Heya, how are you all coping with the lockdown? I am a bit tired of queueing everywhere but I’m trying not to go out unless it’s for my exercise or shopping, which I try to minimise for 1-2 a week.
Yesterday we heard that social distancing rules might last until the end of the year. I just wonder what this would mean for travel? Not that I am so desperate to take off somewhere, but I do miss my family a lot these days, and it would be good if there was a possibility to visit them soon.
Everyone’s probably got their own challenges during this time, and I hope you’re doing well.
To help you think about what to cook for dinner tomorrow, I have here an awesome example of pantry cooking!
Lentil stew /čočka na kyselo in Czech/ is a basic, sweet and sour dish, which many of us hated at school, but loved at home, as it’s just one of those that depend on seasoning and also on presentation.
As a kid, I remember eating it mostly at school, or at home on Saturdays. It is one of the cheap foods, that are actually quite rich in nutrients.
If we embrace that, we can get an attractive looking plate full of flavour and good stuff, such as fibre and proteins.
Plus, it’s pretty easy to make!
My mum would usually make this with sausage and/or with an egg and serve it with a couple of gherkins and a slice of sourdough or rye bread.
It goes nicely with any type of smoked meat. From sausages (also Frankfurters can be used) to a slice of ham or bacon.
The smoky taste pairs well with the sharpness of the gherkins and the sourness of the stew.
It can also be a fantastic vegetarian meal, as long as it’s served with eggs only.
Now, is your mouth watering already? Let’s start cooking!
Lentil stew with gammon and fried egg (Czech recipe)
Ingredients for 4 servings
- 500g green lentils
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2tbsp plain flour
- 1-2tbsp cider or malt vinegar
- 1tsp marjoram
- 4 free-range eggs
- 4 smoked gammon slices
- 12 pickled gherkins
- vegetable or sunflower oil
- 4 slices sourdough or rye bread
- Rinse the lentils and soak them in a bowl with cold water at least 12hrs in advance.
- Drain the lentil water into a different bowl and save it for cooking later (this keeps the good stuff in).
- Place the lentils into a saucepan, cover with some of the water you just drained, and cook on medium heat for 30-40mins or until soft. Remove any bubbles (foam) that will appear on top during cooking. Watch the water level, making sure there is still enough to cover the lentils and add a little bit more if needed.
- Once the lentils are almost soft: Prepare the gammon and cook it according to the instructions on the packet. Make sure it’s fully cooked before serving (usually takes about 10mins, but depends on how thick the slice is). Turn the meat halfway through, so it’s brown from both sides.
- In a small frying pan, heat 3tbsp of vegetable oil and add the chopped onion. Fry until soft and glossy. Add the flour and toss thoroughly. Fry and leave it to brown for a minute, and then add the mixture to the saucepan with lentils.
- Stir, bring to boil again and leave the stew to thicken. Stir occasionally, so it doesn’t burn from the bottom of the pan. Season with salt, marjoram and vinegar. Taste and eventually add some more spice if needed. Leave to rest for 5 mins before serving.
- Using the same small frying pan as in step 5, set it on medium-high heat and when hot enough, add a drop of vegetable oil and break in the eggs one by one. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the white is completely solid. Turn them over for another few minutes if you want the yolks to be fully cooked too.
- Serving: add the lentil stew to a deep plate, place the gammon and egg on top and serve with gherkins and slice of bread. Enjoy!
Prep time: 5 mins | Cooking time: 40 mins || Total cooking time: 45 mins (+12hrs soaking)