Auros (auros) wrote,

root veggie / lentil / seitan / dried fruit stew; apricot ice cream

Two medium carrots
One large parsnip
Four smallish red potatoes
Half a red garnet yam (you can wrap a paper towel across the cut side and put it in a bag to store in the fridge for later use)

Basically this is roughly equal quantities of the various veggies, probably something like half a pound each. I cut the parsnip, carrot, and sweet potato down into discs that were about a quarter inch thick. The chunks of potato were a bit larger, maybe half- to three-quarter-inch cubes.

In a large baking dish (I used our pyrex lasagna pan), toss the cut veggies with enough oil to coat, a bit of salt, and spices:
brown mustard seed
just a bit of cayenne

I didn't really measure any of these, but they're listed in roughly descending order; the paprika, cinnamon, and turmeric are the dominant notes.

Stir the spices into the veggies. Roast in 350F oven for 45 minutes.

In a large stock pot, saute one large or two small onions (chopped) until translucent / soft -- at least a good ten minutes. Adding a dash of salt helps draw out moisture and speed up the cooking. Add 6 cups (1.5 qt) of broth. Sprinkle in some more of the previously-mentioned spices, plus some cardamom, thyme, and sumac. (These don't take as well to dry heat -- they just end up tasting burned -- so I didn't put them in the oven.) With a microplane grater, grate in some fresh ginger. (Maybe a 0.5 to 1.0 teaspoon worth?)

Dump in the roasted root veggies, a can of garbanzo beans, a tub of muhammara (or a 6oz can of tomato paste; we use muhammara as a substitute for tomato, and actually the nuttiness of it was quite nice in this), half a pound of seitan (we used Sweet Earth original flavor strips), a cup of chopped dried apricots, and half a cup each of dried tart cherries and { raisins and/or sultanas }. Stir in about half a pound / a generous cup worth of red lentils. Bring stew to a simmer, turn down heat to low, cook covered for fifteen minutes, stirring every five minutes. Turn off heat, allow to cool (still covered) for at least another fifteen minutes or so. (Both becaues you'll burn yourself if you try to eat it immediately, and because you want the fruit to finish soaking up broth.)

(We were using some fresh apricots that I'd attempted to dry somewhat by sticking them in a warm toaster oven for a while, but even so, they were so moist that they just kinda fell apart. Dried would be better.)

For dessert, we made this.

1 lb fresh ripe apricots
1/2 C water
1/2 C sugar
1 C heavy cream
3 drops almond extract
lemon juice, to taste

Cut the apricots into sixths and place them in a saucepan with the water. Cover and cook them over medium low heat until tender, stirring to prevent scorching. Remove from heat, add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Cool to room temperature.

Place the mixture in a food processor and puree until smooth. Whisk in the cream, almond extract and lemon juice, to taste. Chill thoroughly.

Process in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Pour into a clean container. Press a piece of plastic into the surface, cover and place in your freezer to firm up.

I have no idea how you'd cut an apricot into sixths. I always cut them open around the seam, pull out the pit, and then either halve or quarter each side, so I end up with four or eight pieces.

I added more like 3/4 cup of water and sugar -- extra sugar on the advice of somebody who'd tried the recipe, and extra water b/c o/w the sugar wasn't going to dissolve. (And also I'd gone a bit over on the amount of apricots, hitting around 1.15 lbs, without pits. I'm not sure if the listed 1 lb was supposed to be before pitting or after.) Also, I put the sugar and water in with the apricots, cold, and simmered them in the resulting syrup for 10-15 minutes. (I don't know why you'd wait to add the sugar. That seems silly.) After finishing the simmer, I let it cool, sitting on the stove.

We got rid of the almond extract b/c Xta doesn't like almond, and instead put in a teaspoon of vanilla extract (added to the cooled apricots and syrup, so as not to boil off the volatile compounds in it). And I cooked a few shakes of nutmeg in with the apricots. We blended the apricots with a stick blender after adding the heavy cream (slightly more than a cup, since everything had been scaled up a bit). I would increase the nutmeg, if we ever end up making it again. Also, I'd swap out the heavy cream for half-and-half, because the final result is really, REALLY rich; I'd prefer it a little lighter.

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