Visiting specialty food stores is a practice in exploration. These stores not only offer specific special novelty ingredients you won’t see at your friendly neighborhood grocery store, but they often feature various staples available at extra friendly prices.
When a friend whose family hails from India tells you to check out a specific local Indian food market in your city…
In addition to a variety of random and delicious ingredients that made their way into our basket(chewy mango candy, pistachio shortbread, onion pakora to name a few) Bearded Man and I returned home with a 3 lb. bag of Masoor Malka, or split red lentils. These bright orange beads received a simple treatment that transformed them into a warm and enchanting side dish.
1 Can Full Fat, Unsweetened Coconut Milk (13.66 oz)
2 Cups Veggie Broth
2 Cups Red Lentils
1 ½ Tsp. Pink Salt
½ Tsp. Black Pepper
1 Tsp Smoked Paprika
1 Tsp Cumin
5 Dried Chili Peppers (Optional)
Stir together the Lentils, Coconut Milk, Veggie Broth, and seasoning in a large pot
Bring to a boil
Bring heat to low and simmer covered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, til lentils are tender
Remove from heat and allow to sit, covered, til ready to serve
The sun-kissed tinge of these lentils gives way to a salty bite accompanied by an agreeable creaminess from the coconut milk.
We trimmed a few adolescent collards from our garden and sautéed them with green onions, shallots, and garlic, and bolstered the mix with fresh spinach. The juices mingled with the lentils for a flavorful pairing!
Grilled shrimp skewers made everything complete, but, the element of this dish that truly rounded out the marriage of flavors came in the form of a grilled poblano pepper, perfectly charred and smoky.
While the lentils bubbled and the grill got hot, we took time to relax on the back patio. To quell the warm weather we also tried a new frothy beverage.
One of my top five favorite foods is watermelon. Simple, pure, and sweet, I gorge myself on massive amounts against the better interest of my bladder. I felt skeptical to try this watermelon brew from New Belgium, partially because I believe nothing should compromise the integrity of a delicious slice of watermelon. Additionally, the last weak, watery, and lackluster watermelon beer I sampled was incredibly disappointing (hence the adjectives).
Heavy Melon changed everything.
This pic is inspired by a friend and fellow food blogger who does a fantastic job of sampling and reviewing a plethora of beers, often directing me towards new beers and breweries I have never encountered. Be sure to check out Sip & Savor!
As a lover of fruity beers (Abita Strawberry is currently at the top of my list) I want something that does not try to taste like an artificial version of said fruit. It should, instead, stay true to what it is. It is ok to taste like beer. The trick it to incorporate elements of that fruit flavor that work in tandem to highlight one another and result in a refreshing brew.
This beer succeeds.
Surprisingly, eating a piece of sweet watermelon before taking a sip in no way dulls the flavor! Try plopping a cube of melon into the glass. It will be there as a snack when you finish and it is totally worth it.