I started off creating recipes from The Big Book of Little Lentils cookbook. Then it was announced that Canadian Lentilswas having a recipe contest that has seemed to explode online. Everyone has gotten involved and why not. Lentils are not only amazing to cook with they are Canadian. And when you can cook with products that are grown at home that is a bonus. Plus they are inexpensive, easy to use and a power house of nutritional value.
For the Entrée round I submitted my vegetarian Lentil Chili that I posted some weeks back. It is quick, supper easy, inexpensive and full of amazing flavour.
This soup is my submission to the Free Style round.
It is rich and full of amazing flavour. It is like this luxurious warm liquid bacon hug. Perfect in every way!
Creamed Bacon Lentil Soup
3 Tablespoons butter
4 garlic cloves, chopped
8 shallots, chopped
1-1/2 cups red lentils lentils
10 slices of bacon, chopped
7-8 cups chicken stock
1 sprig of thyme
1 cup cream
pepper to taste
Melt the butter over med-low in dutch oven.
Add the bacon and cook until almost done. Reserve a few pieces for garnish. Add the shallots and garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes until soft but not browned.
Stir in the lentils, 7 cups of chicken stock and the thyme sprig. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes until the lentils are soft.
Place a colander over a large bowl. Pour in the soup, separating the lentils from the broth. Pour the broth back into the pot. Place the lentils and bacon in the bowl of a food processor and purée. Stir in the lentil purée. Stir in the cream. Simmer over med-low heat for about 10 minutes to heat through. Add pepper to taste. Garnish with bacon crumbles and fresh thyme.
Thanksgiving supper has always been steeped with tradition in my family. We never stray far from the menu. It is the only holiday menu that never changes. Except for the addition of desserts to the usual line up.
What are your Thanksgiving traditions? Is your menu the same from year to year or do you like to change it up?
Welcome to our version of Thanksgiving 2013!
The turkey. From Redawna
I keep it fairly simple. The bed of vegetables add depth and make a nice flavorful gravy. The butter makes for a nicely browned skin yet keeps it tender.
First I make a bed of carrots and onions for the turkey to rest on. I season it well with salt and pepper.
I wash the bird with cold water. If I am not stuffing the bird I will salt and place a couple of whole onions in the cavity.
I slather the entire bird with a coating of butter then season it with salt and pepper. Add some water to the pan then cover with a lid or foil that has been sprayed with non stick spray.
Roast in a 325°F oven for 20 minutes per pound until it reaches an internal temperature of 170°F in the breast and 180°F in the thigh. Let rest for 20 minutes.
Southwest Roasted Brussels Sprout with Prosciutto. From Roger
1 and 1/2 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved (I did not halve because I like them whole if you do also, add at least 5 minutes to cooking time).
2/3 cup pickled red onion (recipe below) – chopped.
1/2 cup Cotija cheese – crumbled (can substitute Parmesan)
2 oz. prosciutto – thinly chopped.
3 Tbsp. Chipotle Honey Aioli (recipe below)
2 tsp olive oil.
2 tsp minced garlic.
Chipotle Honey Ailoi: 1 pod chipotle pepper minced, 1 Tbsp of adobe sauce (sauce in the chipotle can), 2 Tbsp mayonnaise, 1 tsp fresh lemon juice. Mix together in bowl.
Pickled Red Onion: 1 red onion – sliced into thin rounds; 3/4 cup rice vinegar; 5 black peppercorns; 5 allspice berries; 3 springs of thyme; 1 clove of garlic – halved; 1 small dried red chili pepper; 1/2 tsp. sugar; 1/2 tsp. kosher salt (or sea salt). In a mason type jar place sugar, salt, vinegar, and spices (except thyme). Gently stir to mix. Add fresh thyme. Place sliced red onion in a colander resting in the sink. Bring 3 cups of water to a strong boil. Slowly pour the boiling water over the sliced onion to lightly blanch them. Drain water. Add the blanched red onion to the mason jar and stir gently. Place lid on jar and store in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. I occasionally gently shook the jar to get all onion slices covered with the picking juice.
Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
Spray Canola Oil on 9.5 x 13 oven baking dish. Place Brussels sprout in pan, sprinkle with garlic and olive oil, mix together. Roast for 20 minutes cut side down (if Brussels sprouts were halved, if not halved add 5 minutes).
In a fry pan heated to medium high cook the prosciutto.
Remove Brussels sprout from oven, turn them over and then sprinkle with prosciutto. Return to oven for 25 minutes. With 10 minutes left on time add the the Chipotle Honey Aiole and pickled red onion and mix. Place baking dish back in oven for remainder of time.
Plate the Brussels sprouts and top with crumbled cheese.
Chestnut And Bacon Dressing. From Roger
Roger got this recipe from the November 1996 Gourmet Magazine. It has been a family hit every year since then.
6 cups torn bite size pieces of crusty bread.
