Lentils with Mustard-Herb Butter -Another 5 star!

I’ve had this recipe for months and months and months. I put it in my meal planner, buy the ingredients and when it comes time to make it, I don’t. I think it seemed intimidating. The original recipe included salmon and had the French translation at the end of the title. I think that’s why it was intimidating. I like to cook, but I’m no chef, and I certainly don’t consider myself sophisticated enough to make French food! So in an effort to clean out our freezer I decided to just do it!

The night I made this, my husband took a nap and I just took a deep breath and with great determination, entered the kitchen. I read the directions a couple of times and decided to make the lentils first (cause anyone can boil some legumes, right?). Then I made the mustard butter. Then I chopped the leeks and it all just fell into place entirely WAY too easily. Before I knew it, dinner was ready, I woke my husband up and he said “already? How’d you do that so fast?” and that’s when I realized I’d actually finally conquered this oh-so-intimidating recipe and did it like I was a professional! As it turns out, French food isn’t intimidating, it’s just all about the butter!

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When we sat down at the table, I took another deep breath and tasted the lentils. HOLY COW! They were packed with this amazing flavor! My husband and daughter loved them too! It was definitely a 5 star recipe. The next day I even ate the lentils cold, that’s how good they were!

These were so good I thought I’d just post the lentil part of the recipe so that it could be a vegetarian dish (hey! It’s Meatless Monday after all). The salmon was good, but that’s not what made this recipe worthy of 5 stars. However, I’ll post how to cook the salmon at the very end so that if you do want to have this recipe as originally written, you can.

Lentils and Mustard-Herb Butter (with Salmon) (Saumon aux Lentilles)

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Salmon-with-Lentils-and-Mustard-Herb-Butter-em-Saumon-aux-Lentilles-em-241768

  • 3 tablespoons butter softened
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives, optional
  • 1 teaspoon chopped tarragon, optional
  • 2 teaspoons grainy mustard
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup French green lentils
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 medium leeks (white and pale green parts only)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2-1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

If you want to add salmon:

  • 4 (6-ounce) pieces skinless salmon fillet
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

 

 

Directions

Cook lentils: Bring lentils, water, and 3/4 teaspoon salt to a boil in a heavy medium saucepan, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until lentils are just tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking liquid, then drain lentils.

Make mustard-herb butter: Stir together all ingredients with 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.

While lentils cook, chop leeks, then wash . Cook leeks in butter in a heavy medium skillet over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 6 to 8 minutes.

Add lentils with reserved cooking liquid to leeks along with 3 tablespoons mustard-herb butter and cook, stirring, until lentils are heated through and butter is melted. Add lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and keep warm, covered.

For the salmon:

Sauté salmon while leeks cook: Pat salmon dry and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper (total).

Heat butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until foam subsides, then sauté salmon, turning once, until golden and just cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes total.

Serve salmon, topped with remaining mustard-herb butter, over lentils.

Asian Salmon- Another Keeper!

I must admit, this isn’t a new recipe. I’ve had this one for years and years and years and we love it! I am trying to figure out how to get fish in our diet a minimum of once a week and this is usually my go to when I’m in a pinch. I always have everything on hand, especially since some of the ingredients are on the exotic side and I don’t use them in anything but this. (As a side note, I don’t add the cilantro. I never have it on hand (the aphids LOVE it when I have it in my kitchen window herb garden) and my husband claims he doesn’t care for it).

allrecipes.com

 

So now that I’ve admitted that, I’ll now admit something else. This recipe was originally entitled “Halibut with Rice Wine”, but I call it “Asian Salmon”!!! Halibut is just so expensive, salmon is just so good for you and it has a lot of asian ingredients in it! Black bean sauce, mirin, rice wine vinegar… not your common pantry items, right?

I’ve made this recipe for many guests and everyone always raves about it. It’s just so flavorful, it’s hard not to like it. I steam some rice and broccoli and call it a meal. The sauce tastes good on every thing!

Some of the ingredients are odd, but I swear they’re worth every penny. You’ll buy this stuff and use it once a week in this recipe!

