No Sleep ’til Stinky Brooklyn

In Lentils, Millet, Rice, Shopping, Vegetables on November 30, 2011 at 3:31 pm

After 3 days in a row of hustling, bustling, and food-in-mouth shuffling, Sunday came quicker than I could have hoped for.  It’s amazing how when you have a long weekend ahead it seems to go by even quicker than the regular 2-day deal.  Especially when you spend 4 sleepless nights with a barking dog and wheezing husband.  I literally fell asleep Saturday night while watching the third Transformers movie in my in-laws’ living room.  This was with full-decibel Boss speakers blaring special sound effects.

Sunday morning quickly rolled into Sunday afternoon.  We finally drove back to Brooklyn.  I had made plans with my friend Leigha for a day of Brooklyn fun!  This includes shopping, coffee, marketing, wining, and dining.  It also allows Nick to watch football in peace.  Every time a friend comes to hang out in my hood, it makes me appreciate its charm and abundance of stores and restaurants even more.  The only sad part is that it was Sunday, so we needed to be mindful of 1) early boutique closings, 2) finishing at a reasonable time to prepare for the work week, and 3) making sure the subways were running frequently enough to prevent a 45 minute ride from becoming an hour and 45 minute ride.

While walking along Smith Street, we stumbled in to Stinky Brooklyn’s new location.  I hadn’t been there since the move, so I was excited to see all the changes.  My, oh my. SO. MUCH. CHEESE.  We knew for sure we would be preparing some dinner together, but thought cheese and crackers would be an excellent snack to munch on while preparing.  I think the funnest part of going in to this shop is tasting all the cheeses before deciding.

We decided on 3 kinds (which I don’t remember all the names of).  The one on the left is from Wisconsin and is a hard cow’s milk cheese.  The middle (the group favorite) was an Italian cow/sheep blend.  The one at the end was Old Kentucky Thome (made in Indiana), I think it was goat’s milk.

We continued to walk and look in the boutiques.  I found some really pretty necklaces, but of course the one I loved the most was the most expensive.  Goddamn by exquisite taste!  With our hands empty and wallets full, we went to the health food and regular markets to buy items for dinner.  We figured we’d pick out what looks good and make something up.  Leigha is currently obsessed with winter squash (I wonder why?), so we decided to get some Kabocha squash.  I mentioned this squash when I made my pureed winter squash soup, but had instead used the carnival squash I had from that week’s CSA share.  Kabocha is by far my favorite of the bunch.  It is so sweet, almost like a sweet potato.  We decided we’d use it for a pilaf with whatever grains and lentils I had back home.  We also wanted to make a mushroom and pepper dish, so we picked some baby bellas, red bell pepper, and leeks.  I also picked up some other items, like salad ingredients and leafy greens I would use for the week.

We got back to my place, and before unpacking and clearing space, we had to open a bottle of wine for our cheese.  This was one of the 9 left from the 12 we bought in Italy.  Just writing about it and seeing the picture makes me wish I worked at Stering, Cooper, Draper, Price and that it were acceptable to have a full bar in one’s office.

Once we alchies got our first fix, Nick went back to the couch to watch football, and Leigha and I got to work.  First, I sliced a leek in half lengthwise and then cut across in to half moons.  Then I placed the leek into a bowl of water to allow all the internal dirt to sink to the bottom.

Next, it was time to prepare the veggies for the pilaf.  I scrubbed the squash, since we’d be eating the skin.  Then I cut in half to scoop out the seeds.

Using one half, I sliced into crescents, and then divided up between the two of us to cube.  While I scrubbed and scooped, Leigha peeled and diced up the carrot and garlic.

I started to saute in EVOO.  Then I measured out 1/4 cup brown rice, 1/2 cup brown lentils, and 3/4 cup millet.  I wanted to use millet back when I made black bean patties, but now I am finally able to use it.  Millet is similar to quinoa, but kind of fluffier (when this dish was complete, it reminded me of stuffing).

I rinsed the mixture, and then added it to the saute pan.

After a minute of mixing around, I added the liquid.  Generally, grains are 1 part grain to 2 parts liquid, so I added 3 cups vegetable broth.  I also added a cup of water, since there were a lot of veggies in there that would surely absorb liquid.  Salt and pepper were also added.

I let it get to a boil, covered, and lowered to a simmer for about 35 minutes.  It looked like this when done.

While I sauteed, I had Leigha cut up some mushrooms.  Then I added some leftover broccoli from the prior CSA share, as well as a chopped pepper and the leeks (that I drained and scrubbed with a kitchen towel).

I added some EVOO, vinegar, salt, pepper, and thyme.  I roasted in a 400 degree oven for 25 minutes.  It looked like this when finished.

Since we had a guest, I actually set the table.

We were already pretty full from cheese, crackers, and wine, so we didn’t eat much of the food.

Luckily, there were enough veggies left for 2 lunches, and enough pilaf left to feed the old lady in the shoe’s crew.  The pilaf was actually super sweet, creamy, and fluffy, all in one!  I’ve had it every day this week so far.  I think I may turn it into a stew towards the end.  I actually had it for breakfast the morning after.  It may sound weird, but whatevs.  I got in an extra serving of veggies in the morning!

What are your favorite leftovers to eat over and over again?

  1. […] them sit in water to defrost (while still in the bag).  Then I chopped the leek as I had done for Sunday’s roasted veggies and let them soak in water while I chopped the other […]

  2. […] I added some millet pilaf from Sunday.  This was not only quick and cheap, but it helped me chip away at the leftovers to reduce the […]

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