
The first Monday didn’t go quite as planned. I had big plans for our first Monday meal together, but when my work day went longer than expected, and then my TTC commute went longer than expected, and I didn’t get home in enough time to make what I’d been planning to make. So when Kat arrived, we improvised, and I’m so glad we did. Why? Because it yielded my new favourite everyday meal – barley + lentils cooked together in my rice cooker, topped with an assortment of delicious veggies.
It turns out that pot barley and regular French green lentils cook perfectly together in the same amount of time in my tiny rice cooker. Equal parts barley and lentils, and double the water. We added some cumin and garam masala and a splash of tamari to the rice cooker for maximum flavour output. Toss it all in and forget about it. In the meantime, I roasted a red pepper in the oven. I sort of hate roasted red peppers when they haven’t JUST been made. I’m not sure why – I think the longer they sit (especially in those liquidy store-bought jars) they seem to get stronger and sweeter tasting, which I’m sure is very appealing to many of you, but I just find that they overpower everything. And I don’t like a flavour hog. But roasted in my own oven and eaten right away? DELICIOUS. And so easy! Cut your pepper in half, take out the seeds and the stem, rub of a bit of olive oil on both sides, and put them in a small pan in your oven at about 400. Check on them and flip them once so that both sides get good and charred. I find they’ll take about 20 minutes, but keep an eye on them.
While the peppers roasted and the lentils/barley boiled and steamed, we sauteed some onions in my cast iron pan – because a big pile of sauteed onions is the key to all yummy things (can I even believe that as a child I hated onions?! What was I thinking??) and crafted a lemony tahini sauce almost identical to the one that I use for this dish. So in the end we had perfectly cooked and spiced barley and green lentils, topped with caramelized onions, roasted red peppers, avocado slices, and lemony tahini sauce. It was AWESOME. A great start to cook-n-blog Mondays. We then proceeded to complain about how dry the air in my apartment was while we finished season 8 of 90210, only to be left without knowing if Valerie Malone tested positive or negative for HIV! Enough with the cliffhangers!
So stay tuned, blog universe! Kat Burns and I have much more up our sleeves!