Fish & Seafood, French, Savory

Scallops with Le Puy Lentils

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Ever since I had this dish at the Blue Heron Restaurant, I have been looking for a recipe to recreate it.  A few months ago a friend of mine, send me a link to the restaurant’s recipe and then I realized that the recipe was published in Bon Appetit magazine!  You can find the original recipe here, but this is how I adapted the recipe for home cooking.  I omitted the mascarpone cream and reduced the amount of butter in the recipe and it still turned out delicious!

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Ingredients:

For the Cider reduction
2 cups apple cider
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup chopped shallots

For the Lentils
6 whole cloves
1 medium onion, peeled
6 cups of water
1 1/2 cups French green lentils (lentilles du Puy; about 12 ounces)
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon of salt
6 slices thick-cut applewood-smoked bacon, cut crosswise 1/4-inch thick
1/4 cup chopped shallots
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

For the Scallops
1 tablespoon of butter
1 tablespoon of olive oil
10 sea scallops, patted dry

Method:  For the Cider Reduction

Place cider, vinegar, and shallots in a saucepan.

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Boil until reduced to 2/3 cup, about 15-25 minutes.

Strain; discard solids in strainer.

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Cider reduction can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate if you are not using immediately

Method:  For the Lentils

Press the thin end of cloves into peeled onion. Place onion in a large pot. Add 6 cups of water, lentils, and bay leaves.

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Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until lentils are tender, stirring occasionally about 30 minutes.

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Drain lentils, discarding onion (with the cloves) and bay leaves.  I did this in the morning and left the lentils in the strainer, till I was ready to sautee them

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Cook bacon in large pot or skillet over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels.

 

Pour all but 1 tablespoon of fat from skillet. Add shallots to skillet and sauté over medium heat until golden, about 2 minutes.

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Add reserved bacon, lentils, and thyme to shallots.  Continue to sautee and then add the cider reduction to the lentil.  Adjust for salt and pepper.  in the original recipe, the cider reduction is mixed with a lot of butter to make a finishing sauce.

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Note: I wanted to use all of the reduction and reduce the amount of butter used in the recipe.  The cider reduction is very tart and a little sweet, so instead of adding the entire reduction to lentils, add it a little at a time to see if you enjoy the flavor.  

Continue to cook until most of the cider reduction is absorbed by the lentils.

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Lentils can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm over medium heat, stirring often.  There will be plenty of leftover lentils, but I wanted leftovers so followed the original recipe.

Method for the Scallops:

Pat the scallops dry and season with salt and pepper.

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Melt 1 tablespoon butter with oil in a heavy-bottomed large skillet/cast iron skillet, over medium-high heat.

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Add scallops and cook until brown, about 2 minutes per side.

 

Spoon lentils onto a plate and arrange scallops on top. Serve hot and enjoy a restaurant-style meal, right at home!

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Dinner, Gluten-free, Poultry, Quick Dinner, Savory

Raspberry Balsamic Chicken

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A few months ago I saw a bottle of locally made Raspberry Balsamic vinegar.  I bought it, but never got around to using it till now.  I read several recipes online and sort of borrowed from different versions and came up with my own.  It is pretty fast to make, provided you have the chicken thawed (something I always struggle to remember as I rush out the door in the morning).  Here is what you will need:

Ingredients:

2 large boneless skinless chicken breast

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 shallot, sliced

2 Tsps of dried thyme

1 Tsp of crushed red pepper (optional)

1/4 cup raspberry balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup red wine

1 Tbsp of honey

salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Preheat oven to 350F

Heat olive oil in a skillet.

Season chicken liberally with salt, pepper and 1 tsp of thyme and sear till light golden.

Add shallots and saute with the chicken for a few minutes till they are soft.

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Stir together vinegar, wine, honey, crushed red pepper, remaining thyme, salt and pepper in the bowl/cup/vessel of your choosing.

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Add vinegar mixture to the shallots and chicken and simmer on medium heat for 5 mins to cook off the alcohol.

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Place the whole pan in the oven, uncovered and bake for 15-20 minutes, till chicken is cooked through and the sauce is reduced and thick.

Serve with you favorite sides, we had sauteed green beans and leftover smashed red potatoes.

