Food for Dentistry Part 3 – French Lentil Soup

French Lentil Soup

French Lentil Soup

The puree parade continues.  Still trying to avoid chewing while trying to come up with something delicious to eat.  This recipe came from Epicurious. This one would be a lot more appetizing if parts of it were left chunky.  The flavor is excellent though.  This is a great recipe for a rainy evening at home — aww, remember when it used to rain?

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tablespoons extra–virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 cup chopped celery stalks plus chopped celery leaves for garnish
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 cups (or more) vegetable broth
  • 1 1/4 cups lentils, rinsed, drained
  • 1 14 1/2–ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
  • Tahini (optional)

METHOD

IMG_4230Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium–high heat. Add onions, celery, carrots, and garlic; sauté until vegetables begin to brown, about 15 minutes. Add 4 cups broth, lentils, and tomatoes with juice and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium–low, cover, and simmer until lentils are tender, about 35 minutes.

Transfer 2 cups soup (mostly solids) to blender and puree until smooth. Return puree to soup in pan; thin soup with more broth by 1/4 cupfuls, if too thick. Season with salt, pepper, and a splash of vinegar, if desired. Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with celery leaves. Drizzle tahini paste and serve.

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Food for Dentistry Part 2 – Broccoli Soup

Broccoli Soup

Broccoli Soup

Going to great lengths to follow recovery instructions carefully, I’m keeping things smooth and liquid with minimal chewing for the time being.   This soup is incredibly easy and really tasty.  Also, my appreciation for the immersion blender is at an all-time high.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 2 medium-sized heads of broccoli, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 5 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 russet potato, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp herbs de Provence
  • 6 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • sour cream and hard cheese for garnish

METHOD

In a dutch oven over medium heat, sauté onion and celery in olive oil and butter until soft and translucent (about ten minutes).  Add garlic and herbs de Provence and sauté until fragrant (about 1 minute).  Add broccoli, potato and stock and bring to a simmer.  Cover and cook until vegetables are tender (25 – 30 minutes).

Season with salt and pepper to taste and blend with an immersion blender (or in a regular blender) until smooth.  Place soup into bowls.

Thin sour cream with milk or half and half and drizzle over soup.  Add some shaved hard cheese (parmesan, asiago, pecorino, etc.) and some cracked black pepper and serve hot.

For those who are able to chew, this soup is great with a dark bread.

Crushed Puy Lentils with Tahini and Cumin

Crushed Puy Lentils with Tahini and Cumin

Crushed Puy Lentils with Tahini and Cumin

Lately we’ve been focused on plant-based recipes, occasionally rounding out with seafood for protein (though an occasional free-range chicken crosses our road from time to time).  Whether that is your focus as well or even if you’re just looking to give a little extra pizzazz to your veggie sides, I can’t recommend Plenty and Plenty More by Yotem Ottolenghi enough.  I am cooking my non-linear way through both of these books just as fast as I can and have yet to find a single recipe that wasn’t just plain amazing.

We made this recipe three times in two weeks.  it’s delicious as an appetizer or even as a main entree.  You can use toast or flatbread or even crackers for your delivery system (I confess when it came to left-overs the next day, I skipped all the above and went straight for a spoon).  You’ll like this one, I promise!  You can find the original recipe at the Ottolengi official site.

Ingredients

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup small green Puy lentils (look for the smaller ones, sometimes called French lentils, not the regular ones)
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 cups finely diced tomatoes (I used grape tomatoes which worked perfectly)
  • a full cup of cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup tahini paste
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/3 small red onion, sliced very thinly
  • 4 eggs, hard boiled
  • hot smoked paprika, regular paprika, or sumac to garnish

METHOD

Bring a medium pan of water to a boil. Add the lentils and cook for 15-20 minutes, until completely cooked, drain and set aside.

Put the butter and oil in a large sauté pan and place on a medium-high heat. Once the butter melts, add the garlic and cumin, and cook for a minute. Add the tomatoes, 20g of coriander and the cooked lentils. Cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes, then add the tahini, lemon juice, 70ml of water, a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper. Turn down the heat to medium and cook gently, stirring, for a few minutes more, until hot and thickened. Roughly mash the lentils with a potato masher, so that some are broken up and you get a thick, porridge consistency.

Spread out the lentils on a flat platter, run a fork through to make a wavy pattern on top, and scatter on the sliced onion, the remaining coriander and a final drizzle of olive oil. Serve warm with the hard-boiled eggs alongside.

Pork Tenderloin with Juniper Berries, Sage and Garlic Potatoes with Green Beans

Pork with Juniper Berries

Pork with Juniper Berries

One of my favorite aspects about being home for several weeknights in a row is that I get to make nice dinners.  I scour my various cooking magazine subscriptions in the evenings and try to pick something I think Bri would love to come home to the next night.  Tonight’s offering from Saveur is absolutely amazing.  It’s a super flavorful Italian dish from the Umbria Region.  It’s a little complicated, but well worth it.

I’m on a continued quest to lose weight so I made severe adjustments to the amount of oil used.  We couldn’t tell the difference.

FILETO di MAIALE con BACCHE di GINEPRO (Pork with Juniper Berries)

For the Potatoes

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large russet potatoes
  • 12 oz green beans, washed and trimmed
  • 1 ½ Tbsp minced sage
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • Kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the Pork

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 oz pancetta
  • 1 1 lb pork tenderloin
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp juniper berries
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  1. Make the potatoes: Heat oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high.  Cook potatoes until golden, 10-12 minutes.  Stir in green beans, sage garlic, salt and pepper.  Reduce heat to medium; cook covered until potatoes are tender, 6-8 minutes.  Transfer to a bowl ; keep warm
  2. Make the pork:  Wipe skillet clean and heat olive oil over medium-high.  Cook pancetta until crisp, 2-3 minutes.  Using slotted spoon, transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.  Season pork with salt and pepper; cook, turning as needed until browned, 8-10 minutes.  Add junior berries, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves and garlic and cook 1-2 minutes.  Add wine; stirring and scraping up browned bits from bottom of skillet, until evaporated, 12-15 minutes.  Add stock; boil.  Reduce heat to medium; cook, slightly covered until an instant read thermometer inserted into pork reads 145 degrees F.  Let pork rest 5 minutes, then slice ½” thick; divide between plates.  Simmer sauce until thickened, 10-12 minutes.  Discard herbs and stir in reserved pancetta, salt pepper; spoon over pork.  Service with potatoes and green beans.