Lentils with Turnip, Leek, and Carrots

On January 30, 2012, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
2

This dish is adapted from a recipe found on Barefoot Contessa’s website.

Last week a friend shared how she made the original version along with some grilled salmon.  I love lentils and had been looking for something new to do with them. Plus I really like the use of a turnip, which is a neglected yet delicious vegetable.

I served this dish as a main course and added some sautéed bok choy  as a side to give the meal some added texture and flavor.

Lentils with Turnip, Leek and Carrots
Serves 4-6

2 tablespoons plus ¼ cup good olive oil
1 leek, white and light green parts, sliced ¼ inch thick
2 carrots, scrubbed and ½-inch-diced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 cup green lentils
1 medium red onion, diced
1 white turnip, peeled and cut into small bite-sized cubes
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium sauté pan, add the leek and carrots, and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute and set aside.

Cook the lentils in 4 cups of water with the onion, turnip, and ground cloves in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, or until the lentils are almost tender. Drain any little amount of water left in the saucepan.  Now add the leek and carrot mixture to the saucepan with the lentil mixture.  Add butter and combine until melted. Turn off heat.

Whisk together the ¼ cup of olive oil, the mustard, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Add the vinaigrette to the lentils saucepan.  Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.

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Sausage, Chickpea Smoked Paprika Soup

On January 23, 2012, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
0

I confess. I’ve been on a bit of a meat kick lately.  Take for instance last night when I had a perfectly good sounding vegan soup I planned to make.  Looking at the recipe on the Farmersgirl Kitchen blog, the recipe screamed for some italian crumbled sausage.

If you wish to make this recipe as a vegan meal, please visit the Chickpea Smoked Paprika Soup recipe here.

For the more carnivores minded, here is that recipe done with some sausage.  The flavors from the original recipe really compliment the sausage nicely and I developed a few modifications to help the recipe if using meat.

For the paprikas, try an Indian market.  If you do not have the two mentioned below, 1 1/2 teaspoon of store bought paprika is fine.

Sausage, Chickpea Smoked Paprika Soup
Serves 6

1/2 lb crumbled Italian sausage
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, diced
2 celery stalks, washed and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
2 15 oz cans of chickpeas
1/2 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon hot smoked paprika
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon tomato puree
14 oz cherry tomatoes, cut in half
6 cups of vegetable stock
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a dutch oven on medium-high heat. Form small bite-size chunks of sausage and place in the pan, careful not to crowd the pan.  Cook the sausage for about 5-8 minutes until they start to brown and turn over to brown each piece careful not to overcook.  Remove the sausage and set aside on a plate.

Add the onion, garlic, celery, carrot and rosemary. Saute for a few minutes to soften then add the chickpeas, paprikas, tomato puree and cherry tomatoes. Cook for a good 3 minutes to let flavors combine. Add vegetable stock and bay leaves. Bring everything to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for 10 minutes.

Remove the soup from the dutch oven and place, in batches, into a blender. Leave some of the soup including some chickpeas and tomatoes in the dutch oven.  With the rest pulse two times for a rough blend and then return all of it to the pan. The trick here is to add some thickness, but keep some of the chickpeas and tomatoes together so everything is not blended into a puree.

Now add the sausage and heat to boil then reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove the bay leaves and salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

 

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Vegetable Potpie

On January 16, 2012, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
2

I now have to favorite must go places while in New York City. The first is Mario Batali’s Babbos. The second must stop is Candle Cafe, a vegan restaurant that is well-known in vegan and vegetarian circles.

My wife asked me what I wanted for Christmas and one of the top cookbooks was The Candle Cafe Cookbook (I already own Babbos’ cookbook.)

Tonight I made my first recipe, but made some modifications that took it from vegan to vegetarian, plus had to change out some vegetables. I also took a short cut that I’m sure led to a lesser potpie and went with a store bought Immaculate Baking Company pie crust.

I highly recommend you  buy The Candle Cafe Cookbook as it includes how to make this vegan and also includes a recipe for herbed pie crust that I’ll have to try when I have more time.

Vegetable Potpie

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 medium red potato, peeled and diced
2 small celery stalks, finely diced
2 carrots, finely diced
1/4 cup frozen sweet peas
1/4 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon dried tarragon
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 rosemary sprig (or 1 tsp dried)
1 thyme sprig (or 1 tsp dried)
Salt and pepper to taste

Pie Crust, store bought or your favorite homemade recipe

Preheat oven at 325 degrees.  Lightly butter a pie plate.

Prepare the pie filling by heating the olive oil at medium heat and adding all of the vegetables and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes to soften, stirring often so vegetables do not stick to pan.  Add the wine, milk, butter, spices, salt and pepper and reduce heat to medium-low heat.  In a separate small cup put in 2 tablespoons of flour with just a little water and stir so there are no clumps of flour. Add flour water mixture to pan.  Let the filling cook for 20 minutes. Remove bay leaf when done.

Roll out pie crust and put into pie plate. Add the filling and cover with sheet of pie crust making sure to add a few slits to top.

Heat pie in oven for 30-40 minutes until top is golden brown.


