Archive for October, 2016

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Slow Cooker Squash, Lentil and Chickpea Stew

October 30, 2016

This is a hearty fall stew that requires very little prep work. You could allow everything to simmer on the stovetop or toss it into a crockpot while you head out for the day. D said it reminded him of a chili, and it went well with a salad and some crusty bread. It would also be a great dish to prep, pop in the freezer, and save for a busy day.

You will need:

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 T garam masala
  • 3 c butternut squash, peeled and chopped
  • 28 oz diced tomatoes with chilies, with their juices
  • 1 qt vegetable broth
  • 1 c red lentils
  • 30 oz chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Then you will…

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. (If not using a crockpot, use a large soup pot and then add the rest of the ingredients to the pot throughout the recipe).
  2. Add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic. Saute for 5 minutes or until the onion begins to soften.
  3. Stir in the garam masala and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
  4. Combine along with the remaining ingredients in the crockpot. Cook on LOW for 6-8 hours.

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No-Knead Garlic Boule Bread

October 20, 2016

I had read about no-knead bread in several different places over the past few years. You need a Dutch oven or something similar to bake the bread, which I didn’t have until we received one as a wedding present. What I love about this recipe is that you can do some quick mixing in the morning and head off on whatever adventure you have planned. Then when you get home, you only have a few steps before you end up with bread that is deliciously crispy on the outside and full of airy goodness on the inside. The first week I tried this, we made it twice…so good!

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You will need:

  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 3 c all-purpose flour, plus more for shaping
  • 1 T garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 t salt
  • 1½ cups warm water (about 110 to 115 degrees F)
 Then you will…
  1. In a large bowl (recommend plastic or glass), mix together the yeast, flour, garlic powder and salt. until well mixed.
  2. Stir in the warm water and stir until a sticky dough forms.
  3. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap or a lid and set in a warm place for 8 to 18 hours. Dough should rise up and then flatten on the top.
  4. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Place a 4 or 6-quart Dutch oven in the oven with its lid and allow to preheat in the oven for 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, generously flour a piece of parchment paper and your hands.
  6. Transfer the down to the parchment and shape into a ball. Place the dough on the parchment paper, and then transfer the parchment paper in a medium bowl. (You could skip the bowl if you want, but I found it helped the dough hold its shape better).
  7. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for another 30 minutes or so.
  8. Remove your Dutch oven from the oven.
  9. Remove the plastic wrap from your dough and transfer it to your Dutch oven with the parchment paper. (Careful! The Dutch oven will be extremely hot). Cover with the lid.
  10. Bake 30-40 minutes covered until the boule is baked through and golden brown on top. It should sound hollow if you tap the bottom.
  11. Cool on a wire rack at least 10 minutes before slicing.

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Mushroom Hand Pies

October 4, 2016

We love portable dinner. It is perfect for the beach, a picnic, or for eating one-handed while entertaining a baby. These are hearty and full of earthy mushrooms. We loved adding crispy bacon, but you could leave it out for a vegetarian version.

You will need:

  • 4 oz bacon
  • 8 oz baby bella mushrooms, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 t oregano
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 c white wine
  • 1/2 c heavy cream
  • 4 oz shredded Gruyere or swiss
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 package puff pastry sheets
  • 1 egg
  • 1 T water

Then you will…

  1. In a large nonstick skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crispy, about 3-5 minutes per side.
  2. Remove the bacon and set aside on a paper towel-lined plate.
  3. Once cool, crumble the bacon. Set aside.
  4. Dispose of all but 2 tablespoons of the rendered bacon fat.
  5. Saute the mushrooms in the rendered bacon fat until most of their liquid is cooked off.
  6. Stir in the garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  7. Stir in the wine and saute until it is cooked off.
  8. Stir in the cream and allow to simmer until the sauce thickens. You want it to resemble a thick gravy.
  9. Stir in the shredded cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  11. Roll out the puff pastry until each sheet is roughly square.
  12. Cut each sheet into 4 squares.
  13. Place a spoonful of mushroom filling a little to one side of the middle of each square. You will want roughly a 1/2 inch margin of dough on the edges.
  14. Sprinkle with some of the bacon.
  15. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and water to make an egg wash.
  16. Brush the edges of the dough lightly with the egg wash.
  17. Fold the other half of the dough over the filling, either in squares or triangles (or both).
  18. Use a fork to crimp the edges of the pastry shut.
  19. Place the pastries on the prepared baking sheets.
  20. Brush the tops with the egg wash.
  21. Lightly sprinkle with pepper.
  22. Cut three small slits in the top of each pastry to allow steam to escape.
  23. Bake 20-30 minutes or until the pastries are golden and baked through.
  24. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a rack at least 15 minutes before serving.

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