Monday, May 19, 2008

German-Style Lentil Soup

To serve 4; good with bread

1 cup lentils, rinsed and picked over
3 carrots, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
garlic powder, thyme, and black pepper to taste
1 bay leaf
5-6 cups broth (chicken or beef) or water
1 potato, chopped, OR 1/3 cup quick-cooking barley
1/4 to 1/2 lb cooked smoked sausage or kielbasa, sliced
1 14-oz can diced or stewed tomatoes (optional), drained, their liquid counted as part of the broth measure

  • Sauté the carrot, celery, and onion in a little oil until soft.
  • Add lentils, meat, tomato if using, potato or barley, broth, bay leaf, and seasonings to taste.
  • Simmer on low approx. 45 minutes, or until lentils are soft, adding more broth if soup gets too thick.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Creole Buttermilk-Black Pepper Dressing

Prep time 10 minutes
Makes 6-8 servings (1 cup)
1/2 cup mayonnaise (I used Miracle Whip)
1/4 cup sour cream (low-fat okay)
1 T. Creole Mustard
2 T. finely chopped shallot or onion
3 T. buttermilk
1 t. prepared horseradish, optional
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. (or more to taste) freshly ground black pepper
Whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl. If you want it a little more tart, you can add a squeeze of lemon juice or a splash of vinegar.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Mint Julep Ice Cream

1 cup heavy cream
2 cups half-and-half
~1 ounce mint sprigs (about 1/4 of a bunch)
4 egg yolks
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup bourbon (less if you want a less strong bourbon taste)

  • Heat the heavy cream, 1/2 cup of the half-and-half, and the mint in a heavy saucepan over medium heat until it is just on the verge of boiling. Turn off the heat, cover, and let it steep for about 30 minutes.
  • Strain the cream into a small bowl.
  • Into a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until the mixture is pale yellow. Slowly whisk the cream into the egg mixture and return it to the same saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring, until the custard has thickened enough to coat the back of the spoon.
  • Strain the custard into a bowl and cook in an ice bath, then add the remaining 1 & 1/2 cups half-and-half and the bourbon.
  • Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Allow to ripen in the freezer for about an hour before enjoying.

Makes 1 quart.