Dinner for a cold night
The temperature was +0.5C this morning when I ventured out to the gym. The windscreen was iced over and the oval next door was completely white with icy crystals. Very odd for Sydney. But I have to come clean and admit that in fact I love winter. At least you can wear extra layers of clothes…and eat big bowls of “warming” things. You don’t feel guilty loitering in bed reading a book, eating crips and chocolate and drinking copious cups of tea. No compelling arguments for getting out and being active. Sure, I complain about being cold as well, but deep down I do love it. And I am secretly loving the fact that we are finally having a real winter in Sydney. The last few years I almost didn’t bother taking out winter clothes. In fact, I have a serious shortage of serious winter clothes, particularly after evil creatures feasted on all my (rather expensive) fine merino wool tops the year before last and I did not get over it enough to purchase replacements.
We eat some sort of beans or lentils at least once a week in my house, as you might have gathered from earlier posts. My kids like it, I love it, and Andrew manages to tolerate it, particularly if I add some meat into it. This was another version of a spicy bean dish, but topped with a poached egg this time just for something different. I used great northern beans (like cannellini) that I had soaked and boiled in water (I discarded the water as I find it adds a bitterness to the end dish that is not great). You could easily start with a couple of cans of any type of beans for a simpler and faster dinner. Add tomatoes, lots of paprika, preferably smoked paprika for that nice smoky flavour (or four different types if you as crazy about paprika as I am). Cumin also adds a nice bit of smokiness. Herbs such as parsley, bay leaves and coriander are good too. Lots of tomatoes – either tinned, puree or fresh. Lots of garlic, some diced onion and anything else you feel like adding in. I often add celery, carrot, corn, capsicum, etc…but this time I didn’t. Throw it all in a nice heavy pot and allow it to cook on the stove or in the oven for at least an hour, preferably two or three. A nice slow cooked vegetarian dinner for winter…particularly if you leave out the poached egg!