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Monday, December 29, 2014

Recipe Review from 12/22/2014

So after the previous week of upheaval (moved offices) and social activities (sister and family in town), I was able to settle back into my cooking routine.  As we approach the New Year, I'll be doing my usual recipe, cycling, and book tallies.  It will be interesting to see how I did recipe-wise this year.  I was making about two new dishes a week, which I think is down a bit from previous years.  I had more focus on leftovers and simplicity this year, which will continue into next year as well. 

The Meal Plan (I over planned...again...)
Sun - leftovers from family gathering
Mon  (Bkgrp/Legion)
Tues - Shepards Pie leftovers
Wed - leftovers
Thurs (Christmas with my Folks)  Pork and Butternut Tagine
Fri - leftovers
Sat - leftover soup for lunch, out for supper

Lentil Soup (Slow Cooker Revolution)  vegetarian, gluten free
This was not my favorite lentil soup and I can't quite put my finger on why.  It's got lentils and they aren't over cooked.  It has my favorite veggies of celery, carrots and a bit of potato.  It has seasoning.  It has vegetable broth.  But it's lacking...something.  Not sure what.  I think I might try adding various seasonings (but not all at once!) such as: fish sauce, soy sauce, chili paste, etc, and see if it bolsters anything. 

1 2/3 cup lentils
1 onion, chopped
1 cup celery
1 cup carrots
2 qts vegetable broth
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried sage

4 small baby red potatoes, cut into small bite-sized pieces

Combine in slow cooker.  Cook 4 hours on low or 6-8 hours on high.

**I added some Sambal Oleek and really liked the touch of heat it added.  

[Pork] Tagine with Butternut Squash  (Slow Cooker Revolution) gluten free
I made this dish for Christmas dinner with my Folks.  Everyone agreed this was outstanding!  I did substitute boneless country pork ribs for the beef, and the pork nuggets were fall-apart tender.   The spice combination rather tickled the tastebuds, and there was a gentle amount of heat from the red pepper flakes.  We served this with crusty bread and a selection of cheeses, but a bowl of rice and naan would also go very well.  Recommended!

1 1/2 tbsp sweet paprika
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 lbs [boneless country pork ribs]  or stew meat, cut into 1/2" cubes
1 1/2 butternut squash, cut into 1/2" cubes
8 shallots, quartered (I used 4 and it was plenty)
1 lb tomatoes, diced (keep seeds and juices!)
1 cup chicken stock (not beef or pork! too flavor heavy.)

Combine pork or beef with spices in slow cooker.  Add rest of ingredients and cook on low for 8 hours.  Serve with cilantro. 

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