Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Ethiopian Spicy Red Lentil Stew


Since we have added our latest member of the family I feel a bit like the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland... I'm late, I'm late.... however I am learning to put my neurotic behavior aside and just go with it.  Sometimes that means pulling out random things from cupboards and nooks and crannies and calling it dinner, and sometimes it means cooking up a big batch of something on a Sunday that can be eaten for dinner the following day and then a lunch or two.  This was fantastic.  If you like lentils, or Ethiopian food you must try this.  If you have never had Ethiopian you can think of it along the lines of Indian... it's not the same by any means but they share a spice or two so I'm willing to bet if you like Indian you will like Ethiopian.  I happened to love both and went on an Ethiopian kick recently so I have another recipe or two coming.  Enjoy.

Spicy Ethiopian Red Lentil Stew
adapted from


2 teaspoons canola oil  ( I used Niter Kibbeh a traditional Ethiopian, spiced clarified butter)
2 cups chopped red onion
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 tablespoons Berbere spice (a mixture of spices which I will also post but you can google it) 
3 cups organic vegetable broth
1 cup dried small red lentils (I ran out so I mixed in a few black dal... do not do this as they take about three times as long to cook) 
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
4 cups hot cooked basmati rice


Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion to pan; cook 15 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add ginger and garlic; cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in tomato paste and Berbere spice; cook 1 minute, stirring to combine. Gradually add broth, stirring with a whisk until blended. Increase heat to medium-high; bring to a simmer.

Rinse lentils until cold water; drain. Add lentils to broth mixture; simmer, partially covered, 35 minutes or until lentils are tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in salt. Sprinkle with cilantro; serve over rice.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Cumin Spiced Ribs with Avocado-Pineapple Salsa

So I realize that I have just redirected you all here, but I have decided just to take the plunge and get a really, real, website.  I'm not sure why really... but why not.  It is under construction (kind of) and will be available soon... hopefully.  I will keep you posted.  Until then... here is the link to the old blog with the newest recipe.  Sooooo good... you must try before Summer is over.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Asparagus with Eggs and Pumpernickel Crumbs

Hello... hopefully you've found your way over to the new blog and bookmarked it.  It took me 3 years to gain 19 followers so hopefully you all make it over here and re-follow me.  I like the stats counter that blog spot provides now because I can see that there are about 300 people that actually read the blog, even if no one ever comments... COMMENT PEOPLE... I have a fragile ego... I need re-enforcements.

So why change the blog when it took so long to build my fan base of 5 family members?  Well.... I have wiggled into my blogging skin and realize... there are no compotes or coulis.  I made one... that's right... ONE compote recipe in the past three years only to realize... I make this stuff all the time and I usually call it.... sauce.  I am not a fancy smacy blogger.  I do not have any photography experience, I do not have a book deal... I do not have any comments... did I mention the comments?

What I do have is a family I need to feed in a timely  manner and a love for food which means doing things like throwing a bunch of crap in a crock pot and calling it close enough really doesn't work for me.  I love food, and becoming knowledgeable about food.  I particularly love good food, and really don't think you need to be doomed to either crappy food or processed food just because you are short on time.  I do a lot of quick things that I think while simple are tasty and I like to share them with people hoping it means one less Big Mac that gets sold in the world.

So there you go.  I may not be fancy, but I am most often Bossy.  I have used the moniker Bossy Chef for some time and people seems to think it's cute and not rude as I first thought they might, and honestly... I am a Bossy Chef.  Not mean mind you, but if you have three kids, a husband, a cat, a small kitchen, a graduate degree you're working on, and a full-time job it helps to have someone giving the orders or you will either be eating take out or eating at 10pm.  So I am continuing the blog under a new and more fitting (and more easily remembered name under because the website bossychef was taken by someone who had the time to take the name but never post a single thing... that irritates me.  I will also have a sister blog to link to what the kids eat.  It may be recipes, or snack ideas or whatnots but I didn't think things like... homemade baby cereal go next to things like Asparagus with Egg and Pumpernickel Crumbs and I am trying to be more focused... speaking of which lets get on with it.

This is one of those dishes that I LURV.... quick and easy and your house stays cool, and you are full and satisfied yet you ate something healthy and fresh and quick and delicious.  Traditionally paired foods with new twists are also my favorites.  Next time I will also top with some oven crisped Pancetta.  Enjoy.

Asparagus with Eggs and Pumpernickel Crumbs
adapted from Richard Blais Food and Wine


2 teaspoons unsalted butter, softened (I used olive oil to make it dairy free)
**1 thick slice of pumpernickel bread (use your favorite gluten-free bread to make it gluten-free or leave it out all together and top with oven crisped pancetta)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/2 medium white onion, minced
2 tablespoons capers, drained and coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon raspberry vinegar (oh... I thought I had some but I didn't so I used Sherry vinegar)
3 tablespoons parsley (which I forgot to add so just sprinkled around the dish
salt and freshly ground pepper
16 medium asparagus spears, trimmed
4 large eggs


Preheat the oven to 375.  Spread the butter on the pumpernickel bread.  Bake for about 4 minutes, until crisp.  Let cool, then break the toast into 1/2-inch pieces.

In skillet, heat the 2 tablespoons of oil.  Add the onion and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 7 minutes.  Add the capers and vinegar and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.  Remove from the heat.  Stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper.

Light a grill or heat a grill pan.  Drizzle the asparagus with oil an season with salt and pepper.  Grill over medium heat, turning, until lightly charred and crisp but tender, 5 minutes. (I did mine in the oven for 7 minutes)

Meanwhile, bring a saucepan of water to a boil.  Add the eggs and simmer over moderate heat for 4 1/2 minutes.  Transfer the eggs to a bowl of ice water; keep the water simmering.  Gently crack the eggs all over and careful remove the shells, keeping the eggs whole.

Return the shelled eggs to the simmering water to heat through about 30 seconds (here is where my lack of attention to detail in recipes comes in.  I saw the photo and assumed they were poached eggs, so that's what we made.  I thought it was better and easier that way personally.  I am not a fan of soft boiled eggs really.  It should be really gooey or really cooked in my opinion.

Arrange the asparagus on the plates and top with the onion relish and the eggs.  Season with salt and pepper.  Scatter the pumpernickel crumbs on top and serve.