13 February 2012

Menu Monday

Last week was not the healthiest of weeks, what with Super Bowl leftovers {groan} and M's birthday dinner {double groan}.  So for the meals in between, I tried to stick with salads and vegetarian soups. You better believe this week we are eating very light!

 Forgot to take a picture of ours.

This was just OK.  We are big French bistro food fans in our house and a classic salade aux lardons is one of our favorites.  This recipe was pretty close, but I just wasn't a fan of the dressing.  WAY too tangy. Next time I would make a Dijon vinaigrette instead. I would also wilt the frisée in the bacon drippings first.

Yield: 9 cups
Three 15 1/2 ounce cans black beans (about 4 1/2 cups), rinsed and drained
1 cup drained canned tomatoes, chopped
1 1/4 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup minced shallot
4 garlic cloves minced
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
4 cups beef broth
a 16-ounce can pumpkin puree (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup dry Sherry
1/2 pound cooked ham, cut into 1/8-inch dice
3 to 4 tablespoons Sherry vinegar

Garnish: sour cream and coarsely chopped lightly toasted pumpkin seeds 

In a food processor coarsely puree beans and tomatoes.

In a 6-quart heavy kettle cook onion, shallot, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper in butter over moderate heat, stirring, until onion is softened and beginning to brown. Stir in bean puree. Stir in broth, pumpkin, and Sherry until combined and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 25 minutes, or until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Just before serving, add ham and vinegar and simmer soup, stirring, until heated through. Season soup with salt and pepper.

Serve soup garnished with sour cream and toasted pumpkin seeds. 

This recipe comes from my hometown Junior League. It is SUCH a great cookbook, but I hardly ever use it.  I'm so glad I tried this recipe! So healthy and I love recipes where you basically just dump everything into a pot and stir. 

My modifications: I used chicken stock instead of beef broth, since I already had it on hand.  And I used red wine vinegar instead of sherry vinegar and omitted the ham.

I saw this on Pinterest a few months ago and knew immediately that this would be M's birthday cake.  The boy is a Reese's freak.  This did not disappoint.  Please heed Dawn's advice and make sure you have a tall glass of cold milk nearby.  This stuff is decadent with a capital D.

I realized after I had already made the batter that one of my 9-inch cake pans got lost in our move, so I just used a 13 x 9 pan instead.  It needed to bake a little bit longer and I had a little bit of ganache leftover, but otherwise, the change in size was not a problem.

Pollo Frito {Giada de Laurentiis Everyday Italian TV show.  RIP.  Far superior to Giada At Home}

 M requested fried chicken and mashed potatoes for his birthday dinner.  And this is THE best fried chicken recipe.  The coating isn't too thick.  It's just the right amount of crispy, and the lemon really brightens things up.  

I had big plans for making homemade mashed potatoes, but a two-layer chocolate cake and fried chicken were enough to undertake on a weeknight. So I cheated. And it was delicious.  But for reference, this is the mashed potatoes recipe I use when I make them from scratch.

 Yummy!!!! IGE never lets me down. Never.  My modifications: 

*Our grocery store was out of pomegranates. So no pom seeds for us. Sadface.  
*I was feeling too lazy to make the lemon poppy seed vinaigrette so I used bottled that I had in the fridge {Brianna's Creamy Poppyseed Dressing}.  Huge mistake. Next time I will use the homemade stuff.
*And I'm married to a man from Maryland. The only seafood seasoning that will ever be in our house is Old Bay. The end.


KatiePerk said...

I should have come to your house! What delicious recipes!! Hope it was a delightful birthday for your beau!

Sarah Brooke said...

I stumbled upon your blog recently and was so excited to see you featured the Roanoke Junior League cookbook. I grew up in Roanoke too! Star City!