Tag Archives: cooking

Maharajah Curry Red Lentil Sausage Pepper Soup

Maharajah Curry Red Lentil Sausage Pepper Soup

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cored and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil + a little extra for frying sausage
  • 3 teaspoons Seasonality Seasonings Maharajah Curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 19 ounces mild Italian sausage
  • 14.5 ounce can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup dry red lentils
  • 2 cups chicken broth (or more if needed)

Directions

Put olive oil in a large pot over medium low heat. Add onion and peppers. Stir and saute for 4 – 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent and the peppers are cooked.  Add curry powder and salt.  Stir and remove from heat.

Pour a little olive oil in a saute pan.  Add the sausage (any casings removed) and fry until the sausage is completely cooked. If there is a lot of fat in the sausage, drain the fat.  Add the sausage to the onion and peppers mixture in the large pot.  Add the petite diced tomatoes and stir. Add the red lentils and stir. Return to medium heat and add chicken broth. Stir and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Add more chicken broth if needed if a lot of the stock is absorbed during the cooking process.

 

lentil soup in bowl

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Magnolia Table Bacon And Gruyère Biscuits

photography of fruits on a tray

Photo by Valeria Boltneva on Pexels.com

Today I picked the last of my summer herbs out of my garden since a frost is coming tonight and they will be long gone by morning. I chopped the herbs. Then I mixed chives, oregano, and parsley into fresh creamery butter and added black pepper, a dash of salt and some  Nanomi Togarashi (Japanese hot spice available in Asian markets) to make herb butter to go with my bacon and Gruyère biscuits.

Optimized-magnolia bloom

To make my biscuits I used the Magnolia Table Bacon And Gruyère Biscuit recipe from the cookbook Magnolia Table, a collection of recipes for gathering. I tried making the biscuits in the shape of spoons in a new spoon cookie tray I recently purchased.  I was not too crazy about the shape of the biscuits but the taste was delicious! The biscuits are buttery, savory and crispy. You will love serving these on your holiday table!

 

Bacon And Gruyère Biscuits

1/2 pound thick-sliced peppered bacon

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, but into cubes

3/4 cup milk

8 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated (about 2 cups)

  1.  Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2.  Arrange the bacon slices on a baking sheet. Bake until crispy, about 20 minutes. Line a second baking sheet with paper towels and transfer the bacon to the paper towels to drain.  Set aside.
  3. Line another baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. In a food processor, combine the flour, baking powder, garlic powder, garlic salt, salt, and white pepper. Pulse a few times to combine. Scatter the butter on top of the flour and pulse until the dough resembles coarse pebbles.
  5. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add the milk and Gruyère. Crumble the bacon into the bowl. Mix with your hands just until the dough comes together. Do not overmix.
  6. Use a 4 ounce ice cream scoop to drop uniform biscuit mounds on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until the edges are crispy, 20-25 minutes. Let cool slightly in the pan on a rack.
  7. Biscuits are best the day they are made, but leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. Warm in a preheated 300 degree Fahrenheit oven.

Makes 6 biscuits.

Note: To make smaller drop biscuits to serve as hors’doeuvres, use a 2 ounce scoop and bake them for the same amount of time as instructed above.

Please read my wine and recipe blog posts on the Roanoker Magazine website: https://theroanoker.com/blogging 

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Lemon Pots de Crème With Almond Brittle Sprinkle

lemon pots de creme

Viva La Local! Please visit the Roanoker Magazine Behind the Page blog:

https://theroanoker.com/blogging/behind-the-page/viva-la-local/

to find new Virginia products offered in local Roanoke grocery stores.  Love supporting local!

sliced of citrus lemons

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Lemon Pots de Crème is one of my favorite desserts because I can make them the day ahead, refrigerate the ramekins, then garnish the desserts right before serving. This recipe is from Fine Cooking magazine with my additions of the sweetened whipped cream (add a little powdered sugar to the cream) and almond brittle sprinkle.

