My BigMouth Blog | A Blog by Jason Glover

Lamb Lentil Stew with Sequoia

This Lamb Lentil Stew recipe created by Sequoia is so good with all the spices! The best Lamb Stew recipe I’ve ever had. To top it off, we get try his Sweet Potato Coins as a side and a dessert to bring it home – Homemade Cinnamon Ice Cream!

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Sequoia Hall

County Commissioner

San Jose, California resident and father, Sequoia inherited the cooking genes from HIS father. He and his wife collaborate in the kitchen: He makes the protein, she makes the salad. His son has developed a specific love of baking, and his daughter likes to make things in the kitchen as well. Sequoia once owned a winery, and loves figuring out what foods pair best with certain wine

Q1 - What’s one tool in the kitchen you wish you had and why?

A faster ice cream maker so I can add it for desert faster

Q2 - What’s your biggest meal disaster?

The first thanksgiving we hosted. My grandparents and my in laws came and we had just started eating meat again. The turkey came out undercooked and my wife and got sick. It was a disaster.

Q3 - What’s one thing you would like to learn how to make?

Deep fried turkey. I’ll try it one thanksgiving soon.

Q4 - If there was one dish you would teach your kid to make, what would it be?

Chicken keleguen, a dish from Guam where I grew up.

Q5 - What does it mean to you as a dad to cook for your family?

My wife and I are partners in raising our kids and putting yummy, quality, healthy meals on the table has created an awesome close family. Our Sunday night dinners always have a few extra kids who come for the food and conversation keyed by our question of the night tradition.

Watch the bloopers with Sequoia hall and Jason Glover as they prepare an amazing meal for the family, enjoying laughter as they go

Lamb Lentil Stew with Sequoia

Transcript of Season 1 Episode

Jason Glover: Welcome to Dads that Cook, I’m Jason Glover. I’m on a quest right now, to go out around the country and find dads that know how to cook. They may be plumbers, electricians, physicians. we’re gonna highlight the incredible meals that they make, show everything that they do, and get you the recipes so you can make them when you’re sitting at home with your family as well. There’s no time limits, there’s no secret ingredients, and no experts. Just good cooking.

On this episode of Dads that Cook, we’re in the kitchen with Sequoia Hall, a dad who makes hearty and healthy meals for his family almost every day of the week. Today, he’ll be fixing up lamb lentil stew, roasted sweet potato coins, and for dessert, a homemade cinnamon ice cream.

So welcome to Dads that Cook, I’m Jason Glover and we have another dad here today. Sequoia?

Sequoia Hall: That’s right. Sequoia Hall.

Jason Glover: You’re from Guam, is this correct?

Sequoia Hall: Yes. I was born in San Francisco and I grew up on Guam. Dad was a teacher and decided that would be a fun place to teach, right near the equator, the coral is amazing, so I did a lot of scuba diving. Anything around the water I was super focused on. When I was 14 I started working at a dive shop. I was a PADI advanced diver by the time I was 14.

Lots of SPAM on Guam.

Jason Glover: Lot of SPAM. Gotta love SPAM.

Sequoia Hall: I don’t eat a lot of SPAM now, but it was definitely something that was on Guam.

Jason Glover: What are you cooking tonight?

Sequoia Hall: I’m cooking something very unrelated to SPAM. We’re gonna make a lamb lentil stew. On the side, sweet potato coins, and I think I’m gonna throw an ice cream in for dessert. You like ice cream?

Jason Glover: I like ice cream.

You have kids, you have two kids…

Sequoia Hall: Yep. My girl is 13, her name is Bodhi. She’s really driven in her sport that she found all by herself. It’s called equestrian vaulting. It’s gymnastics and dance on the back of a horse.

Jason Glover: On a horse?

Sequoia Hall: On a horse.

Jason Glover: That’s crazy.