6 thick cut bacon.
1/2 stick unsalted butter (about 1/4 cup).
1/2 C Italian flat leafed parsley – minced
2 onions – chopped.
2 cups – low sodium chicken broth.
4 celery stalks – chopped.
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary – minced.
Heat oven to 325 F.
On a baking sheet arrange bread pieces. Place on middle rack of oven and occasionally turn to golden brown both sides (approximately 20 minutes).
Prepare onion, celery, rosemary.
In a large fry pan cook bacon on medium high. Remove bacon when crisp. Turn off heat, and to the bacon fat the butter. Return heat to low. Add the onion, celery, rosemary, stir. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook until soft. Add the chopped chestnuts and cook for an additional minute or two.
Chop the bacon.
To a large mixing bowl add bread, and then mix in chopped bacon. Next add the onion/chestnut mixture, and Italian parsley, and stir well.
Butter a 4 quart baking dish. Place the ingredients in the baking dish. Slowly drizzle the chicken broth over the dressing.
Cover with foil and place in oven for 60 minutes at 325 F. Next remove the foil and cook for an additional 30 minutes.
Garlic Mashed Potatoes. From Roger
3 lbs. Gold Potatoes.
3 cloves garlic – peeled and halved.
1 and 1/2 cup half and half.
5 tbsp. butter.
1/4 tsp. ground pepper.
1/2 tsp. salt.
thyme for garnish
In a large kettle place potatoes and garlic. Add water to cover by two inches. Bring to boil and then reduce to simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
In pot on low heat slowly bring half and half to a simmer.
Drain water into colander being careful to retain the garlic with the potatoes.
To a large mixing bowl add potatoes and garlic.
Stir half and half and butter into bowl of potatoes and mash. Add salt and pepper and continue mashing until you like the texture.
Plate and add a little thyme garnish.
Scratch Pumpkin Pie. From Redawna
Going the traditional route, it is not Thanksgiving unless you have pumpkin pie!
It is easy to give a simple pie a touch of class with embellishing the rim with some cut leaf cut outs.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake whole washed pumpkins on a baking sheet for 40 – 45 minutes. Allow to cool. Cut pumpkins in half and remove seeds.
Scoop out the pumpkin pulp, mash and set aside. Makes about 2 – 2 1/2 cups.
Turn oven to 425 degrees.
Place pumpkin mash into a food processor and puree until smooth. Add sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg and evaporated milk. Blend well. Pour into a prepared pie crust.
Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 40 – 50 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for two hours.
2 cups of flour
1 tsp of salt
3/4 cup of shortening
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp white vinegar
ice cold water
Get your glass of water from the freezer.
Combine flour and salt in a medium sized bowl. Cut in the shortening. Place the egg and vinegar in a 1/2 cup, top up with the water from the freezer. Stir this into the flour mixture. Stir until a ball is formed.
Shape into 2 small discs and wrap, place in the fridge for 30 minutes. Roll the dough out on a floured surface large enough to line your pie plate.
I used the scraps and an oak leaf cookie cutter to make leaves for the edge of the pie.
Enjoy with whipped cream!
Coronation Grape Meringue Tarts. From Redawna
For something a little different these tarts pack a punch of flavor and are show stoppers!
Remove grapes from the stems and give them a good wash. Place them in a medium sized pot and add 3 tablespoons of lemon juice and place over medium low heat.
Bring the grapes and lemon juice to a simmer over medium heat for 12 minutes or until all the grapes are popped.
Strain the grapes in a fine mesh strainer until all the juice stops dripping. I did press the grapes to get every drop of juice I could.
Place the juice and sugar back into the pot and place over medium heat.
Bring to a low boil stirring occasionally until a temperature of 220 degrees is reached. Remove fro heat and allow to cool fully. The jelly will set once cooled.
While the jelly is cooling make the tart shells.
3 ounces of cream cheese – softened
1/2 cup of butter – softened
1 cup of flour
Cream the cheese and butter with a mixer. Add the flour and beat until a dough is formed.
Place in the fridge to chill for about 20 minutes.
Roll into 24 balls.
Spray a mini tart pan with non stick spray.
Press the dough ball into each cavity and form the shells.
Bake in a 325 F degree oven for 20 – 25 minutes until lightly browned.
While the tart shells are baking make the meringue.
3 egg whites at room temperature
3/4 cup of sugar
Whip the egg whites until foamy with a mixer. Once foamy slowly add the sugar whipping well. This should take about 8 minutes.
Once the tart shells are done spoon a generous teaspoon of jelly into each shell. Using a pastry bag or a teaspoon place a dollop of meringue on to each tart. Broil for a few minutes until nicely browned.
