Smoky Lentil Soup With Kalamata Olives

IMG_9801Soup is one of my favorite meals. The best part is that you can freeze the leftovers for a quick supper when you are in a bind. This recipe was inspired by Post Punk Kitchen. 
submitted by Elizabeth Savoie Dronet

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons sweet smoked paprika
1 cup dried red lentils
4 cups vegetable broth (I use 2 cubes Knorr vegetable bouillon)
2 cups water
Fresh black pepper
2 cans diced fire-roasted tomatoes
2-4 cups fresh spinach hand-torn
1/2 cup drained and roughly chopped kalamata olives (or buy kalmata pieces)

Method 

In a soup pot, saute onions in oil. Add garlic, thyme and paprika and cook for another minute.

Add the lentils, broth, water, and pepper. Cover and bring to a boil. Boil over medium low for about 25 minutes. Add the tomatoes.  Simmer for another 20 minutes until lentils are tender.  Add spinach and olives and stir until spinach is wilted. Add water to thin, if necessary and salt to taste if needed. (The broth and olives have already added salt.)

Refrigerate or freeze leftovers.

Leave a comment

Filed under Freezes Well, Soup, Vegetarian

Souffle’ Cornbread

IMG_0322This cornbread is light and fluffy with a sweet taste.  It’s great served with black-eyed peas and cabbage.  There is something about baking cornbread in a black iron skillet. It gives it that crisp crust that everyone looks for. Kent and I purchased some stone-ground cornmeal from a man grinding corn in his booth at a festival in Vinton, La.  We took turns turning the wheel as our corn became cornmeal.  When baked, the cornbread was coarse, but flavorful.
by Pat Savoie

Ingredients

1     (14 3/4 oz) can cream-styled corn
6     Tablespoon butter, softened
2     large eggs, separated
1/2  cup whipping cream
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
1   cup flour
1   Tablespoon baking powder
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/3   cup sugar
1    Tablespoon shortening

Method

Beat butter and egg yolks until smooth.

Add whipping cream and the can of corn that has been processed in a blender until smooth

Combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar and salt

Mix dry ingredients with the wet ingredients

Beat egg whites until stiff, then fold into batter

Add shortening to a black iron skillet and heat in 375 oven for 5 minutes

Remove skillet from oven and pour batter into hot skillet

Return to oven and bake 375 for 25-30 minutes

Leave a comment

Filed under Bread

Mushroom and Leek Galette

img_0538A galette is a rustic tart with hand-folded edges.  I used my mother’s pie crust recipe that always comes out flaky and tender.  The mushrooms and leeks form a savory filling that is full of flavor.  

By Pat Savoie

Ingredients

pie crust dough

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 lb leeks, sliced into thin rings and washed

1 lb  baby bella mushrooms, sliced

1 tsp fresh thyme, minced

2 Tbsp sour cream

1 Tbsp Dijon or Creole mustard

Salt and pepper

3/4 cup Aged Provolone cheese or Gorgonzola cheese, grated

1 egg, slightly beaten

Kosher salt

Method

Saute the leeks in olive oil until tender and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.

Add thyme and mushrooms and cook another 2-3 minutes

Remove from heat and stir in sour cream, mustard and salt and pepper

On a sheet of parchment paper, roll out your dough into a roughly 14-inch diameter circle-ish shape, about 1/8-inch thick.  

Brush dough with olive oil.

Spread half of filling over the dough leaving a 2 inch border.  Sprinkle with half of the cheese.  Top with remaining filling and top with remaining cheese.

Fold up outer edge of the dough forming small pleats all the way around.

Brush dough with beaten egg and sprinkle with kosher salt

Slide galette on parchment paper onto a cooke sheet and bake at 375 for 35 to 45 minutes

Cool on a baking rack for 10 minutes.  Loosen from parchment paper and slide onto a cutting board.  Slice and serve.

Leave a comment

Filed under Main Dish, Vegetarian

Suet for Birds

IMG_1014When Pat and I hosted this year’s Cousin Camp for the grandchildren, the kids and I made each family a bird feeder and stuffed it with homemade suet.
by Kent Savoie

Ingredients

1    cup    lard
1    cup    peanut butter, smooth or crunchy
3    cups    cornmeal
1/2    cup    wheat flour

Method 

Melt lard and peanut butter together.

Add cornmeal and flour, mixing well.

Cool slightly to thicken and pour into container.

Stuff mixture into holes drilled in a log, then hang for birds to feed.

Refrigerate or freeze extra to store.

