Ok! So I am on a LENTIL kick lately. Lentils you say? Oh Yeah!! They are so delicious and filled with nutritional value and heart healthy components! Lentils are a legumes or in other words beans! They come in various colors and are typically dried. They need to be reconstituted with a liquid which allows for the absorption of other flavors that you may be cooking with. I am not a nutritionist nor claim to be one, so Google lentils to find out more about them and how they help the body lower cholesterol, manage blood sugar levels and are rich in fiber!!
After listening to my little spiel on lentils……It was a slow Sunday here in the Teliska household. My husband and son went skiing and my daughter and I stayed home. She is recovering from having her tonsils out so we just chilled. I decided to clean out the kitchen cabinets to find something hearty to make for lunch. After finding a little bit of this and a little bit of that I came up with a delicious soup made with dried wild mushrooms and lentils!! My daughter loves soup and will eat just about any kind. Shhh…sometimes I just have to keep some of the ingredients a secret until she tries it!!! She loved it and I was so glad because it was soft and nutritious while she is recovering from her surgery!! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did and here is the recipe for you to try!!
I also want to make note of where to find some of the items listed in the store that are in the recipe list:
- Dried Mushrooms – the particular brand I bought was from Trader Joe’s! I don’t usually shop there but when I do I grab a lot of their specialty items such as these. The organic section of your local market or the bulk section would be another area to find them as well.
- Lentils are usually where the bagged dried bean section is in the local store. They keep them on the bottom shelf usually not at eye level. That is another blog I will write – how to find things in the market and their strategy of how they place items on the shelf! It is all marketing!!!
- Beef Stock – Canned soup, soup stock isle – comes in a jar and lasts quite a while in the fridge if sealed tightly. Always good to have on hand in the winter months when making soups and stews. There are a variety of flavors such as chicken, veggie, fish – stock up on all of them!!!
- Sherry – located in the vinegar isle of the local grocery store or in the cooking fortified wine section at your local liquor store near marsala wine etc. I like it from the liquor store better I feel it has a bolder taste. Do not buy CREAM Sherry!!
Cream of Wild Mushroom and Lentil Soup
Level of Difficulty – Medium
1 – 8oz package dried wild mushroom (1 cup if buying bulk)
1/2 cup dried small green lentils
4 cups water
1tbsp concentrated beef stock paste
1tbs olive oil
1 cup of celery diced
1/4 cup white onion diced
1 tbsp minced fresh garlic
1/4 cup sherry
1 bay leaf
3 cups of 1% milk
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp pepper
1/4 cup butter melted
1/4 cup flour
- Take the lentils and put in bottom of a sauce pan. Take one cup of water or enough to cover lentils. Boil for 5 minutes and set aside off the heat and cover for 1 hour or until lentils are al dente.
- Open package of dried mushrooms and rinse in a strainer over the sink. Pour in to a bowl and cover with 2 cups of warm water. Let mushrooms sit on counter for an hour while lentils are soaking.
- Dice celery, onion and garlic and add to the bottom of a heavy sauce pan or dutch oven with olive oil. Sweat the onions, celery and garlic until translucent.
- With a slotted spoon remove the mushrooms from the liquid and dice in to a small pieces on a cutting board.
- Add mushrooms to the pan and mix until they are browned. When browned add the sherry and be sure to cook of the alcohol so only the flavor of the sherry remains. A hot pot is needed to do this.
- Take a tbsp of the beef stock paste and add to the mushroom water that was left in the bowl. Mix until the paste is dissolved. Add that liquid to the mushroom and celery mixture in the pan along with a bay leaf.
- Add the lentils from the pan and mix to combine.
- Let simmer for about 20 minutes so the lentils can absorb some of the flavors from the mushroom mixture.
- Meanwhile in the pan that was used for the lentils add the milk to that and simmer just until warm. The milk should be slightly warmed (tempered) before adding to the hot stock or you could take the chance of the milk curdling!!
- Add milk to stock and combine.
