Thursday, February 5, 2015

Basil Scented Red Lentil Risotto

Red lentils boost the fiber and protein in a classic risotto...and the basil is nice too!

Makes 4 side servings

1 Tbl olive oil
4 Tbl butter, divided (1/3)
1 small leek, white part only, finely diced
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 to 4 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup red lentils
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
4 large basil leaves, thinly sliced
Salt for seasoning if necessary

In a medium sauce pan melt the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter.  Add the diced leek and sauté over medium heat until softened.
Stir in the rice, making sure every grain gets coated with the butter and oil.
Stir in the wine and gently simmer until the rice has absorbed just about all of the wine.
Now add about 1/2 cup of the chicken broth and stir over the medium heat until the broth is absorbed into the rice.
Add the lentils and another 1/2 cup of the broth and continue to simmer and stir.
As the rice absorbs the stock keep adding a half cup of broth at a time until the rice and lentils become creamy.  You'll need at least 3 cups of the broth and maybe a bit more.  This process takes about 20 minutes.
Add the remaining 3 tablespoon of butter and stir in.  Off the heat stir in the Parmesan and basil leaves.
Taste for salt and add some if necessary.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

A Lighter Spinach and Parmesan Egg Drop Soup

I made this for a recent Food52 contest and thought I'd share.  It was named a Community Pick and the Food52 people took a beautiful photo of it!

See the photo and recipe here:

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Leek and Spinach Risotto

We didn't have a normal Thanksgiving this year...I lost my Dad on November 22 and most of the family had out of town guests in for the funeral.  We all split up for the Holiday because of this. Normally we fry two turkeys for dinner and then three more the next day. We did fry a turkey for Marge and her guests and then one for us on Thursday.
And we did manage to fry two more turkeys yesterday to stash in the freezer and also decided to try a couple of small Cornish Game Hens.  They were great!  I made this risotto to serve along side.  

Makes about 4 servings

4 Tbl butter divided 3/1
2 small leeks, white and pale green parts only, diced
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 cups chicken broth
5 ounces chopped baby spinach
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium sauce pan, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter.  Add the diced leeks and sauté until softened.  Add the rice and stir to coat all the grains.
Over medium heat, pour in the wine and stir until most of the liquid is absorbed into the rice.  Now start adding the chicken broth, a little at a time, stirring all the while.  Each time the rice absorbs the liquid, add more broth. Keep doing this until you've added all the broth.  The rice should be creamy.
Stir in the last tablespoon of butter, the spinach and the cheese.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Monday, December 1, 2014


My brother, Tom, caught this of Kerby this morning while for a second he was still.  Normally he's a whirlwind!!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Thank You!

Bourbon, Orange and Ginger was the winner in the recent Food52 "Your Best Cocktail" contest.  Thanks to everyone!

Here's my Q&A with Food52:

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Easy Bean and Bacon Soup

It's getting colder and colder so more soups are on the menu.  Here's and easy bean and bacon one...

Makes almost 4 quarts

3/4 pound dry Great Northern white beans
6 slices bacon, diced
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 carrot, coarsely chopped
1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped 
2 cloves garlic
2 Tbl sweet Hungarian paprika
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
7 cups chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste

Soak the beans overnight in water.  Drain and rinse and then cover them in fresh water and simmer them until done, about 45 minutes.
Saute the diced bacon in a Dutch oven or soup pot until the fat is rendered and the bacon just starts to crisp.
Place the onion, carrot, celery and garlic in a food processor and process until everything is finely chopped.
Add the vegetable mixture along with the paprika and crushed red pepper to the pot of bacon and sauté for 5 to 10 minutes.
Add the beans and chicken broth to the pot, bring up to a boil and then simmer for about 15 minutes.
Remove about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of the beans to a shallow bowl and mash them thoroughly with a fork.  Return the mixture to the pot and simmer the soup for about 10 more minutes.  Taste and add salt and pepper if you like.