Monday, January 31, 2011

Lentils with Roasted Winter Squash

This recipe comes from How To Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman. It's a delicious vegetarian main course for a cold winter evening. I used butternut squash, but you could use any medium winter squash.

  • butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1- to 2-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 cups vegetable stock or water, or more as needed
  • 1 and 1/2 cup dried brown lentils, washed and picked over
  • salt and pepper

  • Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Toss the squash in olive oil and roast on a baking sheet until tender and caramelized.
  • Put the oil in a pot over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onion, celery, and carrot; cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft.
  • Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  • Add the bay leaf, wine, stock, and lentils. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
  • Turn the heat down to medium-low, cover partially, and simmer 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add stock or water if needed to keep the lentils from sticking and burning. Lentils should be soft but not soupy.
  • Add the squash to the lentils in the last 10 minutes or so of cooking.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Wine of the Week - Kung Fu Girl 2009 Riesling

When you find a wine called Kung Fu Girl, you just have to buy it.


A spot-on Riesling, with subtle but present sweetness. Melon scents on the nose, primarily honeydew with a touch of cinnamon underneath. The sweet taste is highlighted with notes of lime. The finish is solid and pleasantly lingering, making it an ideal dessert.

12.5% alcohol

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tortilla soup

My final post for my month-long Mexican meal holiday is one I've been meaning to make for along time. Though most people would find this an obvious south-of-the-border dish, I have never actually made it before.
So here it is: my version of Tortilla soup:

Olive oil
2 large jalapeno peppers, diced
1 large bell pepper, chopped - red or green, or half of both
1/2 red onion, diced
2 tsp cumin
3 cups veggie broth with 1 cup water
2 tomatoes, chopped
1-2 cups frozen corn
1-2 cups black beans (optional)
2 tbsp lime juice
Cheddar/Mexican mix cheese
Fresh cilantro
Tortilla chips

1. Heat oil in a large pot. Add peppers and onion and cook until soft, ~5 minutes.
2. Add cumin, tomatoes (with their juices), corn, and beans. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 15 minutes.
3. Add lime juice. Stir well.
4. Serve with cheese, cilantro, and chips. (Homemade chips will taste best and be greatly appreciated by the foodie!)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Wine of the Week - St. Supery 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon


I took a chance and bought something a little pricier at Trader Joe's. The gamble paid off. This wine drew me right in. The primary tastes were blackberry and smoke, but I also picked up a slight hint of fresh pine needle.

Everything about this wine was subtle and balanced. A great find.

14.1% alcohol

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Another tasty treat from Cooking All Things Trader Joes.

Whole wheat flour tortillas
Eggplant Garlic spread (I used Red Pepper Spread w/ Eggplant and Garlic)
Chopped tomatoes
Mexican blend cheese

1. Cover the tortilla with the spread evenly on a baking sheet. Top with the tomatoes and cheese.
2. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes, until tortillas are crispy.
3. Top with cilantro, cut into slices, and serve!

Make sure you make enough because these go fast!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Wine of the Week - Senorio de P. Pecina 2009 Rioja


A good wine and a great value. Deep purple in color, with very spicy flavors throughout. Pepperoni is the single taste I most pulled from it. Also some green olive underneath.

13.5% alcohol

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Stew

Happy 1-11-11!

My next post for Enero comes from the December/Janary 2011 issue of Readymade magazine:

See the website for the recipe.

This is a full meal in itself, so don't be so generous with other side portions.

Monday, January 10, 2011

May's Butternut Squash Soup

I wanted to make some butternut squash soup, but all the recipes I found seemed so bland. I wanted to make something more complex, so I came up with this recipe. It tasted great! Enjoy!

1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped
2 large carrots or 4-5 small carrots, scrubbed and chopped
1 apple, cored and chopped (peeling optional)
1 medium white onion, chopped
8 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup cream or milk
4 Tbsp butter
1 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh-ground pepper
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp brown sugar

1. In a large stock pot, melt butter over medium heat until melted and just starting to simmer. Add the onion, squash, sweet potato, carrots, and apple; cook until just getting soft, 15-20 minutes.

2. Add vegetable broth and cream or milk. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer 20 minutes.

3. Remove from heat, allow to cool. Pour soup into food processor, puree until smooth, then return it to the pot.

4. Add salt and pepper to taste, then add nutmeg, cinnamon, and brown sugar.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Wine of the Week - Milan Vineyards 2009 Maximilian


This wine is a blend of 50% merlot, 25% syrah and 25% cabernet sauvignon. Spiced apples on the nose, with tastes of smoked cheddar. This is a full bodied and rich wine. Very delicious. Works best as a stand-alone treat as opposed to pairing with a meal.

15% alcohol

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Macho Nachos

Happy New Year!

As many of you are probably tired of the cold and snow already, close your eyes and imagine yourself on a warm beach in Mexico.

I'm celebrating January with none other than delish Mexican meals. Keep your eyes here on Tuesdays for a spicy treat!

Today's post: Macho Nachos from Cooking with All Things Trader Joe's.

Tortilla chips of choice
1 can chili
2 cups Mexican blend cheese
2 cups chopped tomatoes
1 cup salsa of choice
1/4 cup cilantro
Avocado & sour cream

1. Scatter chips in a cassarole dish. Top with chili and cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for ~10 minutes (when cheese is melted).
2. Top with tomatoes, salsa, cilantro, avocado, and guac.

Can't be easier!