Saturday, October 23, 2010

French Lentil Rice Soup

French Lentil Rice Soup

  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup lentils, picked over and rinsed
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely diced
  • 3 tablespoons uncooked rice
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Herbs de Provence
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 cup chopped ham (or chicken), if desired
  • heavy cream or sour cream, if desired
  • chopped parsley, if desired

1. stir together broth, lentils, carrots, onion, celery, rice, garlic, Herbs de Provence, salt and pepper in crockpot. cover and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.

2. Remove one and a half cups soup and puree in a food processor until almost smooth. Stir pureed soup back into the crockpot. At this time add chopped ham in the soup and let simmer on " Warm" for a few minutes.

3. Serve soup in bowls, garnishing it with a dollop of sour cream or heavy cream and a little fresh parsley.

This so is so good! Everyone ate two bowls of it the night we had it, and then the boys ate it for dinner again last night. As leftovers I served the soup over some steamed rice. What was left I tossed in the Magic Bullet and pureed until smooth and then served it to the baby. This recipe is a keeper!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Asian Pork on Coconut Rice with Green Beans

Asian Pork on Coconut Rice
Serves: 6

  • 1/2 cup sweet chili sauce ( Maggi Taste of Asia, mild)
  • 1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons peeled, finally chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 pork tenderloin
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • sesame seeds and scallions, for garnish
Combine first five ingredients to make sauce. Divide sauce in two small bowls and set aside. Salt & pepper tenderloins and grill. 10 minutes before taking the pork off the grill, baste repeatedly the pork with half of the sauce. When the pork is done, remove from grill and let rest for a couple of minutes. Slice and serve with coconut rice and Asian green beans.

Coconut Rice:

  • 1 can coconut milk
  • jasmine rice

Prepare rice according to package diractions, substituting coconut milk for equilvalent amount of water. Add a dash of salt and one teaspoon of sugar if milk is unsweetened. Cook until liquid is absorbed. Set aside.

Note: The second time I made this I needed to have enough rice for eight servings, so I used one can of coconut milk and supplemented the milk with some Thai Coconut Curry broth I bought on impulse at the grocery store. It was amazing!

Asian Green Beans

  • 1 pound fresh green beans, ends removed and cut in half
  • olive oil
  • sesame oil
  • soy sauce
  • sugar
  • sesame seeds (I use black sesame seeds)
  • pinch of red pepper flakes, optional

1. Blanche green beans, drain and set aside.
2. Heat a little olive oil and sesame oil in a saute' pan. Add a little splash of soy sauce and a tiny bit of sugar.
3. Add blanched green beans and red pepper flakes to the pan and toss, cooking until heated.
4. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

This meal is one of my new favorites. It's quick and easy, and is pretty forgiving. The only downside? I only had my cell phone camera available to take a picture, and the quality isn't great. Oh well, I never claimed to be a photographer!

Photo credit, Me. Sorry for the poor quality.

Beef, Mushroom, Cheddar & Potato Pie

Before diving into the recipe, I just have to share a few thoughts...

1. This was originally a Rachael Ray recipe. You can see the original here. I changed it up just a tiny bit. Below is my version.

2. Just because a recipe says "Prep Time: 45 minutes", don't take it at its word. Trust me on this.

3. I love my Vidalia Chop Wizard. Actually, if we're being honest, I'm a sucker for all things "As Seen On TV". I have a mandoline, which I also love, but for this recipe my Chop Wizard helped me stay close to the 45 minutes of prep time Rachael claimed. :-)

Beef, Mushroom, Cheddar and Potato Pie
Photo Credit, Me. Sorry it's not great!


  • 1.5 pounds ground beef
  • 8oz baby bella mushrooms, sliced thin and sauteed
  • 1.5 cups carrots, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 small onion, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 2 stalks celery, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 large baking potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed but cold
  • 1 large egg yolk, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°. In a skillet, combine the beef, mushrooms, carrots, onion, celery, garlic and potato and cook, breaking up the meat, over medium-high heat until the beef is cooked through and some liquid has evaporated, about 15 minutes. Lower the heat to medium, add the beer and cook for 10 minutes. Add the cheese, 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Let cool.

  2. On a floured surface, roll 1 puff pastry sheet into a 12-inch round. Place in a deep pie dish. Roll the remaining puff pastry sheet into an 11-inch round. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat mixture to the skillet. Lightly brush the edge of the crust with some of the egg wash, then place the second sheet on top. Press the edges to seal, then trim to a 1/2-inch edge.

  3. Place the pie on a baking sheet. Brush the top with more of the egg wash and cut an "X" into the pastry. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Bake for 45 minutes, tenting with foil if the crust darkens too quickly. Transfer to a rack to cool for 15 minutes.

  4. If you have children, take the left over pastry dough, roll it again and let them go crazy with the cookie cutters. The dough gets tough very fast, but they will have fun for a few minutes.
I thought this was delicious, and Dan liked it, too. It tastes like "Fall" on a plate. Nicholas did as well, which is awesome, since he's three. Matthew, also three, ate a little bit, and then asked for ham and cheese. Ya win some, ya lose some. :-)

Disclosure: I provided all those links because I wanted to. I don't get any money, accolations, credit, etc. from providing them.