Ingredients

  • Finely grated zest of 4 lemons
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3-1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped and pod reserved (or 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract)
  • 10 large egg yolks
  • Sweetened whipped cream, for garnish
  • Candied citrus peel or candied flowers, for garnish (optional)

Preparation

  • Put a large pot of water on to boil for the water bath. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F. Put eight 6-oz. ramekins in a large roasting pan or baking dish with high sides.
  • In a small saucepan, combine the lemon zest, juice, and 1/4 cup of the sugar. Simmer until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 15 minutes; set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine the cream, 1/4 cup of the sugar, and the vanilla seeds and pod (if you’re using vanilla extract, don’t add it yet) and bring to just below boiling. Remove from the heat.
  • In a medium bowl, beat the egg yolks with the remaining 1/4 cup sugar until smooth. Gently whisk a ladleful of the hot cream into the yolks and then whisk the yolk mixture into the saucepan with the rest of the cream. Cook slowly, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches 170°F on an instant-read thermometer, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the reserved lemon syrup and strain immediately through cheesecloth or a fine sieve. If you’re using vanilla extract, stir it in now.
  • Divide the mixture among the ramekins in the roasting pan. Pull out the oven shelf, put the roasting pan on it (be sure it’s stable), and pour enough boiling water into the pan so that it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the ramekins with a sheet of foil (simply lay the sheet on top, don’t crimp the edges) and bake for 25 to 45 minutes—start checking early—until the custards are set about 1/4 inch in from the sides, the centers respond with a firm jiggle (not a wavelike motion) when you nudge the ramekins, and the centers of the custards register 150° to 155°F on an instant-read thermometer (the hole left by the thermometer will close up as the custards firm). Let the custards cool to room temperature in their water bath. Remove the custards from the bath, cover them with plastic, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours. Garnish with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream and candied zest or flowers, if you like.

Make Ahead Tips

Custards may be baked up to two days ahead and refrigerated, covered with plastic.

Garnish

Lemon Zest

Almond Brittle:

Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup sliced almonds

2 tablespoons sugar

Slice butter into several slices and place it on a baking sheet (with sides so butter won’t run off sheet).  Place in oven and allow the butter to melt.  Remove the baking sheet from oven and sprinkle the almonds on the butter. Sprinkle the sugar evenly over the almonds.  Return the baking sheet to the oven and bake for 3 – 5 minutes. Watch carefully because the almonds will burn easily. Remove from oven and stir the almonds. Return to oven for more toasting if needed.  When the almonds are toasted remove from oven and allow to cool.

Place a dollop of whipped cream on top of each  pots de crème and sprinkle with crumbled almond brittle.  Sprinkle a little lemon zest over the almond brittle. Serve chilled.

close up dark drop of water droplet

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Time To Tailgate With Bloody Marys ~ Yellow and Red!

It’s Time To Tailgate!

…and that means it’s time for Bloody Marys! 

River and Rail bloody mary

A Virginia Favorite! 

Texas Beach Bloody Mary Mix

Available locally at Mr. Bill’s Wine Cellar

$7.99 a bottle

For Real Bloody Mary Drinkers!

I love this Bloody Mary mix, tastes like a fresh tomato with just the right amount of spice.

https://www.texasbeachbloodymary.com/

Texas Bloody Mary Mix was created by three friends from Richmond, Virginia. While Working in the industry as bartenders, they realized there was an immediate need for a mix with all the good stuff already in the bottle. So we set out on the long journey to create the tasty, authentic and responsibly produced Texas Beach Bloody Mary Mix.

The name Texas Beach comes from our favorite part of the James River located in lovely Richmond, Virginia at the end of Texas Avenue. Cheers!

bloody mary

Yellow Tomato Bloody Mary

Yellow Tomato Bloody Mary

I found this recipe for Yellow Tomato Bloody Mary in Bon Appétit Magazine. Fresh and delicious.  It’s always fun to garnish Bloody Mary cocktails ~ I chose celery stalks, golden cherry tomatoes, pimiento stuffed olives, crispy bacon and pickled green and purple beans.

Recipe from the August, 2018 issue of Bon Appétit. Recipe by Molly Baz.

Bruised tomatoes dripping with juice are tailor-made for a fresh Bloody Mary. They might not be on display at the farmers’ market—beauty queens, they’re not—but they’re often there if you ask.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 lb. very ripe yellow tomatoes, cored, coarsely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped, plus celery heart stalks with leaves for serving
  • 6 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup Castelvetrano olive brine, plus olives for serving
  • ¼ cup finely grated peeled horseradish
  • 3 Tbsp. hot sauce (preferably Cholula)
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 4 tsp. kosher salt, divided, plus more
  • 1 lemon wedge
  • 6 oz. gin
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. mild red pepper flakes
  • Sun Gold tomatoes (for serving)

RECIPE PREPARATION

  • Blend yellow tomatoes and chopped celery in a blender until smooth, about 1 minute. Strain through a medium-mesh sieve into a large pitcher, pressing on solids to extract as much juice as possible. Whisk in lemon juice, olive brine, horseradish, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, and 3 tsp. salt. Taste and season with more salt if needed. Cover and chill at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.