 

 

Classics, Dinner, Meat, Quick Dinner

Rosemary Pork Chops with Shallots and Mushrooms

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The inspiration for this dish comse from the classic Yeager Schnitzel.  Our favorite German Restaurant servers it with a rich mushroom sauce.  This is my light version which can be easily whipped up for weeknight dinner.

Ingredients:

Boneless Pork chops

1 Tbsp of dry rosemary

1 shallots, slices

8 oz baby bella mushrooms, slices

2 tsp of flour

1/2 Tbsp of Worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup chicken stock

1 Tbsp of olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Heat oil in a caste iron skillet.

Season porch chop with rosemary, salt and pepper.

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Sear the pork chops in a medium high skillet, on both sides, till golden brown.

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Remove seared chops and add shallots and mushrooms to the same skillet.

Saute till golden and add salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce and flour.  Cook for another 2-3 mins.  The mixture will look very dry and will stick together.

Stirring continuously, add the chicken stock and the pork chops.

Simmer on medium low till pork 160 F at the center.  Remove chops and continue to thicken the sauce to your liking.

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Serve the chops with a generous smothering of the mushroom sauce.  Sauteed green beans are a wonderful side with this dish !

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Classics, Comfort food, Dinner, Meat

Steak and Potatoes

This is my super speedy weeknight steak dinner.  ready in  hr.   Marinade a 1.5lbs  round bottom roast or skirt steak with 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce, 1/4 cup red wine, salt and pepper to taste, 1/2 Tbsp of whole mustard seeds and 3-4 springs of rosmary.  Let the meat marinade at room temperature for 30 mins.

In the meantime, cut up potatoes ( I love red bliss) and put in a shallow pot.  Cover with chicken stock, salt (to taste, some stocks can be very salty), whole peppercorns and some more rosemary.

After 30mins, heat 1tbsp of olive oil in a cast iron skillet and saute 2 sliced shallots and 5-6 springs of thyme.    

Once the shallots become tender, add the steak and the marinade into the skillet.  Sear on each side till desired done-ness.  I like my steak medium rare.  

In the meantime, check the potatoes and if they are done, drain the potatoes and plate them. 

Allow the steak to rest responsibly, about 10-15mins.  

Add a little bit of chicken stock or red wine, to the bottom of the skillet to deglaze the pan and create a quick pan sauce.    

Slice steak.  Plate steak.  Devour !  

Dinner, Poultry

Roasted Chicken with Grapes and Shallots

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My MOM is in town and I have decided to give her break from the kitchen and treat her to different dinners each night.  This is what I made the first night.  It is so simple that I was almost skeptical–but we were both floored with the flavor.  I HIGHLY recommend this recipe !

Ingredients:

1 pound of red grapes
4 large shallots (about 10 ounces), peeled, halved through root end
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme plus 6 large sprigs
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 tbsp of Balsamic vinegar
2 large chicken breasts, boneless and skinless

 

 

Methods:

  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Gently toss grape clusters, shallots, chopped thyme, and 1 tablespoon olive oil in large bowl to coat.

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  • Rub chicken with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil; sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place thyme sprigs in slits cut into the chicken
  •  Place chicken in a baking pan; arrange grape mixture around chicken.

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  • Roast until the thickest part of chicken thigh cooks through and grapes are shriveled, about 1 hour 10 minutes.
  • Half way through the baking process, drizzle the Balsamic Vinegar.
  • Transfer chicken to platter; let rest 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, arrange grapes and shallots around chicken. Serve chicken with pan juices alongside.

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Sides

Brussel Sprouts with Mushrooms and Shallots

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My last Brussel Sprouts recipe got 80 likes –thank you all!!!  So, I decided to share another recipe.  This is another variation on the roasted brussel sprouts.  Mushrooms pair up with the sprouts to give it a woodier, heartier taste!  I used frozen and canned ingredients but if possible please use the fresh ingredients (when in season) and it will taste really good.

Ingredients:

16oz bag of frozen, thawed, dried and sliced in half.

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1 shallot sliced

1, 6 oz can of Dutch mushrooms

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1 tbsp of olive oil

2 sprigs of thyme.

Salt and pepper for seasoning

Method:

Toss all the ingredients in a bowl and spread in a single layer on a baking sheet.

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Roast in a 400F oven for about 20-30 min till golden brown.

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Serve hot or at room temperature !

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