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Lentil and Tomato Stew, Grilled Cheese, and Baked Chocolate Fudge

Posted: February 14th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Apparently, the ultimate Valentine’s date is cookbook shopping. Omnivore was packed today. After brunch I had possibly the quickest five hours in the cookbook store I’ve ever worked. I spent the day drinking green tea, chatting with happy lovebirds and flipping through a new book on San Francisco tea establishments called “The Way to Tea”. I had no idea the underground tea culture was so amazing here! Now I have a big list of places to go – if anyone wants to accompany on tea culture sleuthing, I promise it will be a fun adventure.

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When I came home, we were still unsure of our Valentines’ Day dinner plans – restaurants are a no go on V-day (overtaxed kitchens pose too many bad-experience risks). I was tempted to go into Chinatown for the Chinese New Year, but ultimately we settled on staying and and watching a movie.

I flipped through my latest favorite cookbook: Lucinda Scala Quinn’s “Mad Hungry: Feeding Men and Boys” and used it as inspiration to make a hearty lentil stew. I’ve made about 10 recipes from this book, all with great success.

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I didn’t have any tomato, or tomato paste on hand, so I actually just poured in an entire jar of Trader Joe’s Rustico tomato sauce in the pot. This is *great* tomato sauce. Highly recommended. It turned into more of a tomato lentil soup (bonus points for a red dish on Valentine’s Day) – and what better to go with a tomato soup – than grilled cheese! I used some Alvarado Street bread, and some delicious Cabot Pepperjack, that the folks at Cabot so kindly sent me to help celebrate Valentines’ day. Pepperjack is one of my favorites – a nice sharp cheese with a hint of heat.

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Look at that hot melting action!!!

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For dessert of course, we had to have something with chocolate. This outrageous pot of melty gooey goodness was the Pioneer Woman’s Delicious Baked Fudge . The ingredients are egg, butter, cocoa, sugar, vanilla, and a tiny bit of flour. Nothing else. I made two individual portions in leftover ceramic yogurt ramekins… It was, I dare say it, almost too rich for me. Although, it could be because I ate mine, and then took the last two bites of Devon’s. Public Service Announcement: do not be gluttonous with this.

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It was a lovely evening spent together. Minus the movie. I won’t say it was a bad film, but if you are going to cook through one of the most iconic cookbooks in the world, and then write a book about it, it might help if you were a competent writer. Alas, it was asking too much. [I think that’s enough about that.]

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