Thursday, December 10, 2015

Three Beautiful Things 12/08/15: New Grand Mart, Lovely Dark and Deep, Moroccan Chickpea Soup

1.  I poked around on the World Wide Web in search of an Asian market closer to Greenbelt than the one at Wheaton. I discovered a favorably reviewed store in Langley Park, New Grand Mart, and leaped into the Sube, exited the Beltway at New Hampshire, headed south, turned left at University Blvd. East, and popped out of the car into the market. I strolled past the huge heads of Napa cabbages, fava beans, white Korean radishes, and other produce and surveyed the spice shelves and looked for lentils and coconut milk. I didn't buy a lot:  coconut milk, coconut cream, black mustard seeds, lentils, and some other spices, but I had fun exercising my imagination and curiosity, thinking of what I could cook and wondering what I might make with all the foodstuffs I'm completely ignorant about.

2. While out, I kept having flashbacks to the semi-sweet chocolatey smoothness and dry, roasted, toasty finish of D C Brau's Penn Quarter Porter, so I swung by the Old Line Liquor Superstore to see if they had six packs of it. Well, no they didn't, but it was still on tap in the bistro in the back of the store, so I savored a pint and on my way out I purchased a four-pack of Beckenridge's exquisite 72 Imperial Chocolate Cream Stout and a four pack of Ommegang's Oatmeal Stout Winter Ale.  Why did I buy this?   *chuckle*  In my Three Beautiful Things post for Sunday, I described the imperial ales, winter ales, and various porters and stouts of this time of year as "lovely, dark and deep".  Two people who read this took the time to tell me they enjoyed the touch of Frost in my beer prose. Well, the Ommegang Oatmeal Stout Winter Ale I purchased is called Lovely, Dark and Deep Winter Ale.  I had no idea Ommegang had done this.  The coincidence was so right that I had to buy this beer and bring it home for me and the Deke.

3. Once home, I went to work cooking a Moroccan Chickpea Soup.  It's a simple recipe and I made a couple of modifications. After sauteeing a chopped onion, I added five spice powder, tumeric, and pepper and let this cook for a few minutes. I added a couple of cans of diced tomatoes, a few cans of chickpeas, a couple cans of chicken broth, cilantro, the juice of half a lime, and a cup of dried lentils, brought it to a boil and and simmered this for a little over a half an hour.  I also chopped up two sweet potatoes, mashed them, and folded them into the soup. The recipe did not call for the five spice powder or the sweet potatoes or the lime and I didn't follow the instructions to include celery in the soup. I chopped up parsley to put on the top of each bowl and, once again, with the help of some dark beer, this soup warmed a chilly Maryland evening for the Deke and me.

Oh, by the way, next time I make this soup, I'll double the lentils. I thought they needed a stronger presence in this soup.

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