Sequoia Hall: Yeah, it is amazingly crazy. My son, he’s an awesome kid too. Paxton’s 11, really into soccer. He’s on a pretty competitive club team. He does plays occasionally, has a cool audition opportunity, so we’ll see what comes of that. He loves it. They both like to cook, my son especially.

Jason Glover: It’s probably the food you feed him.

Sequoia Hall: That’s right. It’s all about me.

Jason Glover: It’s gotta be you. Come on Sequoia.

Your wife, what’s her name?

Sequoia Hall: Mindy. My wife is Mindy. I’ve been married about 17 years.

Jason Glover: And she’s happy with you cooking.

Sequoia Hall: I think she loves my cooking, yeah.

Jason Glover: Before you head out, I can’t have you slopping all over your shirt, okay? You gotta have your chef jacket. Look at that. Look at that.

Sequoia Hall: You got it even embroidered?

Jason Glover: Chef Sequoia, over here. Dads that Cook.

Sequoia Hall: I’m making lamb stew, made it probably about three years ago for the first time, and family liked it, so kept making it. Family a little less enthusiastic these days about it, but I’m glad-

Jason Glover: Really, you over made it, huh?

Sequoia Hall: I haven’t it in a while, so I’m excited to make it again.

Jason Glover: Let’s run through it.

Sequoia Hall: Yeah, so onions, Big part. I love onions with meat. Cut up a whole red onion, three carrots. I also have the parsnips. If I didn’t do parsnips, I’d do more carrots, but I really like parsnips with the lamb.

And here I’ve really finely chopped up some sage and oregano, garlic, kale. I like a little green. I put the kale in it towards the end. Have to get the celery in there, in a stew, that’s mandatory, and mushrooms. These are chanterelles.

Jason Glover: Chanterelles, neat.

Sequoia Hall: Just a little bit of mushrooms, it adds a little earthiness to it. The lamb I cut up into one inch cubes. This is a leg of lamb. That is my preferred meat.

Jason Glover: What’s the name of your lamb?

Sequoia Hall: Then I have spices. I tend to grind my spices myself. I took a whole nut of nutmeg, cardamine, white pepper, and star anis in addition to cinnamon and coriander.

Jason Glover: So we’re going to blend those up. Is that what you’re planning on doing?

Sequoia Hall: That’s what I’m planning on doing.

Jason Glover: In your high tech method over there with the coffee-

Sequoia Hall: Super fancy, super fancy, spice grinder.

Jason Glover: I like that, though, seeing dads out there. You get your coffee grinder, and you use it.

Sequoia Hall: This is my dedicated … I have one for coffee-

Jason Glover: Oh, you do?

Sequoia Hall: … and this is the one-

Jason Glover: Boy, you’ve upgraded.

Sequoia Hall: Yeah, the spices are gonna stay in this, no matter how hard I clean it, so I don’t want my coffee to taste like star anis or something.

Jason Glover: Absolutely, cardamine or something. Yeah, exactly.

Sequoia Hall: Cardamine can be good.

So I do pregrind the nutmeg, just slightly. Activate this here.

Jason Glover: What’s neat about grinding all your own stuff too is just the smell of all of it.

Sequoia Hall: Absolutely, mine is not that complex. This is all stuff I can find. Maybe the most exotic thing is the star anis.

Jason Glover: It is. You can find that at the store, too.

Sequoia Hall: Yeah, and you can find regular anis or fennel. But the star anis has a little bit different flavor to it. The cardamine, I use green cardamine. I don’t know why I use green cardamine, but I do. It’s the one I like. I’m gonna grind all these guys up right now.

Jason Glover: Wow, you’re really good with that grinder.

Sequoia Hall: I know.

That’s still a little too coarse. You can see in there, there’s still some bigger pieces.

Jason Glover: Sometimes.

Sequoia Hall: It’s all about taking the time, right?

Jason Glover: Oh yeah, sweating bullets here. Working really, really hard.