Halibut with Rice Wine

Adapted from allrecipes.com

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 shallots finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon black bean sauce
  • 1/2 cup mirin (Japanese sweet wine)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 6 (4 ounce) fillets salmon  skin removed
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Directions

Heat oil in non-stick saucepan over medium heat. Cook shallots and garlic gently until fragrant, but not brown. Stir in black bean sauce, rice wine, and soy sauce. Bring to boil and cook until reduced by half. Remove from heat, and stir in vinegar; set aside.
Pat fish dry. Rub with sesame oil and sprinkle with pepper. Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat, and lightly oil grate.
Grill fish for about 5 minutes per side, or just until cooked through. Sprinkle with cilantro. Serve with sauce poured over top.

 

Blueberry Drop Biscuits

I do declare these are amazing! A 5 star breakfast for sure! Word to the wise, eat one and ruuuuuuun out the door so you don’t keep eating them like I did!

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I wanted something different than the weekly norm. Except I didn’t want to put a lot of effort into it. I saw a blueberry muffin recipe and a biscuit recipe and then a blueberry biscuit recipe. I was like “ah yeah!”. Except that blueberry biscuit recipe called for popular name brand biscuit mix that we no longer eat (because it’s soooo processed) so I found this recipe and it’s most definitely a keeper! It’s just as easy to measure out the flour and baking powder as it is measuring out that biscuit mix! Pinky swear!

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Measure, mix, plop, bake, eat. Can’t get much simpler than that!

Blueberry Drop Biscuits

Adapted from: breadbaking.about.com

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup fresh/frozen blueberries
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
Directions

Preheat oven at 450 degrees F. Grease baking sheet. In medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter. Stir in milk just until flour is wet. Fold in blueberries. Drop by large spoonful onto greased baking sheet. Sprinkle tops with sugar. Bake at 450 degrees F for 15 minutes or until done.

 

 

 

 

Crock Pot Lasagna- It’s Another Keeper!

My husband loved this recipe. Loved, loved, loved it! I took our daughter and went out of town this weekend and he told me he ate it for two lunches and a dinner while we were gone. Now that is a high rating from him if he ate it for four meals!

I didn’t halve this recipe because I wasn’t sure what would happen to it, other than be super flat, and ended up freezing the other half for another dinner when I don’t feel like cooking. (Our freezer is filling up fast!) Another note about this recipe is that I waited too long to get it started and I turned it on high for about an hour to an hour and a half and then turned it to low for two hours. One section of the exterior got a bit dark or, um, burned, but the rest of it was fine, so I guess you can just watch it if you are in a rush or just chance it and cut it off if need be.
Again, my thought that lasagna is hard to make was squelched! I mean, how hard is mixing and layering ingredients?! Maybe I think it’s hard because if you order it in a restaurant you have to wait for it, making my brain think it’s hard work, rather than it’s just a made-to-order menu item? No idea. But it’s not hard, at all.

I’ll make this again because it was so good and easy. And my husband will be happy! And wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. He finished his dinner and said “That was so good! Too bad we’ll never see it again!”. Ha! WRONG!

Slow Cooker Lasagna

Adapted from cuteasafox.com

Ingredients

1 pound ground turkey breast
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
3 15 oz cans tomato sauce
2 Tablespoons Italian Seasoning
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (8 oz)
1 container (15 oz) part-skim ricotta cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
15 uncooked lasagna noodles

Directions

1. Cook sausage and onion in 10-inch skillet over medium heat 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sausage is no longer pink. Drain.

2. Stir in tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, and salt.

3. Mix 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese with the ricotta and Parmesan cheeses. (Refrigerate remaining mozzarella cheese while lasagna cooks.)

4. Spoon one-fourth of the sausage mixture into 6-quart slow cooker. top with 5 noodles, broken into pieces to fit. (Note: I just put one layer of noodles, in my slow cooker it is usually less than 5 lasagna noodles)

5. Spread with half of the cheese mixture and one-fourth of the sausage mixture. Top with 5 noodles, remaining cheese mixture and one-fourth of the sausage mixture.

6. Top with remaining 5 noodles and remaining sausage mixture.

7. Cover and cook on Low heat setting 4 to 6 hours or until noodles are tender. Note: Do not try to cook on high, the outside edges of the lasagna will burn. Trust me on that one.

8. Sprinkle top of lasagna with remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Cover and let stand about 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Cut into pieces and serve.