After almost a year, I've finally been accepted to the Secret Recipe Club. I've tried cooking or baking challenge blogs before and they've rarely worked out, mostly because we are forced to make a particular thing. This club really caught my eye because it was a way to recognize something great a member created and it didn't require us to make anything in particular. They said to pick anything off their blog.
This month, I was assigned Feast on the Cheap, a blog hosted my mother-daughter team Mary Ann and Mariel. My recipe choice for this month comes from Mary Ann, the mother of the team. She's been an O. R. nurse, caterer and blogger. Not sure how she has the time for everything and maintaining as beautiful a blog as she does, but she does an excellent job of showcasing great recipes that won't break the bank.
When looking for a recipe, I had every intention of making her Mom's Cranberry Nut bread because I knew it would be a big hit with the man for breakfast. But then we had another unexpected cold snap and the winter I thought was gone came rushing right back. This is the first real winter I've had since moving to Virginia from California. It has been difficult at times, but I find myself getting used to it.
Seeing Mary Ann's recipe for Lentil, Sweet Potato and Sausage stew was quite fortunate because it was an exceptionally cold evening and we had everything for this recipe in our house. We had just made a Costco run the night before and we literally had everything. That never happens with a recipe. It was destiny, and it was delicious. My future husband doesn't even like lentils or beans much, but he ate a bowl of this for dinner and even had one for lunch the next day. If you can make a lentil dish (which I love) and the man like it, then I think it's a winner.
I hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as I did. I cut the recipe in half since we are only two people, but I will include the large recipe in my blog. It's suitable for a family of 4 with leftovers. I also didn't have cilantro (and really didn't want to go to the store for just one thing) but it would have been awesome. I will make sure to have it next time. Because of that, I added peas to the recipe (because green is good!)
Lentil, Sweet Potato and Sausage Stew
- 1 sweet onion (Maui or Vidallia) diced
- 2 ribs celery, diced
- 3 carrots, diced
- 1 large sweet potato, diced into half inch pieces
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 1 lb dry green lentils, rinsed
- 8 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 lb mixed mushooms (I used crimini and shiitake)
- 3/4 lb chicken sausage (I too used the chicken apple sausage)
- 1 cup frozen peas
- brandy or sherry
- yogurt and fresh cilantro for garnish
- salt and pepper to taste
- olive oil
- Sautee onions, celery ad carrots in olive oil until they begin to soften
- Add the garlic and sautee until aromatic, being sure not to burn. add the lentils and chicken stock. Bring it to a boil
- Simmer soup for 30-45 minutes until lentils are cooked. Season as needed
- Simultaneously, slice chicken sausages and mushrooms. Cook chicken sausages in a separate pan until well browned.
- Remove sausages and cook mushrooms in the pan with a little extra olive oil. Cook mushrooms until they are soft and nicely browned
- Deglaze pan with a little sherry or brandy (I had brandy in the house). Cook off the alcohol, scraping the delicious crusty bits as you do.
- Stir the mushrooms, sausages and peas into the lentils before serving. Let it continue to simmer for 5 minutes or until peas are heated through but still vibrant green.
- Garnish with plain yogurt, cilantro and a twist of lime. Serve with crusty bread and enjoy immediately.