  • Combine black pepper, red pepper flakes, and remaining 1 tsp. salt in a shallow bowl.

  • To make each cocktail, rub the rim of a 12-oz. glass with a lemon wedge, then dip into spicy salt. Fill glass with ice and pour in 1½ oz. gin. Top with 5 oz. Bloody Mary mix; garnish with cherry tomatoes, celery heart stalks, and olives.

    If you are not a gin fan, try making this cocktail with Plymouth Gin. Plymouth does not have a strong juniper flavor. It is smooth with just the right amount of floral notes.

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Celebrating Summer’s Bounty ~ PAN CON TOMATE ~ Spanish Tomato Toast

PAN CON TOMATE ~ SPANISH TOAST WITH TOMATO

Tomorrow I am going to a Tomato Fest at our local farmers market and I will share photos from that event in a future blog post.  Today I am sharing one of my favorite snack recipes…Pan Con Tomate ~ crusty grilled or toasted bread rubbed with garlic and fresh tomato pulp.  It is absolutely delicious. In Spain they often serve Pan Con Tomate for breakfast along with cured ham and fresh fruit.

Pan Con Tomate

Ingredients:
1 Crusty Bakery Fresh baguette, halved lengthwise and then cut into quarters horizontally.
2 cloves  garlic
6 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil (Spanish olive oil is preferred for this recipe)
2 very ripe large tomatoes, cut in half
Coarse sea salt
Directions:
 Preheat broiler to high. Place bread, cut side up, on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.  Broil until crisp and starting to char around the edges, 2 to 3 minutes.
 Rub garlic cloves over cut surface of bread.
Put a box grater into a large bowl and grate tomatoes over largest holes, discarding skin. Spoon grated tomato onto toast and sprinkle with sea salt.

“a” Restaurant

In a restaurant we enjoyed Barcelona’s cuisine with a fun touch, with influences from around the world and a lot of flavor thought to be shared. And all with chef Alain Guiard’s special signature. Their tomato toast was the BEST!

Gazpacho is another tasty way to use the bounty of summer garden tomatoes. I like mine garnished with a little jumbo lump crab, burratta cheese and chopped red pepper.

I found this lovely summer recipe for Cherry Gazpacho in one of our neighborhood magazines The South Roanoke Circle in an article by David Lake Cook’s Nook, Liquid Pleasure = Liquid Salad. The cherries add a surprising zing to this Spanish chilled soup.  Don’t forget to chill your serving bowls and soup spoons in the freezer before service which will help to keep the soup nice and chilly as your guests enjoy it.  The tomatoes, peppers and herbs in the photo above were freshly picked out of my garden.

Cherry Gazpacho

Three 1-inch-thick slices of a rustic white sandwich-style bread

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

3 garlic cloves, 1 thinly sliced

1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped

1 yellow bell pepper, coarsely chopped

1 seedless cucumber, peeled and coarsely chopped

1 pound fresh bing or sweet cherries, pitted, set aside 12 cherries and finely dice them

3 ounces tomato juice

1 1/2 ounces red wine vinegar

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 thyme sprig

Tabasco sauce (I used Peri-Peri medium hot sauce)

4 basil leaves, torn, for garnish

Cherry gazpacho mixture:  Drizzle 1 bread slice with olive oil on both sides – do not cut it up yet.  In a medium skillet, fry the bread over moderate heat, turning once or twice, until golden, about 4 minutes. Rub the bread on one side with 1 whole garlic clove. Cut the bread int 1-inch cubes and transfer to a bowl. Add the sliced garlic, red and yellow bell peppers, cucumber, whole pitted cherries, tomato juice, vinegar, and 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours.

Croutons:  Meanwhile, cut the remaining bread into 1/2 -inch cubes and toss with the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil. Add the bread cubes to the skillet along with the thyme and the remaining garlic clove and cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently until the croutons are browned and crisp, about 4 minutes.  Transfer the croutons to paper towels to drain. Discard the garlic and thyme and season the croutons with salt.

Working in batches, puree the cherry mixture in a blender until smooth.  Strain the gazpacho through a fine sieve.  Season with salt, pepper and Tabasco.

Ladle the gazpacho into shallow bowls. Garnish with diced cherries, croutons and basil. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.

Please visit the Roanoker Magazine Blog to find recipes for Insanely Simple Summer Snacks:

https://theroanoker.com/blogging/behind-the-page/insanely-simple-summer-snacks/

 

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Carrabba’s Sausage And Lentil Soup Recipe For Father’s Day

Potatoes Picante, Grilled Prosciutto Wrapped Peaches, Charred Corn Burrata Salad…find fabulous tapas recipes on the Roanoker Magazine blog. Here’s the link:

https://theroanoker.com/blogs/behind/it%E2%80%99s-time-for-tapas/

Did someone say SOUP?!

