I can't believe it's been this long since I've posted a new recipe! You know what they say... time flies when you're having fun. I spent the whole month of May in China; traveling around, exploring, teaching, eating great food... and I couldn't write about any of it because China has banned all social networking sites, including blogs. However, I did take lots of pictures, and will be doing a "China Flashback" soon!
After I returned I had to hit the ground running in order to get Helping Hands Books back in order, and to start the dissertation process! Now I finally feel like I'm back into the groove of things... catching up with friends, and catching up with all my side hobbies, like this one:)
The following stew recipe is one of those dishes that just sings out with the feeling of home-style comfort. You can use pretty much any kind of herbs you have on hand. I chopped up a smorgasbord of fresh organic herbs given to us by our friends Chip and Jackie Denoyers. They are part of a farm co-op and had lots to share. Fresh herbs are like currency to me. When I get my hands on them, I just can't let them go to waste. Besides this dish, I used them in omelets and scrambled eggs, pasta, and even to spice up my typical easy-meal soft tortilla wraps.
Feel free to add as much salt and pepper as you'd like to this dish, or even a bit of cayenne pepper. Unless you like subtle, earthy flavors, because that's what this stew is all about:)
3 saffron strands, dissolved in 1 tblsp boiling water
1 tblsp butter
2 garlic cloves (chopped)
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Dice up one of the onions. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the chopped onion until golden brown. Add the tumeric, split peas (Dal) and water... bring to a boil then reduce the heat to simmer - simmer for about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile... dice up the other onion and throw it into a bowl. Add the minced beef, salt and pepper to the bowl and mix well.
Once the 20 minute timer goes off, form the beef/onion mixture into 1-inch sized balls and carefully place into the simmering liquid. Once all the little meatballs are in the pot, set the timer for another 10 minutes.
After the timer rings, add the rice, parsley, rosemary, and chives. Simmer for 30 more minutes, or until rice is tender, stirring frequently.
Melt the butter in a small pan and fry up the chopped garlic. Stir in the mint and the saffron. Add the garlic butter mixture to the soup and stir well.
Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with mint if you have any left.