IMG_0838

1 Comment

Filed under Cooking Crafts, How To

Orzo with Sugar Snap Peas

img_0534

This beautiful spring salad was vibrant on the Easter table. Because it is meatless, it would also work well for Lenten Fridays. Even Elizabeth, who claims she doesn’t like peas, cleaned her plate! If you are invited to a salad luncheon, consider bringing this orzo salad to give the buffet some variety.
by Pat Savoie

Ingredients 

8 oz    orzo pasta
2 tsp    lemon zest
1/2 cup    lemon juice (may add more before serving to brighten the flavor)
2    Tbsp    olive oil
1/2 tsp    salt
1/2  tsp     pepper
1 Tbsp    Dijon or Creole mustard
1/4 cup    shallots or onion, diced
1 cup    frozen peas
8 oz   sugar snap peas, chopped
2 Tbsp     parsley or mint, chopped
1/2 cup     almonds, toasted, chopped or sliced

Method

Cook orzo according to package directions in salted water.

Combine lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, mustard and shallots.

Toss together pasta and lemon mixture.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Toss together lemon zest, peas, sugar snap peas, parsley and almonds with chilled pasta.

Add additional salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste. We also added freshly grated parmesan cheese before serving.

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Holidays, Lunch Box, Salads, Showers or Teas, Side Dish, Vegetarian

Mandarin Orange Pineapple Cake

Cake

This light and cool cake is perfect for Easter and summer celebrations!

by Elizabeth Savoie Dronet

Cake Ingredients

1 pkg. butter cake mix (yellow)
1 (11 oz.) can mandarin oranges with juice
3/4 c. oil
4 eggs

Icing Ingredients

1 (13 1/2 oz. or 16) Cool Whip
1 (3 oz.) pkg. vanilla instant pudding
1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple, drained

Method

Mix cake mix with mandarin orange with juice and oil. Add eggs one at a time and mix well. Grease and flour 2 round cake pans. Divide batter evenly. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. (See cake box for recommended cook times for different pans.) Cool thoroughly.

Mix Cool Whip, pudding and crushed pineapple. Return to refrigerator for 10 minutes. Frost cake and keep in refrigerator.

Leave a comment

Filed under Cakes, Dessert, Holidays

Black-eyed Peas

IMG_0325

Black-eyed peas and cabbage has always been served to family and friends on New Years Day as we gather to celebrate.  Parades followed by football games are on television with everyone talking at once, trying to hear and be heard.  A dime or two is washed and tossed into the pot of black-eyed peas.  As plates are served, everyone tries to scoop up the hidden dime for good luck.  Cabbage, whether cooked or raw, is eaten for wealth.

Recipe by Pat Savoie

IMG_0320

Ingredients

Dried black-eyed peas, from the garden or store bought (soak in water overnight or simmer for 20 minutes then drain)

3 slices thick bacon, chopped into small pieces

1 large onion, chopped

6 cups of water, more or less as peas absorb

1 ham hock

2 tsp Tony’s Seasoning

Salt if needed

Method

Brown bacon pieces then add chopped onions.  Saute until clear.

Add peas, water, ham hock and Tony’s

Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer for about an hour or until tender.

Serve over cooked rice or by itself

Here is a little history on eating Black-Eyed Peas each New Year:

Black-Eyed Peas

A Southern Tradition for Luck and Prosperity in the New Year

By Sheridan Alexander

The practice of eating black-eyed peas for luck is generally believed to date back to the Civil War. At first planted as food for livestock, and later a food staple for slaves in the South, the fields of black-eyed peas were ignored as Sherman’s troops destroyed or stole other crops, thereby giving the humble, but nourishing, black-eyed pea an important role as a major food source for surviving Confederates.

Today, the tradition of eating black-eyed peas for the New Year has evolved into a number of variations and embellishments of the luck and prosperity theme including:

                Served with greens (collards, mustard or turnip greens, which varies regionally), the peas represent coins and the greens represent paper money. In some areas cabbage is used in place of the greens.                 

                Cornbread, often served with black-eyed peas and greens, represents gold.

                For the best chance of luck every day in the year ahead, one must eat at least 365 black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day.

                Black-eyed peas eaten with stewed tomatoes represent wealth and health.

                In some areas, actual values are assigned with the black-eyed peas representing pennies or up to a dollar each and the greens representing anywhere from one to a thousand dollars.

                Adding a shiny penny or dime to the pot just before serving is another tradition practiced by some. When served, the person whose bowl contains the penny or dime receives the best luck for the New Year, unless of course, the recipient swallows the coin, which would be a rather unlucky way to start off the year.

The catch to all of these superstitious traditions is that the black-eyed peas are the essential element and eating only the greens without the peas, for example, will not do the trick.

http://gosoutheast.about.com/od/restaurantslocalcuisine/a/blackeyedpeas.htm

Leave a comment

Filed under Holidays, Side Dish