"Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time." Marthe Troly-Curtin

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Salmon and Lentils With Moroccan Tomato Sauce

1 cup lentils, rinsed
14.5 ounces reduced-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
1 1/2 teaspoons whole or ground fennel seed
1 teaspoon whole or ground coriander seed
3/4 teaspoon whole or ground cardamom pods
3/4 teaspoon whole or ground cumin seeds
3 whole cloves (or 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves)
cooking spray
1 shallot, peeled and chopped (about 1/4 cup)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
14.5 ounces tomatoes, peeled, no salt
1 teaspoon hot sauce (or to taste)
12 ounces wild salmon fillet (4 3-ounce fillets), boned and skinned
1/4 cup organic almonds, sliced, toasted, and divided (optional)Preparation
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring lentils and broth to boil; reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 20 to 25 minutes or until lentils are tender.
Meanwhile, put all whole spices in a grinder and process until well ground or combine ground spices in a small bowl.
Coat skillet lightly with vegetable cooking spray and place over medium-high heat. Add shallot and garlic; sauté about 5 minutes until translucent. Mix in 1 1/4 teaspoons of the spice mixture, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes.
With electric blender, pulse tomatoes just until roughly puréed; add to pan with hot pepper sauce (if using) and heat through. Set aside.
In small bowl, mix remaining spices, salt and pepper; rub onto both sides of salmon fillets.
Heat large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat lightly with vegetable cooking spray; add salmon to pan without crowding. Sauté salmon 4 minutes; turn, cover and cook 3 to 6 minutes longer, depending on thickness, or until cooked throughout.
Stir two tablespoons almonds into lentils; divide among four plates. Top with salmon and tomato sauce. Sprinkle with remaining almonds.
Makes 4 servings.
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
Nutrition Facts
Number of Servings: 4
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 343
Total Fat: 10 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol:44 mg
Sodium: 512 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 29 g
Dietary Fiber:14 g
Protein: 28 g
Recipe Source: California Almond Board

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Spoon Lamb

Recipe courtesy of chef Ana Sortun
Yield Serves 6 to 8
- 4 x 10 oz. lamb shoulder chops
- 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced into thick rings on the bias
- 1 white onion, peeled and cut into 4
- 2 cups red wine or water
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled, split & smashed
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses, available at middle eastern markets
- Squeeze of lemon
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- Salt & pepper
- 1/2 stick of butter (optional)
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. On the stove heat a skillet until hot.
3. Add a tablespoon of cooking oil, like canola.
4. Place two shoulder chops in the pan and brown on both sides.
5. Keep the heat medium to hot. Don’t be afraid to brown well.
6. Season with salt and pepper.
7. Place in a roasting pan and repeat the browning process with the other two chops.
8. Add some of the wine to the browning pan & deglaze the sugars stuck to the bottom of the pan.
9. Strain through a strainer over the meat.
10. Sprinkle cumin over lamb chops.
11. Add the garlic, carrot, any wine left & onion to the pan and fill with enough water to come half way up to the chops.
12. Cover twice with foil and braise in the oven about 1 1/2 to 2 hours until meat wants to fall apart with the poke of a fork.
13. Remove lamb chops from the pan & strain the braising juices into a bowl.
14. Refrigerate until the fat rises to the surface and is skimmable. Skim and place juices in a saucepan.
15. Boil to reduce by half.
16. Stir in pomegranate molasses and butter.
17. Re-season and add lemon juice.
18. Trim lamb chops of any excess fat and warm in the finished sauce.
19. Serve with a spoon!

Baked Goat Cheese with Butternut Squash Broth and Pickled Mushrooms

Recipe courtesy of chef Ana Sortun
Yield Serves 6

- 6 ounces soft, fresh goat cheese, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Broth (makes 8 to 10 cups)
- 1 cup of peeled butternut squash, roughly chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 dried apricots or 1/2 golden rasins
- 8 cups of water
- 1 roughly chopped leek
- 1 rib roughly chopped celery
- 1 tablespoon harissa
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

1. Place butternut squash in a large soup pot and cover with water.
2. Add the leek, bay leaf, garlic, dried apricot, and celery and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the soup for about 20 minutes until the squash is tender.
3. Season the broth with salt.
4. Allow the broth to cool slightly, remove the bay leaf and blend in a blender until smooth.
5. Slowly incorporate olive oil, harissa, and vinegar.
6. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop the goat cheese into a baking dish and top with broth.
7. Bake until bubbly.
8. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with pickled mushrooms and toast.

Pickled Mushrooms
Yield Serves 6
- 1 1/4 pounds of oyster mushrooms
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 white onion, finely minced
- 1 rib of celery finely minced
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 1/2 bottle white wine
- 4 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- Pinch of ground clove
- 1 tablespoons tomato paste
- Pinch of saffron
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- Salt & pepper
- Chopped fresh thyme

1. Sautee the onion and celery until translucent.
2. Add garlic and saffron and sweat another minute until, you can smell the garlic.
3. Add the tomato paste, wine and clove.
4. Simmer down until the mixture is reduced by half.
5. Add mushrooms, season well and simmer for 20 minutes. Cover and turn off heat.
6. Stir in raisins.
7. Let cool to room temp.
8. Season with salt and pepper, add vinegar and fresh thyme.