Indian-style Spicy Lentils with Spinach and Fried Garlic

Ingredients

5 oz split red lentils, washed and drained
5 oz spinach, washed thoroughly and cut into strips
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
2 garlic cloves, kept whole and lightly crushed
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons lemon juice
salt

Method

  1. Cover the lentils with about 10 fl oz hot water. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer until mushy. You may need to add more water if the lentils dry out. When done, they will have turned yellow.
  2. Meanwhile, boil a little water in another pan and sweat the spinach for a few minutes. (Keep the pan uncovered to keep its colour.) Set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a wok or heavy-bottomed saucepan and fry the garlic until golden. Sprinkle in the spice powders.
  4. Pour in the cooked lentils at once. Add the spinach along with its cooking water to the pan. Mix well.
  5. Add the lemon juice and season with salt. Heat through and serve hot.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Indian in Six

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Tart with Figs and Sweetened Lemon

Ingredients

Pastry Crust (enough for two 9-inch tart shells)

1/2 lb pastry or all-purpose flour
9 tbsp unsalted butter
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp finely crushed fennel or anise seeds
pinch of salt
1 large egg

Sweetened Lemon

1 large (6-oz) lemon
9 tbsp sugar
Pinch of salt

Filling

1 egg yolk
1 large egg
1-1/2 tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
2 tbsp almond meal or 1-1/2 tbsp flour
1-1/2 lbs (about 24) fresh green or black figs
2 tsp lightly crushed fennel seeds

Method

  1. To prepare the lemon, use a 1 mm slicing blade fitted on a food processor, or a mandolin, to make paper thin slices. Remove all seeds and put slices in a bowl. Mix with sugar and a pinch of salt and let sit at least 24 hours, covered, at room temperature.
  2. To make the pastry crust: Pulse the butter with the sugar, seeds and a pinch of salt in a food processor 4 or 5 times. Then add 1 egg and pulse 2 or 3 times to combine.
  3. Add the flour and pulse until crumbly, 3 to 4 times. Dump into a sealed baggie and press the mixture to form a dough, adding a tablespoon of water if necessary.
  4. Chill for 1 hour. Divide and form each half into a flattened round. Wrap up individually and chill overnight.
  5. The next day, butter a 9-inch shallow tart pan. Remove 1 pastry round from the refrigerator and let soften for 10 minutes. Roll pastry out until it is an 11-inch round and fit it into the prepared pan. Chill in the coldest part of the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. (The second round of pastry can be kept up to 3 days in the refrigerator, or frozen for up to 6 weeks.)
  6. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  7. Prick the bottom of the pastry shell in several places with a fork. Use a foil or parchment paper liner and weights, then put the pastry shell on baking tile or the bottom rack of the oven to bake for 12 minutes.
  8. Remove to a wire rack and let cool.
  9. While the pastry shell is cooling, drain the lemon slices and reserve the juices. In a food processor, combine the egg yolk, egg, butter, drained lemon slices, almond meal or flour and pulse until well blended. You will have about 1 cup filling. Taste for sugar and correct if necessary.
  10. Raise oven heat to 400°F.
  11. Spread the lemon filling over the cool tart shell. Top with halved figs, sprinkle with the fennel seeds and bake for 40 minutes.
  12. In a small saucepan, heat the reserved lemon juices, reducing it to 2 tablespoons glaze. Let cool to just warm to the touch.
  13. Remove the tart from the oven. Coat with the lemon glaze and serve at room temperature.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Source: Met Home magazine

Breakfast Brioche Toast with Banana and Nut

Ingredients

4 eggs
1/4 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon wheat germ
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
unsalted butter, for cooking
1 loaf brioche bread, thickly sliced
2 firm bananas, sliced
maple agave syrup, for serving
confectioners’ sugar, for dusting (optional)

Method

  1. In a large bowl, mix together eggs, milk, wheat germ, cinnamon, nutmeg, and half of the walnuts. Pour into a pie plate or a rimmed dish large enough to accommodate a slice of bread.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and add a little butter to melt.
  3. Meanwhile, dip slices of brioche into the egg mixture, coating both sides of the bread.
  4. Place coated bread slices in the heated skillet. Lay some of the banana slices on top of each slice and press down on the bananas so they do not fall off when you flip the bread.
  5. Cook the slices for about 1 minute before flipping, and flip each slice once more until the bread is a nice golden brown color. Keep warm while you cook the remaining slices, or begin serving with maple agave syrup, a light dusting of confectioners’ sugar, extra walnuts on top, and a side of banana slices.

