It's winter, it's freezing, and I'm obsessed with packing a lunch for work so I don't have to buy any boring, overpriced sandwiches. Or salads. Or pasta that I can make better. I have brought my own lunch every day I've worked since 1 September -- a personal world record, and one of the best (and probably healthiest) changes I have made in a long time.
Today I had "dirty rice" and it was so pretty...
Isn't that pretty?
It is my own creation, a combination of dirty rice recipes from (1) Jamie Oliver's America (which Lichfield got me for Christmas) and (2)
(Who else remembers The New Basics when it was still new?? I have a hardback edition from the late 1980s, stained and stuffed with notes and crumbs and recipes cut out of newspapers!)
1 onion, sliced & diced
6 cloves of garlic - minced
1 red pepper - diced (other colours would be fine)
100g (ish) lardons (or bacon, whatever)
1 pork sausage (the one I used was mild but it could have been spicy)
1 handful of dried red lentils
1 400g tin of red kidney beans
about 500 ml stock (I used Marigold powder, I am a total Marigold convert!)
salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, oregano
Oh yeah, Jamie lists chopped green/spring onion as well which does perk up the colour a little...
And you probably could use celery, in with the onion and garlic. But I don't really like it.
1. Prepare the white rice, it can cook while you're making the rest (and tastes better, I think, when it sits for a while)
2. Using a pot or large saucepan, sauté the lardons in a bit of olive oil and then add the sausage, casing removed. Break up the sausage as it cooks. Remove these, and drain away excessive fat. Keep a bit of fat in the pot for the veg....
3. Sauté the onions, as quickly or as slowly as you want. Add the red pepper, then the garlic, and the cumin and oregano and salt and pepper.
4. Throw in the red lentils and stir them around....
5. Add about 250 ml of your stock/broth, so that the lentils can absorb it.
6. Put the lardons and sausage back into the pot and let everything simmer for a while -- at least 20 minutes. Add more stock till it gets to the consistency you like.
7. Add the red kidney beans (rinsed) and parsley, and let them warm through. Taste for seasoning, etc.
8. To serve, mix the "sauce" with the rice using the ratio you prefer...
This is fab and filling and I think works particularly well with a chocolate cupcake for dessert....