 

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Provencale Beef Stew

On November 14, 2011, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
4

In 1993 I took a French Bistro Cooking class that was taught by one of the chefs from The Heathman Restaurant & Bar.  It was my first cooking class that led to many other classes that summer.  Oddly, the thing I remember most about this particular class was my “helping” with cleanup and rinsing a Heinkel chef knife and placing it in the dishwasher. The instructor freaked out on me and scolded me for putting a fine kitchen knife in the dishwasher. She was right, but as a 21 year old guy whose parents idea of a quality knife was a Ginsu knife set, I had no idea.

 

Fortunately, I walked away that evening with a quality beef stew recipe that also serves as the foundation for a great macaroni gratin dish too (more on that recipe tomorrow.)

 

Daube De Boeuf A La Provencale (Provencale Beef Stew)
Serves 6-8

3 lbs. stew meat (beef round or chuck)

Marinade:
4 carrots, peeled and cut into thick ‘half moons’
3 onions, coarsely chopped
6 garlic cloves, peeled
1 rib celery, thickly sliced
4 sprigs fresh parsley
3 bay leaves
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme, or 1 tsp. dried
1/3 cup brandy
1 bottle robust red wine (Cote du Provence, Cote du Rhone, Minervoise or Languedoc)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. whole black peppercorns
2 whole cloves

3 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. mushrooms
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
grated zest and juice of 1 orange
salt and pepper

The day before serving the stew, in a large non reactive bowl, combine the marinade ingredients.  The peppercorns and cloves may be tied in a cheesecloth to remove before serving, if desired.  Toss well.  Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours, stirring occasionally.

Drain and reserve the liquid from the meat and vegetables.  Remove the meat from the vegetables.  Transfer the liquid and the vegetables (and the cheesecloth, if using) to a large non reactive casserole.  In a large skillet, melt the butter and olive oil over high heat.  When foam begins to subside, add half the meat.  Sauté, tossing, until browned all over, about  5 minutes.  with a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to the liquid and vegetables in the casserole.  Repeat with the remaining beef.

Stir the tomato paste into the casserole.  bring to a simmer over medium heat.  Reduce the heat to very low and simmer, skimming occasionally, until the meat is very tender, about 3 hours.  While the meat is cooking, in the same skillet in which the meat was browned, add the mushrooms and sauté over high heat until lightly browned, about 5 minutes; set aside.  When the meat is tender, (discard the cheesecloth, if using) stir in mushrooms, orange zest and juice, and salt and pepper to taste.

The recipe can be prepared 2 to 3 days in advance and refrigerated.  Reheat before serving.

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Beef Ragu Chiantigiana

On October 9, 2011, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
0

Beef Ragu Chiantigiana

Ragu is a maligned word in the pasta world.  It usually conjures up the idea of a highly acidic $3 pasta sauce. The word ragu is derived from the French word ragoût, from ragoûter, that means to revive the taste.  This recipe is here to revive the name ragu back to its roots of being a slow cooked meat and vegetable sauce that is rich in flavor.

Beef Ragu Chiantigiana
Serves 4

1 lb ground beef
1 Tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
Fresh ground pepper to taste
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
2 ribs of celery, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 Tbs chopped fresh sage
1 tsp dried marjoram
1 cup Chianti or other dry red wine
1 1/2 cup pureed tomatoes
1 cup beef stock
2 Tbs unsalted butter
1 lb pasta
Freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano

Heat olive oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Place ground beef in pot and season with salt and pepper. Brown meat all over for about 5 minutes. Transfer meat to a bowl.  Do not rinse pot.

Add carrot, celery, and onion and saute until soft and lightly browned about 10 minutes.

Return meat to the pot and add garlic, rosemary, sage, and marjoram and saute briefly until fragrant. Add 1/2 cup of wine and stir, scraping up bottom bits of pan. Let the wine reduce until almost gone, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Add the tomato puree and simmer the ragu, uncovered for 1 hour. As it cooks add a 1/4 cup of beef stock every 15 minutes, letting it reduce after each reduction.

After the hour is over, add the remaining 1/2 cup of red wine and cook for another 15 minutes letting the wine cook off. Taste and adjust salt and pepper seasoning.

Immediately before serving, blend in the butter; toss with the pasta. Serve with shaved Parmesan.

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Yankee Beef Pot Roast

On October 3, 2011, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
0

A simple pot roast for football Sunday

It’s football Sunday and with the Detroit Lions facing the Dallas Cowboys, it was going to be a day of sports and it was time for something basic. Something manly. Something like meat and potatoes. So I thawed a boneless beef chuck roast I bought on my last trip to Burgundy Pasture Beef Ranch and diced some vegetables.

Yankee Beef Pot Roast

Serves 4

1 boneless beef chuck shoulder pot roast (about 2 1/2 lbs)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups beef broth
1 cup dry red wine
2 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 potatoes, medium size cut into 1 inch cubes
1 onion, cut into 1 inch pieces
3 stalks celery, cut into bite-size pieces
2 large carrots, cut into 1/2 inch rounds

Combine 1/4 cup flour, salt and pepper in a 1 gallon freezer bag, placing beef into bag. Seal and shake to coat. Meanwhile heat oil in a stock pot over medium-high heat. Place beef into stock pot and brown evenly.

