Sunday, September 28, 2014

A Super Good Coffee Maker...for one

Super Good Coffee Maker


I got a very nasty email from the so called "cousin"...he complains that I forgot to mention that it was he who paid for the coffee maker. At least he paid for something... a freeloader we call them...

I was born in Mexico and had an Argentinian mother (I know...) so when I was a kid, coffee was not allowed for underage children so I had to wait for some time to get to drink such wonderful drink. I remember clearly my mother having, first thing in the morning, her coffee. She drank Nescafe like anyone else. Nescafe was the coffee to drink...the most popular and with the best publicity campaign.

But one day I turned 6! That was the day my mother thought it was a good age to introduce me to such delicatessen. Then my world changed. I was allowed to have a coffee with breakfast but that was that (my mother had her limits too!). Since then until today I drink coffee. Like everything else in life...I blame my mother.

Then drinking coffee was a good deal. When I was in junior high, you could go to any restaurant or coffee shop and order a coffee and you got bottomless coffee. You could seat for hours for the tremendous amount of 5 cents. How could I not drink coffee?

Nowadays coffee has become this urban craze. Most people can get a good cup of java almost by just walking... 5 minutes. Then the golden liquid is not 5 cents anymore, you pay now between 4 to 12 dollars per cup. And coffee shops are always busy.

So... I left my Nescafe days behind and started drinking better coffee. Nowadays you can get coffee and you can get extraordinary coffee, but that is only one part of the deal. Once you have great coffee at home, then you need at least 3 things: a coffee grinder, a coffee maker and a cup. Today I'll tell you about my coffee maker...actually my new coffee maker -and now my favorite-.

When a guy who claims to be my cousin came for a visit from Argentina, we went to the old downtown, called Gastown. There we found a fantastic coffee shop called Revolver where they actually sell a great drip coffee made the way it should be made and a delicious expresso. Also they sell individual coffee makers. Then I got my new gadget. I bought a Frieling individual coffee brewer. Absolutely amazing!

My Frieling coffee maker is a three part apparatus. It has a 23 karat gold plated super fine filter -so you don't have to buy a new filter every time (you can call me ecologically responsible...which I am not), a water regulator and a lid. That is all.

All I have to do is place my coffee filter onto my cup, fill it with good freshly grated coffee and pour hot water into the regulator. Close the regulator with the lid...and voila!, Houston we have coffee!!

Now, if you like tea and you are not sick with the flu or something...then you are in the wrong are in the dark ages.

Ah!, then the White Coffee came. Bizarre and not very politicly correct campaign...but that is another story.

Not me, though...I was way cutter, but nevertheless it looks exactly the way I looked when I got my first coffee.

And the 5 cent bottomless coffee cup add.

The not so politicly correct White coffee add...go figure.

The 23 k filter into the mug

And the contraction into my super nice Native coffee cup

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Mexican Style Lentil Soup

Mexican Style Lentil Soup

After a month without posting due to a quick trip to Mexico to visit my mother in law and the visit of my only cousin from Argentina who I haven't seen for at least 20 years... August is gone, and I don't know where.

The trip to Mexico deserves its own post, which I'll do later but today here in Vancouver it looks and feels like Fall. To me, as much as I love the sun (and dislike heat) Fall has some sort of magic which I feel is unique. Here we love to complain about the rain, but honest...if not what else would be complaining about? This place is as close to paradise as it can be.

Fall is back to my kitchen. I'm still doing some gardening -moving things here and there- and...fighting bamboo! Yes, I AM the last Bamboo Fighter (post to come)... so as today it's raining and I have a group of students coming at 4, so I had time to bake a fantastic looking old fashion apple cake which looks amazing but I haven't tasted it just yet and I wanted to get back to my blog.

The current wife loves lentils and as I love the wife...this week I cooked for her Mexican Style Lentil Soup. The wife had 3 teeth fixed at the dentist and pretty much couldn't eat any solid food...because I am such an angel... I prepared this for her.

Lentil soup is comfort food. In Mexico we eat it year round and each family has its own recipe that most likely came from a family elder. My mother (Argentinian) prepared it with pork feet (I know...) and the current wife's mom did it with chorizo, so I am doing it with chorizo because I want to please her and because I think that pork feet taste nice but look awful (they look awful).

Mexican Style Lentil Soup
Cooking Time: 60 minutes Feeds 4 hungry people


250 g Green lentils

1 l Water

100 g Chorizo (Mexican is the best for this recipe)

1 Large Tomato

1 Large Carrot -cubed-

1 Laurel leaf

1 Large Potato -cubed-

150 g Finely chopped onion (about 1/4 of a large onion)

2 Garlic cloves cut in thin slices

1 Piece of toasted bread (dry, not soft)

- Canola Oil

- Kosher Salt


1. Peel the carrot and the potato and cube them in small pieces. Reserve

2. Cut the chorizo in 1 cm slices (doesn't need to be exactly 1 cm !)

3. Clean the lentils using cold water and in a large pot, medium heat put them to cook with the water. Do not put the pot lid on!!

4. Add the tomato and the laurel leaf after about 15 minutes (the tomato is whole)

5. When the water with the lentils is boiling, lower the heat to simmer and add the chorizo, carrot and potatoes. Leave it simmering for for approx. 45 minutes (by then they should be soft but not breaking apart...if they are still a bit hard, leave them for intervals of 5 minutes and check them to see when are they ready). Stir occasionally.

6.  In a medium pan heat the oil and fry the onion and the garlic until the onions are a bit clear and the garlic looks a bit toasted.

7. Add the toasted bread, bring the heat to high and let the onion golden allowing the bread to absorb the flavor. 

8. Add the bread, onions and garlic to our lentils and we mix gently -we don't want lentil smoothie-. By now the lentils should be perfect (soft but whole). They should have some liquid broth as we don't want them like paste. If they are too thick, add a bit of water (a bit!). At the end we want a soup that has a bit of broth and tons of lentils.

9. Remove the laurel leaf. 

10. We are ready to serve!..some weird people (like my wife) likes to slice a banana on top of the lentil soup as they (she) claim that enhances the flavor. I never contradict the wife -survival instinct they call it-. The fact that she adds ketchup I'm not going to mention because I am a discrete guy.

11. Enjoy!

* Photo from Enriqueta Lemoine's fantastic cooking site SavorFaire (the recipe is mine though)... I forgot to take my own picture... next time.