Sequoia Hall: I didn’t have all my spices ground this way so I am gonna use some bottled spices,

Jason Glover: Oh no, really?

Sequoia Hall: I know. So I add coriander, cumin, cinnamon.

Jason Glover: If you can’t grind your own stuff, that’s okay, don’t worry about it, it’s not the end of the world. It’s still good ingredients, and you’re still cooking.

Sequoia Hall: I am going to add the other spices into the spice grinder just to get everything all together, rather than blending it all by hand, it’s just a little bit faster that way.

Cumin, this is again, the cinnamon,-

Jason Glover: Some cinnamon.

Sequoia Hall: … a little coriander too.

Jason Glover: You notice his perfect measuring techniques here, right?

Sequoia Hall: Absolutely.

Jason Glover: Some things you don’t wanna overdo, like your cayenne over there. You’re not gonna throw a bunch of cayenne in and expect it to be what you want.

Sequoia Hall: That’s the finished spice rub, there.

Jason Glover: Spread it around.

Sequoia Hall: Spread it around.

Jason Glover: Makes them happy. Lucky lamb.

Sequoia Hall: Came here. Must be lucky.

Jason Glover: See the poor little lamb.

Sequoia Hall: I’m gonna grind in my salt, now.

Jason Glover: So how much? You probably just …

Sequoia Hall: Probably at least a teaspoon. The meat’s gonna get sauteed in this rub, and that’s gonna help keep the flavors locked in on the meat. The best way to do this is by hand, obviously, right? Spice gets rubbed in, it’s covering all the areas, the meat.

This is a pretty well covered piece. You see all the flakes everywhere? That is gonna be a good piece in the stew.

Jason Glover: At least that piece right there.

Sequoia Hall: This one’s that one, for sure.

Jason Glover: That one too.

Sequoia Hall: This still has some fat on it, right?

Jason Glover: You gotta have the fat.

Sequoia Hall: This is part of why I don’t need to add fat or oil.

Jason Glover: Or oil, yeah.

We’re gonna start sticking some stuff in this big bad boy?

Sequoia Hall: Well first is the lentils.

Jason Glover: The lentils go, okay.

Sequoia Hall: This just goes on to a simmer, or a medium heat.

Jason Glover: You’ve already rinsed those guys out [crosstalk]

Sequoia Hall: Rinsed them, picked out any super bad ones. You gotta sometimes, got to check them out.

Jason Glover: Bad lentils.

Sequoia Hall: That’s right.

Jason Glover: How they ever made them in the bag in the first place. I don’t know, right?

Sequoia Hall: It’s something about a natural product, and not everything is the same.

Jason Glover: Nothing’s perfect.

How long does that take?

Sequoia Hall: 20 minutes. This just gets partially covered like that.

Now for the main deal here. First thing we’re going to do, pop a little butter into the pan.

Jason Glover: Just a little.

Sequoia Hall: Just a little.

Jason Glover: Not a lot.

Sequoia Hall: I’m looking for my red onions-

Jason Glover: There you go.

Sequoia Hall: … all diced up like we talked about earlier. Just dump them on in. I also add the garlic.

Jason Glover: Garlic the same time.

Sequoia Hall: Yeah, so that way the mean definitely picks it up.

The next thing I’m going to add in … Remember, this is the sage and oregano that I diced up? Just doing one pinch of it right now.

Jason Glover: Okay.

Sequoia Hall: Next is the main deal.

Jason Glover: The main lamb, a lamb a ding dong?

Sequoia Hall: Lamb going in.

Jason Glover: Oh, the lamb. Please don’t put me in there.

Sequoia Hall: Herbs right on top of that. There is no reason to be shy with these things.

Jason Glover: Don’t be shy with herbs. Neighbors gonna be coming over. “Hey, what’s going on? I smell something.”

Sequoia Hall: I’m keeping the heat high in the beginning here because I want to sear the outside of the meat which also means I need to turn it a lot.