- In a small ramekin melt the butter and add the flour with salt and pepper. This is called a roux and is the thickening agent for the soup.
- While the soup comes to a slow boil slowing whisk in half of the roux. When combined slowly whisk in the remaining roux. You will start to see the soup thicken.
- Remove the bay leaf and serve with a garlic crouton or a Gourmeli Pinch Bread!! It is a savory and rich soup!!!
Let me know your feedback – but you will not even know the lentils are in the soup!!!!!
I am not sure if it is possible to write an entire blog post on the making of an egg sandwich but I love them so much that I think I can pull it off. I could eat an egg sandwich any time of the day whether it breakfast, lunch or dinner. There is something about the grilled to perfection hard roll, oozing cheese and slightly runny egg that screams out delicious goodness. Add some grilled ham, bacon or sausage, a slice of vine ripened tomato and some arugula with a couple pieces of grilled artisan bread and you can bump it up from an ordinary egg sandwich to a gourmet egg sandwich!
Growing up, my dad was the king of making egg sandwiches for the family. He would fry up the bacon in a cast iron pan and then cook the egg in the bacon grease! I could feel my arteries clogging as the egg snapped, crackled and popped in the cesspool of bacon fat! He grilled up a crusty hard roll, smothered some cheese over the egg topped with a couple pieces of bacon and his masterpiece was done. Oozing cheesey, bacon fat egg buttered hardroll sandwich!!! YUM!!!
Over the years I have adapted dad’s sandwich to a bit of a healthier one….HOWEVER…..when there is a chance to swing in on a Sunday while dad is making the artery clogging sandwich, I jump at the chance of having one!! Below you will find my recipe for a grilled panini style egg sandwich. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Homemade Egg Sandwich:
2 slices of artisian bread
2 thinly sliced pieces of tomato
2 slices sharp cheddar cheese (or any cheese that is to your liking)
couple slices of bacon cooked
Fry bacon per package directions, drain on papertowels and set aside.
In a nonstick frying pan, spray pan with cooking spray and add the eggs. The eggs can be cooked to your liking. Over easy, over hard, scrambled etc.
Butter each side of artisan bread as if you were going to make a grilled cheese sandwich.
When eggs are done cooking, top with bacon and the 2 slices of cheese.
With a spatula, remove the eggs, bacon and cheese and place on the non buttered side of the bread. Top with the other non buttered side of bread and add sandwich back to the to the pan with the buttered side down in the pan.
Grill each side on medium high heat until golden brown and the cheese begins to melt. Be sure not to have the heat to high or the bread will burn before the cheese can melt on the inside.
Remove from pan and cut in half….enjoy.
Happy Cooking!! I hope you enjoyed this post. Stay tuned for some more recipes for your enjoyment.
Melanie Teliska – Gourmeli’s Taste
Every couple of months I have the opportunity to be a guest chef on News Channel 13 Let’s Eat Segment. As the guest chef, I have a 4-minute live cooking segment that I showcase an item that I would like to make and share with the viewing audience. Dan Bazile is the morning show anchor along with Jason Caterina who does the weather. They assist me in the demonstration of the item that I am making. There are some jokes thrown in along the way and it is a fun question answer segment while cooking. This past Sunday, I had the opportunity to do the show again. For the holiday season I showcased Homemade Baily’s Irish Cream, which is an annual family tradition we make during the holiday season, coupled with Mudslide Triple Chunk Cookies. Below you will find the recipe for both along with the video demonstration from the segment! Hoping you enjoy them as much as the crew on the set of News Channel 13!
Mudslide Holiday Cookie
1 cup salted butter * 1 cup light brown sugar * 1 cup sugar
2 eggs * 1 tsp KAHLUA * 1 tsp vanilla * 1 tblsp Baily’s Irish Cream
1 tsp baking soda * 1 tsp malted milk powder (Ovaltine) * 3 ½ cups flour
½ cup semi sweet chocolate chips * ½ cup dark chocolate chips * ½ cup milk chocolate chips
Add room temperature butter, brown sugar and sugar to bowl of a mixer.