Here’s the most delicious soup you can serve Dad on his special day.  Tastes like a yummy chili with the spicy addition of Italian sausage.  Our bubbly friends Judy and Bill served this to us for an Italian themed dinner and I loved it so much I made it for dinner the very next evening!  Bill found the recipe on Copykat.com:

Carrabba’s Sausage and Lentil Soup

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 1 cup diced white onion
  • 1/2 cup diced carrot
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 1 48 ounce package low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning (I used Cavender’s Greek Seasoning)
  • 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup brown lentils (I used red lentils)

Directions

In a large pot add onions, carrots, garlic, and celery and either butter or vegetable oil. Saute until the onions are transparent. Add sausage, and cook until browned. If the sausage is fairly lean drain the excess oil.

Add chicken broth, Italian seasoning, diced tomatoes and brown lentils. Cover with lid. And simmer for about 1 hour. You may want to add some additional water if too much water cooks out during the cooking process.

We found this 2016 Izadi Blanco Rioja to be an excellent pairing with the sausage and lentil soup. A blend of 80% Viura and 20% Malvasía grapes. Creamy texture with a fruit-driven freshness that balances well with the spicy flavors in the soup. Available on-line or locally at Mr. Bill’s Wine Cellar.

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Wine ~ Spirits Infused Grilling Planks For Father’s Day!

My blogger friend Anatoli sent me some Beyond Salt and Pepper wine infused cedar grilling planks to try on my grill. Please visit his blog

https://talk-a-vino.com/

to experience his inspiring stories about wine and food.

I was couldn’t wait to get grillin’… then it started to rain and rain and rain. Every day it rained buckets.  So it was difficult to find a time to grill. Then finally the sun peeked through the clouds  we decided NOW we grill!  As soon as we put the food on the grill it started to…you guessed it…rain!  We did not let the raindrops deter us, we were bound and determined to grill.

My sweet husband grilled under the cover of his umbrella.

 

Fresh swordfish sprinkled with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, drizzled with olive oil,

topped with fresh lemon slices, ready for the grill.

Since the planks are soaked for 48 hours in their respective wines or spirits there is no need to pre-soak the planks.  I seasoned the plank by lightly toasting each side on the grill  before cooking the fish.  This imparts more intense flavor and helps prevent warping.

We tested the fish for doneness with a cake tester. This is a favorite chef’s secret:  Insert a cake tester into the thickest part of the fish and leave it there for three seconds. Immediately after removing the cake tester, touch the tip to the skin under your bottom lip for three seconds. (the skin under your lip is especially sensitive to temperature).  If the metal is warm, the fish is done. If it’s hot, the fish is probably overcooked, and if the metal is still cool, keep the fish on the grill awhile longer.

We kept a water bottle close by to spritz on any little flames as the plank got nice and hot. The aroma of the chardonnay coming off the grill was fabulous!

A simple sauce of fresh dill and melted butter was the perfect flavor for the chardonnay infused fish.  The chardonnay plank helped to keep the fish moist and tender.

The perfect pairing ~ Dill Butter Chardonnay Infused Grilled Swordfish with Delamotte Champagne.  Cheers!

Here’s a link to Anatoli’s blog post with more information about Beyond Salt and Pepper Grilling Planks:  https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/4534732/posts/19754

I am looking forward to trying the other plank flavors ~ champagne, merlot, bourbon, rum and beer.  They are easy to order directly from the website, or on Amazon (the website offers a bit wider selection).  For more inspiring grilling ideas follow Beyond Salt and Pepper on Instagram.  There are lots of fun recipes (grilled vegetable recipes for my vegetarian friends too!) on their website.  Recipes include Chardonnay Infused Cedar Planked Shrimps With Blood Orange And Peppercorns, Lamb Chops And Gnocchi On Chardonnay Infused Cedar Planked, Ginger-Marinated Pork Tenderloin On Bourbon Infused Cedar Plank…yum! Let’s get grillin’!

These flavor infused grilling planks will make a fun gift for Dad for Father’s Day on June 17, 2018!

 The planks can be used in the oven. Recommended to preheat the oven to between 360°F. To 420°F depending on the type of food you cook. Always place the planks inside the oven safe tray to prevent juices from splashing all over the oven.
Pop over to the Roanoker Magazine Blog to find some fun rosé wines to enjoy while you grill!

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