I’m back! It’s been about 3 weeks since I posted last. Busy work, busy sending people off to row an ocean or to go back to Indonesia. What with splitting my time between Tokyo, Choshi and Nagareyama, until yesterday I’ve not been in my house for more than 7 hours in a stretch (and 5 is usually spent on sleeping) in the past few weeks. Not much cooking had been done, sending me into some slight limbo.
Today I discovered that I’m sick, woke up with some blinding headache and a very hoarse throat. Maybe those 8 hours spent sitting in an escort boat had done this to me, but maybe I’m just exhausted. So I decided to recuperate at home, napping and watching some trashy television, and cleaned up a bit.
A little later in the afternoon, I received a very cute message from a friend who just recently got hitched and got a very enviable collection of Le Creuset things as their wedding gift. She wrote to ask for some cooking ideas, which then got me into thinking… I haven’t quite cooked in the past month. How is that even possible? So I picked up my cook hat and gazed around my own collection of LC stuff and contemplated which one I should use. The verdict went to the pâté terrine I got in last Le Creuset family sale in November 2011. I am ashamed to say that I have used it only twice so far, the first one was to make some potato and mushroom bake, while the second time was to replace a plate-weight when making some rolled cabbage dish.
Feeling a little veggies deprived from my poor diet this past month, I declared today (hopefully this last a whole week) vegetarian day. Lentil Pâté came to mind – and so we have it! The Pâté terrine was perfect for the recipe. It produced the perfect height and density (using the press that came with the set). If you want to try this recipe and don’t have a Pâté terrine, don’t worry! This works just as well with any loaf pan or banana bread pan. It may be a little shorter than what a Pâté would normally be like, but the flavor and finish will be just the same.
(Recipe inspiration: “Vegetarian” by Fiona Biggs)
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground coriander
3 1/2 cups vegetable stock (I used vegetable stock cubes)
3/4 cup red lentils
2 Tbsp milk (I used soy milk, but you can use any other milk as you like)
2 Tbsp tomato chutney/mango chutney (in dire times when I don’t have any chutney on hand, I had replaced it with cranberry or tomato paste)
2 Tbsp chopped parsley, save a little bit for garnish
1 Tbsp olive oil to grease pan
Salad greens or toast to serve
- Heat oil in a large saucepan (I used LC yellow oval cast iron pot, but any other pan works just as well) on medium, sauté the garlic and onion until soften and has some translucence in appearance (about 2-3 minutes)
- Add garam masala and coriander, and sauté further for another 30 seconds
- Bring the heat up to high, then add the stock and lentil into the pot and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 20 minutes until the lentils are cooked.
- Remove from heat, then put the mixture on a sieve to shake off any excess moisture
- Put the following in a food processor/blender: egg, milk, chutney and parsley, then Add everything from number 5 into it. Process everything until smooth
- Prepare your terrine/pan by greasing it with some olive oil and line the base with oven paper.
- Pour the mixture into the terrine/pan, level the surface using a spoon. If you are using a terrine, put the press on top of the mixture and put the lid on. If you are using a pan, then try to make it as level as possible then cover it using an aluminium foil.
- Bake in a preheated oven (200C/400F) for 45 minutes
- When finished, remove from the oven and let cool in the terrine/pan for another 20 minutes.
- It is ideal if you can chill it first in the refrigerator before turning. However, once you notice the surface has shrink a little bit and you can also touch the terrine/pan with your bare hands, you can turn the Pâté and slice it.
- Serve the sliced Pâté with salad greens and toast.