Saturday, March 5, 2011

Mixed Herbs and Spices Recipes

I don't have much to say about this post but that I came up with the following recipes when I got home later on a Friday night, but still was really wanting to cook and eat fresh and nutritious.  I've been pouring through my spice encyclopedia this week, and so wanted to make sure these dishes were all well- and robustly seasoned.

Lentil Chapeaux
1/2 cup yellow lentils
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup water
1 tsp garam masala
salt to taste
12 wonton wrappers
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Bring liquids to a boil and stir in lentils. Simmer, covered about 25 minutes until tender and liquid is absorbed. Stir in garam masala and salt.
Meanwhile, press wonton wrappers into greased mini or standard cupcake cups. Bake (at 375 if oven isn't already on, I just popped them in at 425 with my parsnips) until golden and crisp about 8-10 minutes.
Fill cups with lentils and garnish with cilantro.


Roasted Parsnips with Fennel
1 large parsnip (about 1 pound - I'm serious, this thing was huge), cut into dice or slices as you prefer
~3/4 tsp fennel seed, freshly ground
~1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp olive oil (I would have liked to use part walnut oil, but I forgot - I think it would be really tasty in this)

Mix ingredients together and roast at 425 for about 25 minutes, stirring part way through.

Peas with Garlic, Mint, and Feta
1 T browned butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups frozen peas (or fresh!)
1/2 tsp dried mint (or fresh! use 1 1/2 teaspoon fresh)
1/4 cup crumbled feta

Melt butter in skillet. Add garlic and peas. Saute 2-3 minutes until warmed through. Sprinkle with mint and toss. Remove from heat. Toss with feta and serve.

Lentil Chapeaux (round 2)
A couple weeks after this post, I decided to make the lentil chapeaux appetizers for a potluck party, but because of the ingredients I had on hand, and an aversion to repeating even my very favorite recipes, I created the following recipe.

Also note that I made the following adjustments to the wonton cups, and preferred them: don't grease the tins, use regular muffin cups (instead of mini), and bake 10 minutes at 375.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup minced red onion
1 large clove garlic, minced
about 1 cup diced tomates and juice (I used half of a 14 oz can)
1 whole cinnamon stick
1 whole star anise pod
about 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup brown lentils
chopped cilantro
thick yogurt or sour cream

In medium saucepan, saute onion in oil until tender. Stir in garlic. Add tomatoes, cinnamon, and star anise, stir to coat. Stir in lentils and add enough stock to cover by about 1/2 inch. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat an simmer uncovered about 45 minutes, until lentils are tender and stock is absorbed. Meanwhile, bake wonton wrappers into cups as described in notes above.
Fill cups with lentil mixture, garnish with yogurt dollop and chopped cilantro. If making ahead, store cups and filling separately, and assemble as close to serving as possible so cups stay crisp. I served them at room temperature and found they stayed quite tasty for about 4 hours without refridgeration.

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