Chipotle Potato and Lentil Ragu
This week's vegetarian recipe is still a work in progress. So if you try it, please let me know if you like it.
For my aunt and uncle, I decided to try this slightly spicy casserole. Their daughter is a vegetarian, and I thought it would be a good dish that she could eat that they would also enjoy.
I used 5 medium red-skinned potatoes, chopped fairly small. Remember, the smaller you chop them, the faster they cook. I then boiled the potatoes until fork tender in salted water. I drained the potatoes and set them aside. I then cooked 8 oz of crimson or red lentils according to the package directions (this mostly involves simmering in water and then draining). I then diced one medium onion finely, 1 spear celery, and one carrot and sauted them in about 2 teaspoons of olive oil. I then added 2 teaspoons of granulated garlic, 2 teaspoons ground cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon of ground chipotle powder. Cook until the spices bloom, then mix in about 2 cups of crushed tomatoes. I then mixed the tomato mixture, the potatoes, and the lentils together. I added a few green peas for color. As always, salt and pepper to taste.
The taste was pretty good, but I didn't like the texture or the color. The crimson lentils too easily go to mush. I think if I made this again, I would dice the potatoes very small, use green French lentils, and add some additional veggies and tomatoes to make it more of a chunky vegetable stew.
Options - if you don't like heat, feel free to use some smoked paprika instead of the chipotles. You will still get a good smoky flavor.