Jason Glover: Yeah, you want to keep that moisture inside the meat.

Sequoia Hall: Right. Stews you can do things you like in it. Those are the ingredients I used.

Jason Glover: Put a different type of vegetable in it if you want a different vegetable or different type of spices depending on how you want it.

Sequoia Hall: Absolutely, so that’s looking pretty good. I can see how the sear is on … There’s still a little, a few rare pieces. I’m not going to get every surface covered, right?

Turn down the heat, a medium low now.

First thing that’s going in is the mushrooms.

Jason Glover: Mushrooms, wife doesn’t like them.

Sequoia Hall: That’s right. Sh!

Jason Glover: Sh!

Sequoia Hall: Again, they like a little bit of a sear too. They’re going to break apart.

Jason Glover: They’re going to get really soft.

Sequoia Hall: They’re going to almost disappear.

Jason Glover: Disintegrate, yeah.

Sequoia Hall: Now, it’s your order, your choice.

Jason Glover: You’re the one. You’re the man.

Sequoia Hall: I’m going with carrot, parsnips next.

Jason Glover: You’re gonna go snippety snaps?

Sequoia Hall: You see, there’s some big ones in there. I’m okay with that. You might want to cut those in half. It’s up to you. They’re gonna fall apart with my fork. I’m gonna be able to break them easy with my fork when I go to eat it.

Now we have the celery. I’m reserving the kale. I’m not adding that for awhile yet.

Jason Glover: For awhile yet.

Sequoia Hall: Yeah, it’s just not as hardy as the other things. It will disappear.

Now I’m gonna do the broth. [inaudible] broth.

Jason Glover: So you’re using the chicken or [crosstalk]

Sequoia Hall: No, I’m using a vegetable.

Jason Glover: A vegetable broth?

Sequoia Hall: This is the equivalent of four cups. I’m also gonna add in the juice of two lemons.

Jason Glover: Two whole lemons?

Sequoia Hall: Yeah, two whole lemons. It’s a good flavor.

Jason Glover: So you just stir it up and then you’re gonna let it sit, right?

Sequoia Hall: Now I’m gonna let it sit. I’m gonna cover it up. I’m gonna actually turn the heat up a little bit now that the liquid’s in there. I want it to break down the carrots and the parsnips a little bit.

I’m gonna check in on the lentils too.

Jason Glover: Yeah, they look like right at that stage, right?

Sequoia Hall: Perfect.

Jason Glover: Then those are gonna go in here?

Sequoia Hall: Right in here.

Jason Glover: With the water, are you going to strain it or how’s that-

Sequoia Hall: No, I’m gonna just put them in straight.

Jason Glover: Nice.

Sequoia Hall: We’re gonna stick this on simmer, and I think that then we can take a look at the cinnamon for the ice cream.

Again, fitting with that theme of health, I’m trying to make something that is gonna feed my family well. I make a custard ice cream, telling me to use six eggs with this, and I’m just taking the yolk. If you have a higher protein content, it helps you metabolize the sugar better.

I’m using coconut sugar.

Jason Glover: Coconut Sugar?

Sequoia Hall: That’s right. It tastes exactly the same as regular sugar in my opinion. I have made this with honey. Instead of using three quarters of a cup, I would use half a cup of honey, and I’m doing cinnamon ice cream. This is two tablespoons of cinnamon here. I’m gonna toast it.

Jason Glover: Makes a great smell.

Sequoia Hall: It also helps liven the flavor up.

We’re adding it into the cream. We have one cup of whole milk and two cups of cream.

For the eggs, I’m not that specialist that can crack it and open it with one hand. I don’t know if you can do that.

Jason Glover: Yeah, sometimes. You never know. Sometimes it just doesn’t work out that well.

Sequoia Hall: No, and I squeeze it-

Jason Glover: I like your little strainer. That’s cool.

Sequoia Hall: Then it’s just-

Jason Glover: Like run.