Makes 5 servings.

Source: The Organic Family Cookbook

Risotto with Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables

Ingredients

5 cups vegetable stock
1 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
generous 1-3/8 cups risotto rice
8 oz roasted vegetables, such as bell peppers, zucchini, and eggplant, cut into chunks
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Grana Padano cheese
salt and pepper
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh herbs, to garnish

Method

  1. Bring the stock to a boil in a pan, then reduce the heat and keep simmering gently over low heat while you are cooking the risotto.
  2. Heat the oil with 2 tablespoons of the butter in a deep pan over medium heat until the butter has melted. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, until soft and starting to turn golden. Do not brown.
  3. Reduce the heat, add the rice, and mix to coat in oil and butter. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes, or until the grains are translucent.
  4. Gradually add the hot stock, a ladleful at a time. Stir constantly and add more liquid as the rice absorbs each addition. Increase the heat to medium so that the liquid bubbles. Cook for 15 minutes, then add most of the roasted vegetables, setting aside a few pieces to use as a garnish.
  5. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is creamy. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Remove the risotto from the heat and add the remaining butter. Mix well, then stir in the Parmesan until it melts. Spoon the risotto onto warmed individual plates, arrange vegetables around it or on top to garnish, and then sprinkle with fresh herbs before serving at once.

Makes 4 servings.

Note: To roast the raw vegetables, place them in an oiled roasting pan and cook in the oven at 400ºF for 20 to 25 minutes.

Source: Risotto

Bay Scallops and Foie Gras Ravioli with Cipolline Bouillon and Black Truffles

Ingredients

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 slices bacon, cut into small dice
10 ounces cipolline onions, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
3 cups chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
sprig of thyme
1 bay leaf
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
30 bay scallops, about 6 ounces
salted freshly ground black pepper
18 toasted walnut halves (about 1/2 cup)
3 tablespoons walnut oil
1 large fresh or flash-frozen black truffle (about 2 ounces)

Foie Gras Ravioli

Cornmeal, for dusting
18 wonton wrappers
3 ounces fresh duck foie gras, trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch dice, or foie gras terrine, cut into 1/4-inch dice.

Method

  1. To make the bouillon, melt the butter with the olive oil in a medium saucepan over moderate heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until it has rendered its fat, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the onions, garlic, and sugar and cook, stirring, until the onions are soft and browned, about 7 minutes.
  2. Add the sherry vinegar, increase the heat to moderately high, and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Boil until the vinegar is reduced to a glaze. Add the stock, thyme, and bay leaf, bring to a boil, and boil until the liquid is reduced by half. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a saucepan and set aside. (The bouillon can be made up to 2 days ahead, covered, and refrigerated.)
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boll, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Skim off and discard the fat that has come to the top of the bouillon. Bring the bouillon to a simmer over moderate heat. Reduce the heat to low and keep warm.
  4. Heat a large nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot. Add the 2 teaspoons olive oil and heat until hot.
  5. Season the scallops with salt and pepper. Add the scallops to the pan and cook just until browned on the first side, about 1 minute. Turn the scallops over and cook until just barely translucent in the center, about 1 minute longer.
  6. To make the ravioli, sprinkle a large baking sheet with cornmeal. Lay the wonton wrappers out on a work surface. Place about 1-1/2 teaspoons of the foie gras in the center of each wrapper. One at a time, using a pastry brush or your fingertips, moisten the uncovered portion of each wrapper with water, than fold the wrapper over the filling to make a rectangle and press the edges firmly together to seal. If desired, use a fluted pastry wheel or a 2-1/2-inch round cutter to cut the ravioli into half-moon shapes. Transfer the ravioli to the baking sheet. (The ravioli can be made early in the day, covered loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerated.)
  7. Add the ravioli to the boiling water and cook, stirring occasionally so the ravioli don’t stick together, just until the wonton wrappers are al dente, about 3 minutes. Remove the ravioli with a wire skimmer or slotted spoon and drain briefly in a colander.
  8. Arrange 3 ravioli and 5 scallops in each of 6 shallow soup bowls. Scatter the walnuts over the top, and ladle in the broth. Drizzle the walnut oil over the broth, shave the truffle over the top, and serve immediately.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Truffles