Lentil and Bacon Soup #SundaySupper

Today for Sunday Supper we talking about dishes that keep you warm. Which is a perfect topic to cover on this cold, wet dreary day. I don’t know about you but I don’t tend to eat a lot of soup during the summer, I do love it but I don’t really think about making it. But I go crazy for it come winter time. There is something about a bowl of hot soup that just warms you from the inside out. I have a lot of soup and stew dishes that I tend to stick to during the winter but this time I wanted to find something different. Other then in a potato soup I had never really used bacon in a soup before. And after trying this one I think I have been missing out all this time. The thick cubes of bacon with the lentils and just enough heat to add warmth made this a perfect soup for a cold rainy day. But just a warning, when a recipe calls for a certain kind of lentil before you substitute it make sure it will yield the right results. I actually had to make this recipe twice for this posting because the first time I just substituted the red lentils for some green ones that I had on hand. But green lentils don’t break down so the first result was too brothy and didn’t give you the stick to your bones feel I wanted. I tend to substitute without thinking sometimes and it was a good lesson to remind me to stop and do research if I am not sure. But round two was absolutely delicious.

Lentil and Bacon Soup

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion , diced
140g (5 oz) bacon lardons, cubed
1 carrot (about 120g), finely diced
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 garlic cloves , finely chopped
1 chilli , sliced
2 low-salt stock cubes
250g (1 1/4 c.) dried red lentils , rinsed
recipe from BBC Good Food

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Chicken and Mushroom Piccata #SundaySupper

I love wine, I love to drink it and I love to cook with it. So when #SundaySupper’s theme for this week was announced to be all about wine I got excited. Sadly living in the UK meant that I didn’t qualify to receive the free shipments of wine to sample but never mind I am blessed to live somewhere with such incredible access to some of the best wines around the world. But for those readers in the US check out the code for free shipping when you join The Wine Club by Schlossadler Wines use code FFSS1. Next Shipment is October 2012 ~ Halloween Day  Ghostly Whites, Haunted Red for all friendly spirits everywhere. If you love wine being apart of a wine club is a fantastic and fun way to be introduced to new wines and help further develop your palate.

For my recipe cooking with wine recipe I wanted something that was simple and created less mess. We had just gotten back from vacation and we were tired, yet ready for some home cooked food. Piccata is a very simple process that I love to use, piccata just refers to the method of cooking the meat and using the pan drippings for a sauce. I use this method for many different recipes and I tend to do it different each time. Traditionally it is prepared with butterflied chicken breasts but I had thighs on hand so I chose to use them instead.

Chicken and Mushroom Piccata

62g (1/2 c.) plain flour
1 tsp salt
4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp butter
250g (1/2 lb) fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
250mL (1 c.) chicken broth
125mL (1/2 c.) white wine

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Mousseline Au Chocolat #CookforJulia #SundaySupper

Today at #SundaySupper we are joining in on the #CookforJulia celebrations being hosted by PBS Food to celebrate Julia’s 100th birthday. It is such an honour to celebrate someone whom I share a vision with. Julie Child believes, like I do, that anyone can learn to cook. So even though I knew I was going to be away in Turkey during the event I wanted to participate in. And in honour of Julia and I’s vision, that everyone can learn to cook, I challenged myself to make something that I have always been afraid of trying, chocolate mousse. There is something about mousse that seemed foreboding, so much so that I just didn’t want to mess with it. It didn’t help that for most of my life I didn’t even like chocolate so I wasn’t even tempted by it. But this time it felt up to the challenge. I won’t lie the result wasn’t perfect, the consistency of my mousse was a lot firmer then think it should have been, but the taste was rich and delightful. Be aware that this uses raw eggs so try and use as fresh of eggs as you can get. I am fortunate in that I have fresh eggs from my mother-in-laws hens.

Mousseline Au Chocolat

4 egg yolks
170g (3/4 c.) instant sugar (very finely granulated)
59mL (1/4 c.) orange liqueur
170g (6 oz) semi-sweet chocolate
4 Tbsp strong coffee
170g (6 oz) softened unsalted butter
4 egg whites
pinch salt
1 Tbsp sugar
finely diced, glazed orange peel (optional)

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Chicken Curry Pie #SundaySupper

I have been participating in the #SundaySupper movement started by Isabel, the FamilyFoodie now for a few weeks and I feel so blessed to be apart of a group of bloggers with such a heart for bringing families back to the dinner table with homecooked meals. Each week we pick different themes to share with our followers and this week has been a special theme, rather then a food theme we have all been asked to answer the question, “What does Sunday Supper mean to you?” Sunday Supper means the family coming together for not only a meal but to create memories that last a lifetime. Growing up I didn’t realize that I had something unique in that we ate almost every single dinner, including during the week, together. Family dinners at times were several hours long because long after the food was done we were often still gathered round the table playing games. One of our favourite was a game called, ‘Remember when’. During the game we would share funny stories that had either happened to us as a family or a bit of confession times as us kids told tales of adventures we had with my parents being none the wiser. We never felt scared to confess silly escapades because everything shared during ‘Remember When’ was safe. And my parents shared crazy memories from their youth as well. I don’t remember all of the stories but what I do remember is the laughter, there was so much of it. My favourite was when my dad would start laughing so hard that he would fall off his chair. Life is hard sometimes and it doesn’t always turn out the way we imagined it as kids but it is memories like this that help me remember that the best part of life is in the small moments. I hope that my husband and I can help create even more amazing memories like this with our family.

This recipe is a family special from my new family. My father-in-law always makes the pastry while my mother-in-law creates the filling and the rest of us anxiously await the moment when we can lick our plates. When I was first served it my husband and I were just newly engaged and I still felt I was trying to make an impression, so it took everything within me not to lick my plate, I instead requested some bread so I could clean my plate. My father is the king of pastry in our family and he taught me a new trick to make sure that the bottom crust cooks evenly something that up until now I had never mastered with meat pies.

Chicken Curry Pie

280g (2 1/4 c.) plain flour
70g (1/3 c.) butter
70g (1/3 c.) lard (shortening)
pinch salt
2-3 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 egg, beaten
2 large onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp ground ginger (or fresh if you have it on hand)
3 Tbsp hot madras curry paste .
8 skinless chicken thigh fillets (about 900g) cubed
250mL (1 c.) chicken stock
200mL (3/4 c.) coconut cream*
salt and pepper

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