Sequoia Hall: … I shake it around. In these yolks, I’m gonna beat them all together. There we go, six egg yolks.

Jason Glover: Perfect, nice.

Sequoia Hall: Nothing fancy. That’s the base of the custard. Gives it that richness and the color.

Now it’s time for stove. Two separate parts that are gonna happen. We’re gonna cook part of it and part of it is gonna stay in a chilled bowl. We’re gonna whisk it together after we do the cooking.

So a totally dry pan. Just get the heat on there, and I’m just gonna toast the cinnamon. You don’t want to burn it. You’re just mildly toasting it. Okay?

This is the milk.

Jason Glover: The yummy stuff?

Sequoia Hall: Get all that good fat.

Jason Glover: Then two cups of cream?

Sequoia Hall: Only put one cup in.

Jason Glover: Oh, it’s one cup?

Sequoia Hall: Yeah, this is two cups, but I’m only putting one cup in here.

Jason Glover: Oh, you’re only going to put one cup in now.

Sequoia Hall: Yeah.

Jason Glover: Hey, we’re good.

Sequoia Hall: All right. That was perfect. Look at that.

The sugar.

Jason Glover: The sugar.

Sequoia Hall: That’s going in there too. Make sure the sugar doesn’t stay at the bottom, right?

Jason Glover: Right.

Sequoia Hall: Gotta keep it stirring around here. Has a little bit of a brownish color because of the sugar.

Add the cinnamon in, toasty cinnamon. Stir it in. The reason it’s important to do this when it’s hot is that’s the only way that the cinnamon is gonna get incorporated in it.

We are gonna take the egg, pour half of this hot liquid in as we whisk. This is the custard that we’re talking about, right? You’re just trying to bring it up to temp so you’re just gonna use a portion of it. Just to get it all incorporated.

Jason Glover: Just all mixed in, and then you’re gonna put it in there?

Sequoia Hall: Exactly. What you want to go up to is 170.

Jason Glover: Right, otherwise it gets burnt down there-

Sequoia Hall: It gets curdled.

Jason Glover: … and you scrape a bunch of burnt stuff and that tastes good. “Hey dad, can you make some more of that burnt cinnamon ice cream?”

Sequoia Hall: The other cup of cream is going in this bowl right here. Pour this through.

Jason Glover: With a strainer?

Sequoia Hall: Right. There’s ice. You can see there’s an ice bath underneath. That’s gonna help cool it all down.

Jason Glover: Strain that into the bowl.

Sequoia Hall: That’s it.

Jason Glover: This is in the ice just to keep it cool, right?

Sequoia Hall: That’s it. I like to stick it in the refrigerator first for about half an hour and then I put it in the freezer.

Jason Glover: That looks good. Look at that. So we got this. It’s all chilled up. We’re gonna stick it in the fridge, right?

Sequoia Hall: That’s right. Cover it up. Stick it in the fridge, like you said, half an hour, and then it’s going in the freezer.

Jason Glover: Okay, so now we’re gonna make the sweet potato coins, whatever you call them. What do you call them?

Sequoia Hall: Sweet potato coins. Sure.

Jason Glover: Sweet potato coins. All right. How does that work out, a little sage, a little butter?

Sequoia Hall: You can add a little spice on there if you want to. The soup is pretty spicy right now so I’m gonna go with sort of simple. I’m gonna put a little salt and pepper on it.

It’s not really gonna cook that much. I’d like it a little bit diced up.

Jason Glover: Finer?

Sequoia Hall: Yeah. Here I’m just gonna pop half the medallions in. Oops. There we go.

Jason Glover: You can smell that sage, real happy.

Sequoia Hall: Little guys here.

Jason Glover: Oh, look at that guy, huh? It’s almost like the chiropractor bunny. That’s right.

Sequoia Hall: I use about half because that’s what we have here. There we go. So there’s nice and coated. Then I just lay them out here.

