Lentil and Tofu Red Curry

Lentil and Tofu Red Curry

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This is a wonderful vegetarian weeknight dish. It warms up well for leftovers. I used Trader Joe’s Pressed tofu which saves time on the draining and pressing. I am not a big fan of lentils but my husband loves them so I try new things out and I have to say this was very good. I think this would also be good with carrots added or other vegetables.

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INGREDIENTS

1 package extra firm Tofu drained, pressed and cut into large cubes
2+ Tbsp Olive Oil, for frying onion and tofu
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 Tbsp Red Curry paste (or to taste)
2 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp Fish Sauce (optional)
1 cup french green lentils, rinsed
1 cup canned coconut milk
1 red pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut into strips

DIRECTIONS

Heat olive oil in a  large saucepan and saute onion until translucent. Add red pepper and cook until tender, about 2 minutes. Add curry paste and cook 1 minute. Stir in stock, fish sauce and lentils and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer gently, stirring occasionally until lentils are tender and two-thirds of the liquid is absorbed, about 30-35 minutes.

Stir in coconut milk until well combined, simmer. While this simmers heat oil in a large frying pan and add the tofu. Season with salt and pepper and keep stirring, gently, until tofu is nice and brown on all sides. Add tofu to curry mixture and serve.

 

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Asparagus Risotto

Asparagus Risotto

It might not be spring yet but I can just about see spring in the distance… and things are starting to bud with all the rain. So much rain. But they had some beautiful, thin Asparagus stalks in the market yesterday and that called for this dish! This recipe was adapted from a great Williams Sonoma cookbook that I got for Christmas back in 1996. My parents gave me a love for food, and cooking and most of my kitchen implements came from them over the years.

Serves 6 as a side dish

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Ingredients

5 1/2 cups Chicken or Vegetable Stock
1 1/4 pound asparagus, cut into 1 1/2 inch lengths
3/4 cup white wine
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups Arborio or medium grain rice
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp chopped tarragon or 1 tsp dried
salt and fresh ground pepper

Directions

In a medium sauce pan over high heat, bring stock to a boil. Add the asparagus and boil until just tender, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Add the wine to the stock and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and keep the liquid hot.

In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, heat the olive oil and saute the onion, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 8 minutes.

Add the rice to the onion and stir until a white spot appears in the center of the grain, about 1 minute.

Add 3/4 cup of stock, adjusting the heat to simmer, so that the liquid bubbles and the stock is absorbed slowly. Stir until the liquid is absorbed. Continue cooking, adding the stock 3/4 of a cup at a time, stirring almost constantly, until the rice starts to soften, about 10 minutes. Continue cooking until the rice is tender but slightly firm in the center and the mixture is creamy, about 10 minutes longer. You can add more stock or liquid if needed.

Add the asparagus, parmesan cheese, chopped tarragon and salt and pepper to taste.

Serve in shallow bowls

 

Summer Vegetable Galette

Summer Vegetable Galette

This wonderful recipe comes from a blog “The view from Great Island”. This is a great way to use up extra zucchini and squash. I want to make a roasted tomato version as well! Make sure your veggies are thinly sliced. A mandoline slicer is very helpful. I served this with a tomato salad.

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Ingredients

crust
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 5 Tbsp unsalted butter, cold and cut in small pieces
  • 5 Tbsp cold water
filling
  • approximately 3 ounces spreadable goat cheese
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1 small yellow squash
  • 1 small new potato
  • thin slices of red onion about 1/2 a small red onion
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • Parmesan cheese for sprinkling on top

Instructions

  1. Put the flour and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the chunks of cold butter and pulse about 25 times, or until combined and crumbly. Drizzle in the water while pulsing, and run the machine briefly until the dough comes together in a lump, this should not take more than 15-30 seconds.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and bring together into a flat round disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 400F
  4. Slice the squash and potato on a mandoline slicer at set at 1/8 inch thickness. If you are using a knife, slice them as thin as you can so they are flexible and translucent.
  5. Roll the dough out on a sheet of parchment paper that is cut to fit a baking sheet. Roll it to about a 12 inch circle, more or less.
  6. Spread the soft goat cheese over the surface of your dough, leaving a border of dough free so you can roll it later.
  7. Arrange your sliced veggies over the cheese, overlapping them. You will probably not need all of them, I made a fairly thin layer. Separate the rings of the onion slices and feather them over the top. Sprinkle some grated parmesan cheese on top.
  8. Roll up the edges of the dough to meet the filling. Season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil. Note: keep your dough chilled at all times before baking. If you need to you can put the whole tray in the refrigerator while your oven heats up.
  9. Bake for about 33-35 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. I like to take the parchment paper and set it right on the rack of my oven for a great crisp crust. If you have a pizza stone you can use that.
  10. Slice and serve the tart hot or at room temperature.
Risotto with Fresh Corn and Basil Oil

Risotto with Fresh Corn and Basil Oil

This has all the wonderful tastes of summer in one dish. Super easy and a nice meal with a side salad of tomatoes and a glass of white wine

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Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, plus whole leaves for garnish
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 large sweet onion
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio or Carnaroli rice
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Kernels from  ears of corn
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 Tbs. minced fresh chives

Directions

In a blender, combine the chopped basil and olive oil and process until thoroughly combined. Set aside.

