Archive | February, 2012

red lentil soup with lemon + fresh mint

25 Feb

I’ve been working at a cafe for the last few months that serves a daily soup.  The owner threw this one together a while ago just using what we had around in the kitchen and it was incredible. I’ve been meaning to try and recreate it and, finally, here it is! It’s quick and easy and cheap and filling and tasty and healthy and just an all around great soup. Eat it up!

$3 per 2 servings

Serves 6 as main course.

red lentil soup with lemon & fresh mint

ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 400ml can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 c dried red lentils
  • 6 c vegetable stock
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh mint

preparation

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add onion and sautee until beginning to soften.  Add garlic and continue to sautee until onions are translucent. Add canned tomatoes, lentils, mint, lemon juice and stir.  Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil.  Once it boils, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until lentils are very tender.

Puree, add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve garnished with fresh mint and lemon.

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ghost beer

23 Feb

ghost beer.

honey soaked date + toasted almond biscotti

17 Feb

I helped a close friend of mine move just over a month ago. In return, she demanded that I make her biscotti as a housewarming gift. So I’ve finally gotten around to it. This is one of many many variations on this basic biscotti recipe that I’ve tried and they turned out to be delicious, once again. The dates and almonds can be swapped out for just about any dried fruit / nut combination that pleases you so follow your rainbow!

Note: it seems tempting (or it did to me when I first started using this recipe) to add a little more than a cup of ground almonds to the batter. Do not do this. Use a cup exactly, a little less if anything. The almonds give the cookie a wonderful flavour but too much will leave you with a crumbly mess instead of a crunchy delight.

honey soaked date & toasted almond biscotti

Adapted from Food & Drink Fall 2011

ingredients

  • 1 3/4 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 c ground almonds1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 c unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2/3 c sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 3/4 c dried dates
  • 1/4 c whole almonds, toasted, coarsely chopped

preparation

Preheat oven to 350°F

Cut dates in quarters (cut lengthwise and then crosswise) and place in a small bowl.  Drizzle with honey and let stand while preparing the dough.

In large bowl, stir flour with ground almonds and baking powder with a fork or whisk.

Cream butter and sugar in large bowl.  Beat in eggs, one at a time.  Add vanilla and beat until evenly mixed.  Add flour mixture.  Beat until almost incorporated and dough comes together.  Stir in honey dates and almonds until evenly distributed.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Place dough on sheet and form into a log, about 12 inches long, 3 inches wide and 1 inch tall.  The dough will be very sticky so wet your hands to work with it.

Bake in centre of preheated oven for about 25 to 30 minutes, until lightly golden on top.  Remove from oven and allow log to cool completely, at least 30 minutes.  meanwhile, reduce oven temperature to 300°F.  When log is cool slice 1/2 inch thick slices.  Place slices on a rack set on baking sheet (or turn half way through second baking).

Bake again for 20 to 30 minutes, until lightly golden and dry.  Cool completely before serving.

Biscotti will keep well in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week or freeze up to 1 month.

happy day after valentine’s day

16 Feb

this is what was in my fridge when I got home from work. so this is what I’m eating for dinner…

with beer.

happy day after valentine’s day

sage + butternut squash galette

13 Feb

In the middle of a Toronto February I start fantasizing about making a blanket fort around my bed and refusing to come out until i can be assured that I will reliably see the sun for more than an hour a day. Pastry, however, has proven to be a much healthier and equally satisfying way of handling the long last stretch of winter. Not only is it flaky and delicious, it forces me to sit at a table! #nocrumbsinmybed

Here is a recipe I tried and loved from Gourmet February 2009

$4.50 per 2 servings

Serves 6 as main course.

sage & butternut squash galette

From Gourmet, February 2009

ingredients

crust

  • 1 1/4 c all purpose flour
  • 1 stick (1/2 c) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh sage
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 4-6 tbsp cold water
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

filling

  • 1 2lb butternut squash, peeled and seeded, cut into 2 inch by 1/4 inch slices (should be about 4 cups)
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 leeks (white & pale green parts only), thinly sliced
  • 175 g soft goat cheese

preparation

dough:

Mix flour, butter, sage, and sea salt using a pastry cutter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Drizzle ice water evenly over mixture, one tablespoon at a time, and mix with the pastry cutter until it just forms a ball. (Do not overwork dough, or pastry will be tough.) Gently press dough into a 5-inch disk and chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, at least 1 hour.

make filling while dough chills:

Preheat oven to 500°F with rack in middle.

Toss squash with sea salt and 1 tbsp oil and arrange in 1 layer in a 17-by 12-inch shallow baking pan. Roast, stirring once halfway through roasting, until golden brown on edges and undersides, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove squash from oven and reduce oven temperature to 375°F.

Meanwhile, wash leeks, then cook in remaining 2 tablespoons oil with a pinch of sea salt in a 10-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl to cool slightly. Add squash, most of the goat cheese (set about a 1/4 c aside), and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and toss gently.

galette:

Roll out dough into a 13-inch round on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin. Transfer to a baking sheet. Arrange filling in an even layer in center of dough, leaving a 2- to 3-inch border. Fold dough in on itself to cover outer rim of filling, pleating dough as necessary. With the remaining 1/4 c goat cheese, place a generous amount on each slice of the galette (about 6 evenly spaced pieces). Brush pastry with beaten egg and bake galette until crust is cooked through and golden on edges, 35 to 45 minutes. Cool on baking sheet on a rack 10 minutes before serving.