Jason Glover: Man, this is a party.

Sequoia Hall: Happy day at the Hall house. This is gonna go in the oven, 15 minutes. We’re gonna be watching it.

Jason Glover: You’re doing [inaudible]?

Sequoia Hall: Then in a few seconds here I’m gonna check the stew, stir it around a little bit, see how everything’s looking, see what’s going on.

Jason Glover: Look at that lamb. Look at that carrot.

Sequoia Hall: In goes the kale.

Jason Glover: Stir that guy in a little bit.

Sequoia Hall: Exactly. I’m gonna turn up the heat a little bit. It was on that low simmer. You’re in the kitchen anyway. You’re watching those coins that are going on.

Jason Glover: Sure.

Sequoia Hall: The sweet potatoes look perfect. You get a little bit of the browning. The butter’s starting to brown, caramelize a little bit. It’s gonna get flipped over.

Jason Glover: Now we’re gonna be doing the ice cream in the little ice cream maker. You don’t want to do it staying all by itself, right?

Sequoia Hall: Just plop that on. Seal’s on, and that’s it.

Jason Glover: Done.

Sequoia Hall: We just check it periodically and make sure everything is going well. It will start just to come up and then it will be ready to stick back in the freezer.

Jason Glover: I’m so excited now that I can actually eat the food which we’ve been making all day, this yummy stew. We got the potatoes. We obviously got the ice cream going, so let’s go sit down. Let’s get the family.

Sequoia Hall: Sounds great.

Jason Glover: All right. All right. Awesome.

We are now sitting down at the table. We’ve got the stew. It’s all been stewed. Who are these people?

Sequoia Hall: This is who I like to cook for. This is my family.

Jason Glover: Your family? You didn’t rent them for the night, did you?

Sequoia Hall: No, not for today.

Jason Glover: Okay. I’m gonna try this food now.

Do you like your dad’s food?

Bodhi: Yah.

Jason Glover: Yah?

Bodhi: Yes,-

Jason Glover: You like the broth?

Bodhi: … it’s the broth and the lamb. Those are my favorite.

Jason Glover: Okay, that’s your favorite?

Bodhi: And the lentils.

Jason Glover: Sure, I’ll have some.

Bodhi: Okay.

Jason Glover: You keep serving it up.

Bodhi: I know you’ve been sampling, Jason, so, yeah.

Jason Glover: I know I have been. I like seeing the reactions here.


Mindy: It’s good.

Jason Glover: Is that working?

Bodhi: One of the best yet.

Mindy: Yeah, one of the best.

Jason Glover: That’s really good.

Paxton: That’s good.

Jason Glover: Fortunately, you’ve got a big pot of it. You can eat all week. Right?

Then you make the ice cream which … Where’s my ice cream?

Sequoia Hall: Is that what those are for?

Jason, you’ve been so patient so-

Jason Glover: Oh, thank you.

Sequoia Hall: … I’m gonna go ahead and serve you first this time.

Jason Glover: Oh, that is a real treat.

Sequoia Hall: Yeah, the egg adds a nice protein content in there on top of the milk.

Jason Glover: Oh man, Wow.

Mindy: Good job.

Jason Glover: Oh my God. That is so good, so what do you think? Do you think your dad can cook?

Paxton: Yep.

Jason Glover: Yeah, you like his stuff?

Bodhi: Um-hum(affirmative).

Jason Glover: That’s why you keep him around, right? That’s it?

Mindy: Yeah, one of the reasons.

Jason Glover: Go to our website, Dadsthatcook.com.

Awesome. That was great. That was so good.

Sequoia Hall: Thank you.

Jason Glover: So good. I’m gonna eat some more of this.

Are you a dad? Do you like to cook? Do you cook meals for your family? Are you a regular dad like I am, and not professionally trained, but you think you’ve got what it takes to be on my show?

Go to Dadsthatcook.com, fill out the form, and who knows? You might be the next person on our show.