Sunday, November 28, 2010

Lentil Vegetable Soup

Annual night-before Thanksgiving get together with friends to consume beer and pizza - Check!

Eating WAY too much Thanksgiving dinner at my Aunt's - Check!
Late night Thanksgiving dinner leftover sandwich - Check!

Friday - travel day to my husbands family's hometown - Check!

Friday night pizza and beer - Check!

Saturday - Thanksgiving dinner #2 with the husband's side - Check!

Sunday - travel back home - Check!

Sunday night overindugence hangover - Check, check, CHECK!

I needed something light and wholesome tonight. Something that didn't include turkey, a pureed potato, cream or tiny marshmallows.

Lentil Vegetable Soup. Sounds perfect. And it was.



1 pound French green lentils (I just used regular lentils, it's all my grocer offers)
4 cups chopped yellow onions (3 large onions)
4 cups chopped leeks, white part only (2 leeks)
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
1/4 cup olive oil, plus additional for drizzling on top
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 cups medium-diced celery (8 stalks)
3 cups medium-diced carrots (4 to 6 carrots)
3 quarts chicken stock
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 tablespoons red wine or red wine vinegar
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese


In a large bowl, cover the lentils with boiling water and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Drain.

In a large stockpot on medium heat, saute the onions, leeks, and garlic with the olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme, and cumin for 20 minutes, until the vegetables are translucent and very tender.

Add the celery and carrots and saute for 10 more minutes.

Add the chicken stock, tomato paste, and lentils. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 1 hour, until the lentils are cooked through.

Check the seasonings. Add the red wine and serve hot, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with grated Parmesan.

Monday, November 22, 2010

FFWD: Potato Gratin

Okay, so I'm late. Again. Sorry! I actually did make it on Friday, just getting to blogging now, though!

These potatoes were oh so good, in such an oh so bad way. I had dinner plans for Saturday night with some girlfriends. A new restaurant in town. I checked out the menu online Saturday afternoon. You see, I find that when I'm out to dinner with the girls, there's a lot of chatting, and a lot of wine, and no time to really read the menu, so I look ahead of time. Call me a foodie-geek. Whatever. Hopefully you can relate.

Anyway, I immediately gravitated toward the diver scallops. Served with a potato, bacon and leek gratin. Unfortunately, I just ate an amazing potato gratin for dinner Friday night, and then again for (an early!) lunch on Saturday. Can I really order this dinner with MORE potato gratin. More potatoes, more cream, more cheese... I did it. We'll call it research. My, well, Dorie's gratin BLEW away this restaurant's version. My husband declared it one of the best things he's ever eaten. It was goooood!

To check out the group, head over to French Fridays With Dorie. And to buy the book (which you should!) head over to amazon.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

FFWD: Roast Chicken for Les Paresseux

So I've never roasted a chicken. I'm not a huge meat eater. I'll have a small portions here and there, but I tend to gravitate toward side dishes to fill my plate at dinner time. And dessert.

A major reason I've never cooked a whole chicken, turkey, or any other bird for that matter, is the business of removing the innards.


I've heard that sometimes they come in a bag, all neat and tidy. This was reassuring.
Unfortunately this was not the case with my little organic bird. I pulled three or four chunks of god knows what out of the inside of that sucker and I'm telling you, it was pretty gross. Good thing I had gloves. Oh, and the liver?? You know, the liver to spread on that crispy piece of heaven in the bottom of the pot? Not sure which part was the liver, but I tossed it pretty quickly and ate my crispy bread plain, that was good enough for me!

The chicken was killer, though. I threw together a stock with the carcass in the crockpot with the intention of making a chicken noodle soup when I came home the next night. No such luck, my husband polished off ALL of the chicken!!! In his defense, it was his dinner the night before, and lunch that day... So, the stock went into the freezer, instead. I'll just have to roast another chicken, and it was so easy, so why not!?

To check out the group, head over to French Fridays With Dorie. And to buy the book (which you should!) head over to amazon. Do it!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

FFWD: Pumpkin Gorgonzola Flan

Anyone getting tired of pumpkin yet? I'm not. Just tonight I made pumpkin granola and pumpkin muffins. Keep a look out for those posts soon - this one is about the Pumpkin Gorgonzola Flans, which I chose to make for this weeks French Fridays with Dorie. I had no idea what to expect. I just couldn't reconcile pumpkin, eggs, cream, gorgonzola and walnuts all together in my mind. This is what it's all about, though, this group. Trying new things, learning new techniques, eating new food.

The combination of the smooth, creaminess of the flan, the subtle sweetness of the pumpkin, the saltiness of the gorganzola and the earthy crunch of the walnuts, came together perfectly.

Now I have to decide which November recipe to choose next!

To check out the group, head over to French Fridays With Dorie. And to buy the book (which you should!) head over to amazon. Do it!!