Hi. Long time no write! As some of you may have noticed I have been out of commission. My week of writing about kids didn't get much traction. Sorry about that. I had a very close friend in town visiting for the week. We basically kicked it, hung with the kiddos and went out to great restaurants around town. The photo above is a cookbook from the same friend, and the second photo is the cookbook signed by the chef April Bloomfield. Pretty exciting! So this week my menu plan will consist of dishes from the book. I hope everyone has a great week. Happy cooking!
MONDAY: green pea soup*, brie and french bread
TUESDAY: radish salad* & flank steak
WEDNESDAY: date night . . . pizza for the kiddos
THURSDAY: pesto pasta, lentil puree* & french bread
FRIDAY: pot stickers, rice, oranges & peanuts*
SATURDAY: roast chicken* & caesar salad*
SUNDAY: lentil salad* & bratwursts
* dishes from the COOKBOOK A Girl and Her Pig, by April Bloomfield.
Pea Soup: This dish looks awesome. I started the broth tonight (it cooks for five hours, but you don't have to do a thing)! Here is the link to the recipe. I am excited for dinner tomorrow night. As mentioned above I am serving it with french bread and brie. Enjoy.
We eat a lot of flank steak. It's so easy! I marinate the flank steak all day and then crank on the broiler. I broil the steak for 7 minutes each side. It's done!
Date night. I am serving pizza, maybe fresh, maybe frozen and some fresh veggies. Yum! Yum!
Tonight is pesto pasta. The kids favorite and a great way for me to add in tons of veggies. As you may have previously read I like to make my own pesto, but if I don't have time store bought is JUST fine! I basically whip up your basic pesto sauce and then add in spinach, some carrots and some lemon juice. Nothing like a few extra veggies. I am serving our pesto over cheese tortellini. A great pesto recipe to get you started is Ina Garten's . . .
I am also making April's Lentil Puree and serving everything with french bread.
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 7 medium garlic cloves, peeled
- 3/4 cup Puy lentils, rinsed & picked over
- about 3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 heaping tablespoon of flaky salt, (April prefers Maldon)
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Combine cumin, cream, garlic and lentils with 1 1/2 cups of water. Bring to a vigorous simmer and then turn the heat to low for about 35 minutes. Then pour everything into a blender or food processor and add olive oil, salt and lemon juice. Blend until it's completely smooth. It will keep in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Costo pot stickers, jasmine rice and oranges. And because I am trying something from April's cookbook almost everyday I added in this peanut recipe.
Two recipes from April today. Roast chicken and Caesar Salad. I haven't ever cooked a whole chicken!
April's roast chicken recipe is pretty simple. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Get a 4-pound chicken, pat it dry. Let the chicken sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. Cover the inside and outside generously with salt. Let the chicken sit for another 15 minutes at room temperature. Put the chicken in a roasting pan or baking dish. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Roast the chicken for 30 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees and cook for about another 20 minutes (until the skin is light golden brown and the juices run clear when you pierce the thickest part of the thigh). Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let it rest for another 15 minutes. Enjoy!
For the time being I am going to steer away from going out to restaurants with the family and get the kids in the kitchen cooking with me! Sunday night we will be having brats with yummy buns and lentil salad from April's cookbook.
Lentil and Chickpea Salad with Feta and Tahini
Bloomfield says, "you might be tempted to follow a recipe loosely --I know I often am-- but on your first go, please try it my way. Then once you've made it two or three times, feel free to tweak as you like."
For the lentils:
Scant 1 cup dried Puy or Casteluccio lentils, picked and rinsed over
2 large garlic cloves, halved lengthwise
2 sage sprigs
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
For the dressing and salad
2 teaspoons coriander seeds, toasted and ground
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground
1/2 large garlic clove
maldon or another flaky sea salt
2 tablespoons well stirred tahini paste
about 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 and 3/4 cups drained chickpeas, low sodium if canned
1/2 small preserved lemon, pith and flesh discarded, rind finely diced
1 very small red onion, thinly sliced into half-moons
A handful of small, delicate cilantro sprigs
A scant 1/4 cup feta, preferably goat's milk
1 and 1/2 tablespoons raw sesame seeds, toasted in a dry pan till a shade or two darker
Make the lentils: Put the lentils, garlic, sage, and olive oil in a small pot, along with 2 cups cold water, and set it over medium heat. Let the water come to a simmer (don't let it boil), then turn the heat to low and cook the lentils in a very gentle simmer just until they are tender -- about 25 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and let the lentils cool, then drain them very well and pick out and discard the sage and garlic. You'll have about 2 cups cooked lentils.
Make the dressing: Mix together the ground coriander and cumin in a small bowl. Mash the garlic clove to a paste with 1 teaspoon salt in a mortar. Combine the mashed garlic, the tahini paste, 3 tablespoons of the lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, 1 teaspoon of the ground spice mixture, and 2 tablespoons water in a bowl. Stir the mixture well. Have a taste and consider adding another teaspoon of lemon.
Assemble the salad: Toss the lentils with the drained chickpeas, preserved lemon rind, and 1 teaspoon salt in a large mixing bowl. Pour in the tahini dressing and toss it all together really well.
Put the onion slices in a medium bowl and break them up with your fingers. Sprinkle in 2 good pinches of salt, then add two teaspoons of lemon juice. Add the 2 remaining teaspoons olive oil and the cilantro and toss gently but well. Crumble in the cheese. Give it another gentle toss.
Scatter a few handfuls of the chickpea-lentil mixture onto a large platter in one layer. Scrape the onion and cheese mixture into the bowl with the rest of the lentils and chickpeas and toss it gently so the ingredients are well distributed but the cilantro stays pert. Scatter this mixture on top of the lentils and chickpeas on the platter. Sprinkle on some of the remaining spice mixture and then the sesame seeds and serve.
Have a great week everyone!