Cream mixture until smooth.
Add 2 eggs, Kahlua, Baily’s, vanilla and combine
Add baking soda, malt powder, and flour and mix.
While mixer is running add chocolate chips and combine.
Pre-heat oven to 400.
Drop cookie dough by rounded tablespoon on a cookie sheet.
Bake 7-9 minutes and remove from oven and let cool on a cooling rack.
Homemade BAILY’s Irish Cream
2 cups half and half
1 can sweetened condensed milk
10 oz. whiskey (Black Velvet)
1 tbsp Nesquick Chocolate Powder
2 tsp vanilla
Add ingredients all at once to the canister of a blender.
Blend until combined.
Chill for a couple hours before serving. Stir before pouring.
OR serve over ice immediately!!
I have to admit I am not a huge “leftover” person. I am not big on eating the same meal 2 or 3 times in a row. The only time I can dive in to leftover’s is when it they come home with me from an Italian restaurant. I love it when they plate enough chicken saltimboca that you can serve the family for an entire week! Something about sitting down the next night and diving in to that goodness. After it sits in the “to go” container it gains a sort of signature appeal that screams “nuke me”!
With that said, I do not like to waste food, so I try to make an entirely different meal out of something I prepared the evening before. I have learned over the years that when I cook I always cook an abundance of food because one never knows who will be stopping by during dinner hour……and I always have a back-up of boneless chicken breasts in the freezer for those emergency nights!
If you have been following the blog you are aware that I had a dinner party the other night for my husband’s family. We had some boneless pork spare-ribs (on sale in Hannaford this week) left over from that evening so I pulled together a sweet and sour pork dish served over coconut rice. It was really good. I have to admit my children did not care for the rice but picked a bit at the pork. I had some fresh veggies left over as well from the Carlson garden raid so I added those to the dish as well.
I took…. 5 grilled leftover boneless spare ribs (sliced and diced into small pieces – nothing fancy however big you want the pieces to be is up to you) Small chopped fresh onion Small chopped fresh green pepper Container of sliced mush (optional) Fresh garlic minced Can of pineapple chunks (8oz) 1/2 cup sweet and sour sauce or any sweet marinade you may have in pantry (don’t stress over something specific – grab what you have) Sautee couple tablespoons of olive oil, fresh garlic, onion, pepper and mush until translucent. about 15 minutes on med heat. Throw in rest of the ingredients and mix until heated through.
Rice: Minute Brown Rice or White – follow directions on box and add: 1/2 cup coconut SECRET INGREDIENT: Shhh….don’t tell anyone…..1/4 cup Friday’s Pina Colada Mix!! Tablespoon of butter. Add coconut and Fridays mix to water while it is boiling….add rice cover etc.
Spoon pork over coconut rice…..it was really good!
Happy Cooking….shoot me a reply with any questions. Melanie
Welcome back – Kids and Food
Just thought I would continue where I left off. I am excited about the new launch of my website and blog and I look forward to hearing from everyone. Since my children were born, John 7 and Olivia almost 6, I have for the most part worked from home and taken care of them. It has been a challenge daily, to find foods that they both like to eat and are good for them. I was told by one of my son’s occupational therapists that it takes a child 7 times of trying a food to eventually like it or want to have it again. I have made an effort with sticking to that and making them try everything several times. I always try to put a twist on what I cook for them. For example, yesterday for lunch I made my son a grilled cinnamon and sugar peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It is a spin-off of a grilled cheese and he loved it. I took two pieces of whole wheat bread, buttered it, sprinkled cinnamon and sugar on the buttered sides and grilled it on low heat in a non-stick frying pan. Please let it cool before serving to kids. The sugar on the bread caramelizes and is very hot!! I cut into quarters and he loved it. I am thinking my husband would enjoy this as well. Happy cooking and I look forward to sending you an update tomorrow.