Remove the chuck roast after browning

Remove beef from pot and deg-laze with red wine. Scrape up beef bits and then add beef stock, thyme and remaining flour. Whisk to combine and return beef to pot. Let it come to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover stock pot and cook for 2 hours.

Add the vegetables to pan and then simmer covered

Add vegetables after the 2 hour simmer. Continue simmering for 45 minutes or until vegetables and pot roast are fork tender.

Serve with fresh bread.

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Udon Noodles with Vegetables

Grown-up Top Ramen: Udon Noodels and Vegetables

On September 20, 2011, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
1
Udon Noodles with Vegetables

Quick and Easy Top Ramen for Grown-ups

We were coming back from an early evening photo shoot for the boys. Stephanie bought a deal on Living Social and we spent some time out at Arbor Hills Park in Plano. It was the typical rush from work, get caught in some traffic, and then come back home get the kids ready for bed and finally have a moment to make dinner.  Fortunately, I had a simple recipe from the {Custom Made} Life blog.

Preparing the vegetables

Cooking some sweet potato and carrots

Basically take a few vegetables, some udon (or soba) noodles, and make a broth.  People who do not cook can cook this. I promise.

Best part it’s really quite tasty and hit the spot after all of our evening running around and it only took 15 minutes to make.

Chickpea Miso

Really impressed with this chickpea based Miso concentrate

It was also the first time I used a chickpea based Miso concentrate from Whole Foods. It’s a bit pricey at $10 a jar but I have to say it really added a great flavor to the broth; though, I’m sure a package miso from the asian food aisle is fine too.

For the full recipe, please visit: Recipe: Udon Noodle Soup

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Vegetable Korma

On February 15, 2011, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
0


If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been on a bit of a vegetarian/vegan kick lately. My wife Stephanie decided to give it an extra boost for my birthday by getting me “Appetite for Reduction” by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. It’s a brilliant book.

Here is one of the recipes from the book. It’s called 2nd Avenue Vegetable Korma and was an interpretation from one of the author’s favorite restaurants in New York City – Madras. Sounds like I have a new restaurant to checkout when I head back to New York in late March.

 
Full Recipe: 2nd Avenue Vegetable Korma.

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Lentil and Rice with Garlicky Kale

On January 28, 2011, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
0


We are trying to add more vegetarian dishes to our weekly dinner menu. I’m finding a lot of rice and lentil dishes are a great way to do something other than the typical vegetarian pasta dish for a reluctant vegetarian.

Here is a recipe I modified quite a bit from an article in Men’s Journal magazine. I go pretty light on salt and pepper while cooking. If you like a more robust flavor, add salt and pepper at the dinner table. This dish isn’t particularly flavorful but it does have a good mix of flavors for a rice and lentil dish.

Lentil and Rice with Garlicky Kale
Serves 6

2 cups dried lentil
2 cups of cooked rice
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 yellow onion, diced
1 leek, white and light-green parts only,
split lengthwise and cleaned
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried thyme
4 Tbsp olive oil
1 large bunch kale, stems removed, chopped
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp red-wine vinegar
Salt and pepper

In a large pot place lentils, carrot, onion, leak, bay leaf and dried thyme then cover with water by 2 inches. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. Drain water.

While the lentil mixture is cooking, pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a nonstick fry pan and add garlic heating at medium temperature and let the garlic cook for about 2 minutes, do not burn. Add kale and salt and pepper cooking it for about 5 minutes until slightly wilted.

Add kale to drained lentil mixture. Add cooked rice, red pepper flakes, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, red-wine vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Heat mixture at medium low heat for about 3-5 minutes for flavors to gel.

Remove from heat and serve as a vegetarian main dish or as a side dish.

 

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Lemon Chicken Soup with Rice

On March 28, 2010, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
0


This is not a chicken lemon rice soup like one orders at a Middle-Eastern restaurant. There is no cream in this recipe and hence lacks the thick, rich, creaminess of that style of chicken lemon rice soup; although, this version is much lighter and healthier. It has a nice flavor with the bay leaves, allspice and lemon juice. Add this with some sourdough bread and you’ll have an excellent Spring meal.

Lemon Chicken Soup with Rice
Serves 6

1 cup chopped chicken
6 cups low-salt chicken broth
2 bay leaves
4 tsp onion, very finally minced
1 carrot, peeled, halved, and chopped into small pieces
1 stalk celery, halved and chopped into small pieces
1/4 tsp ground allspice
Couple grinds of crushed pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup cooked rice (brown basmati, texamati, etc)
2 tsp olive oil
juice of 1-2 lemons

Combine chicken, broth, bay leaves, onion, carrots, celery, allspice, pepper, and salt. Cook 10 minutes at a slow simmer. Add rice and simmer another 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in olive oil and lemon juice. Just start with juice from 1 lemon and taste. Add more as desired.

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