In a saucepan, bring the broth to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and maintain a simmer.

In a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onions, stir to coat, cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Raise the heat to medium, add the rice and stir until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the simmering broth a ladleful at a time, stirring frequently after each addition. Wait until the broth is almost completely absorbed (but the rice is never dry on top) before adding the next ladleful. After 10 minutes, stir in the corn. After about 20 minutes, the rice should be tender to the bite and creamy. If you need more liquid, use more broth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Remove from the heat and stir in the chives and 2 Tbs. of the basil oil. Divide among bowls, drizzle with more basil oil, garnish with basil leaves and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Cucumber and Avocado Bisque

Cucumber and Avocado Bisque

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This is the perfect creamy, cold soup to serve on a hot day. Super simple to make with just a few ingredients. My husband hates cucumbers and he loved this. I topped with blue cheese and a drizzle of lemon balsamic vinegar. This came from a cookbook I just finished, “Big East Forkful” with recipes from Jim Leeson’s kitchen. This recipe may have originally come from Maude’s Courtyard – a favorite Nashville restaurant when I first arrived here in 1981. The original recipe calls for European seedless cucumbers but I used seedless Persian cucumbers and it tasted perfect.  I tweaked the recipe to my own tastes- added more avocado and I did not salt and leave the cucumbers sit.. The KEY is seedless cucumbers. I have included the original recipe card. This is a great cookbook filled with simple, country recipes.

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Ingredients

1 Medium seedless European (or Persian) cucumber, chopped
1 Medium ripe avocado, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
1 Cup Chicken stock
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Cup sour cream (or greek yogurt)
1/2 tsp Salt

Blend all ingredients and chill. Serve garnished with blue cheese and drizzle with lemon balsamic vinegar.

Spaghetti Squash Rosti

Spaghetti Squash Rosti

This is a great side dish. Quick and easy for a weeknight dinner. Just a couple of ingredients. Top with an egg for a main dish. make individual patties or one big patty.

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Ingredients

  • 1 spaghetti squash 2 cups spaghetti squash noodles
  • 2 tbsp flour or (almond flour)
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400.
  2. Cut the spaghetti squash in half and using a spoon remove the seeds from the center. Place each half face down in a pyrex dish with about an inch of water in the bottom. Bake in the oven for 35-45 minutes or until a fork easily pierces through the squash. Place the spaghetti squash on a plate and allow to cool
  3. Using a fork, scrape the inside of the baked spaghetti squash, removing the flesh in strands. Place in a sieve and firmly press down to remove as much liquid as possible.
  4. in a bowl combine the spaghetti squash with the almond flour, cheese, dijon mustard and cayenne pepper. Mix to ensure the spices are blended in and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Form the mixture into small patties approximately the size of a clenched fist and flatten until they are 1/2 inch thick. Place the patties on a plate and leave to rest in the fridge for approximately 30 minutes so they will hold together better when cooking. You can also make one large patty and cut into wedges.
  6. Heat the oil in a frying pan on high heat. Quickly cook the patties on one side for approximately 3-4 minutes until golden and then gently flip over. Lower the heat to medium and cook the patties for another 4-5 minutes.
  7. Serve warm topped.
Creamy Artichoke Soup

Creamy Artichoke Soup

This taste-of-spring soup is made creamy with silken tofu instead of  heavy cream—I adapted this from a cooking light recipe. It was a bit bland so I added some lemon balsamic vinegar since I did not have any lemon juice on hand. I also want to try this with greek yogurt replacing the tofu.

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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped shallots
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 cups unsalted chicken stock
  • 1 (12-oz.) pkg. frozen artichoke hearts
  • 1 (16-oz.) pkg. silken tofu, drained
  • 1 cup frozen sweet peas
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon Juice or balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium-high. Add shallots and garlic to pan; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add stock and artichokes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer until artichokes are very tender, about 5 minutes.

Place artichoke mixture, tofu, and peas in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure lid on blender, and place a clean towel over opening in lid. Process until smooth, about 45 seconds. Return mixture to saucepan; stir in milk lemon and salt, and pepper. Heat over medium until warmed through.