Butternut Squash Soup. From Michael
Nothing screams autumn like butternut squash. Because of its natural sweetness, it is often used in place of pumpkin for desserts. In addition, it makes for a delicious, creamy soup that’s perfect for the holiday table as an Entrée (in the French sense) to the meal. The secret to this recipe is its versatility. It’s the additions to the basic soup that make it special. In this particular recipe, I used crème fraîche, salt pork, and fried sage, but you could easily use sour cream, bacon, and thyme. Tailor it to the rest of your meal, if you wish.
You may have noticed there sure have been a lot of lobster posts here on Nutmeg Disrupted lately.
And I have one more to put up.
I feel a bit stuck right now. Not in a rut so much as just avoiding a place where I am not sure I am ready to go yet. But if I don’t now, when?
Funny how death does that. Pulls the rugout from beneath your feet. Brings such clarity. Makes you question your choices and decisions.
After a nasty physical confrontation with some members of my family which caused my first son to be born a month early, I decided to walk away from my family.
That was almost 15 years ago. And I never looked back. Pride, fear, and anger fueled my stubbornness.And I have never regretted it for a moment. It was what I needed to do. Like a crushing weight being lifted off my chest.
My baba died earlier this year.
I don’t think she ever knew what had happened. Why I left and never looked back. I always meant to go see her. But fear can be a very powerful emotion. So many times I wanted to go see her. Or write her a letter letting her know she was always on my mind. And yet, I did nothing. Because I was just so damn scared.
My regret is huge. Really there are no words to describe how very sorry I am. To walk into her funeral with my son, now 13, her never having ever met him. It breaks my heart on so many levels. I guess this is my punishment for my decisions. My lack of action. My stubbornness. For letting my anger with some, ruin relationships with all.
As I sat listening to the stories at her service I started to remember. Remember all the times we spent together. All the things I learnt from her. Of how alike we were.
She was the first member of the family to be behind the camera. Her gardens were nothing short of amazing. And though her food was simple, it was all about the love she put into it. For her family.
So many regrets. My heart is indeed heavy. As I wait for the never ending winter to go so I can find some sort of peace in my garden, I cook through my grief.
She may not have known it, but she was one of my hugest inspirations.
This is a soup she would make. Simple ingredients fresh from the garden!
I remember sitting in her kitchen watching, learning, eating.
Thank you Baba. xoxox
8 – 9 large beets
2 cups of carrots (cut into coins)
2 cups of green beans (chopped)
1/4 cup of fresh dill (chopped)
1 large onion (chopped)
salt & pepper
To prepare beets: Leaving about 1 inch of stem on give beets a wash. Fill a large pot with the beets. If you have large and small beets, use 2 pots, one for each size. Cover beets with water and place on high to bring to a boil. Once it begins to boil turn heat to medium to continue cooking. Small beets take 15 minutes, larger ones take up to 30 minutes. You will know they are done when pierced with a fork. Strain beets and plunge into cold water. Taking a knife remove stem end, the skins will just slide off. Give a quick rinse under cool water and slice into a bowl or soup pot.
Add the carrots, beans, onions and dill and cover with water.
Bring to a gentle boil and cook until the carrots are cooked through.
Every once in a while you come across one of *those* recipes.
You know, the one you make over and over when you first discover it.
You make it so often that those around you start to roll their eyes when they hear your making it again.
Ya that one.
Well this soup is that recipe for me. Which is sort of surprising.
I have never been a big soup eater, I just prefer foods you can sink your teeth into, and soup has never fit the bill where my food cravings were concerned.
I received this recipe from a friend who lives on Singer Island down in Florida.
Of course, being the good Ukrainian girl that I am, I upped the amount of onion and garlic used, otherwise, the recipe remains the same.
The aromas that fill your kitchen are just a hint of the pleasure you are about to endulge in.
The creamy texture and deep roasted flavours leave your taste buds wanting more.
Hell, its even good cold!
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
1 butternut squash (seeded) -large enough to give you 5 – 6 cups of pulp after roasting.
2-3 large onions, peeled and quartered
3 heads of garlic
6 cups of chicken broth
1/2 tsp of marjoram
1/4 tsp of ground black pepper
1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper
1 8 oz package of cream cheese
Preheat oven to 350*F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil. Halve the squash lengthwise, place on baking sheet with onion. Drizzle with some vegetable oil and season heavily with salt and pepper. Leaving the paper skins on the heads of garlic, and keeping the heads whole, slice of part of the end, exposing the bulbs. Place the heads of garlic on a sheet of foil and drizzle with vegetable oil, season heavily with salt and pepper. Wrap tightly and place in the corner of the baking sheet. Roast all in the oven for about an hour or until the squash is tender. If the garlic bulbs are not a nice toasted golden color place back into the oven for another half hour. Remove and set aside till cool enough to handle.
Scrape the flesh from squash, squeeze the garlic out of the skins and put all in the blender or food processor along with the roasted onions and cream cheese. Puree, adding abour 4 cups of the broth. Transfer to a pot and whisk in the remaining broth. Heat on medium until warm. Serve hot but do not boil.