Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Coconut Red Lentil Soup

This is another amazing recipe from Heidi Swanson and I am in love with it! It is pretty easy to make and the flavor is awesome. It is a great way to get all the flavor of a time consuming and labor intensive Indian curry in a hour with minimal effort. I like it served over brown rice and I love the sweet flavor bursts of the golden raisins so much that I recommend adding a little extra.


  • 1 cup yellow split peas
  • 1 cup red split lentils (masoor dal)
  • 7 cups liters water
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh peeled and minced ginger
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 2 tablespoons butter or ghee
  • 8 green onions (scallions), thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 1 14-ounce can coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt
  • one small handful cilantro, chopped
  • cooked brown rice for serving (optional)


Give the split peas and lentils a good rinse - until they no longer put off murky water. Place them in an extra-large soup pot, cover with the water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add the carrot and 1/4 of the ginger. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the split peas are soft.

In the meantime, in a small dry skillet or saucepan over low heat, toast the curry powder until it is quite fragrant. Be careful though, you don't want to burn the curry powder, just toast it. Set aside. Place the butter in a pan over medium heat, add half of the green onions, the remaining ginger, and raisins. Saute for two minutes stirring constantly, then add the tomato paste and saute for another minute or two more.

Add the toasted curry powder to the tomato paste mixture, mix well, and then add this to the simmering soup along with the coconut milk and salt. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes or so. The texture should thicken up.

Serves 6.

Recipe by Heidi Swanson from

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Most Extraordinary French Lemon Cream Tart

Folks, it is another dessert recipe....sorry. It is the only blog worth thing I made this week. I made this tart for a charity auction and hope it makes a lot of money for the cause. I also made the super rich chocolate cheesecake as well. The lemon tart recipe is yet again out of Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My home to Yours. I made this dessert two years ago for my dad's birthday. We loved it but the lemons I used must have been extra tart because oh did it make you pucker. This time I made sure to taste the cream. It had the perfect tartness but I decided to coat the tart crust with seedless raspberry preserves and dot the top with fresh raspberries. Obviously, I did not get to taste it but I bet it was fantastic. My husband it also not too pleased I did not make him one... so may have to make another in the near future. ;)


1 cup sugar
Grated zest of 3 lemons
4 large eggs
3/4 c fresh lemon juice (from 4-5 lemons)
2 sticks plus 5 tbsp butter (10 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon size pieces, at room temperature.
1 9-inch tart shell made with sweet tart dough, fully baked (see below)


Getting ready:
Have a instant-read thermometer, a strainer and a blender (first choice) or food processor at hand. Bring a few inches of water to a simmer in a saucepan.

Put the sugar and zest in a large heatproof bowl* that can be set over the pan of simmering water. Off the heat, rub the sugar and zest together between your fingers until the sugar is moist, grainy, and very aromatic. Whisk in the eggs, followed by the lemon juice.

Set the bowl over the pan and start stirring with the whisk as soon as the mixture fees tepid to the touch. Cook the lemon cream until it reaches 180 degrees F. As you whisk- you whisk constantly to keep the eggs from scrambling- you’ll see that the cream will start out light and foamy, then the bubbles will get bigger, and then, as it gets closer to 180F, it will start to thicken and the whisk will leave tracks. Heads up at this point- the tracks mean the cream is almost ready. Don’t stop whisking or checking the temperature, and have patience- depending on how much heat you’re giving the cream, getting to temp may take as long as 10 minutes.

As soon as it reaches 180F, remove the cream from the heat and strain it into the container of the lender (or food processor); discard the zest. Let the cream stand, stirring occasionally, until it cools to 140 degrees F, about 10 minutes.

Turn the blender to high (or turn on the processor) and, with the machine going, add the butter about 5 pieces at a time. Scrape down the sides of the container as needed as you incorporate the butter. Once the butter is in, keep the machine going- to get the perfect light, airy texture of lemon-cream dreams, you must continue to bend the cream for another 3 minutes. If your machine protests, and gets a bit too hot, work in 1-minute intervals, giving the machine a little rest between beats.

Pour the cream into a container, press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface to create an airtight seal and refrigerate at least 4 hours, or overnight. (The cream will keep in the fridge for 4 days or, tightly sealed, in the freezer for up to 2 months; thaw it overnight in the refrigerator.)

When you are ready to assemble the tart, just whisk the cream to loosen it and spoon it into the tart shell. Serve the tart, or refrigerate until needed.

*Use a metal bowl, otherwise you'll be standing there forever.

Sweet Tart Dough

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon (9 tablespoons) very cold (or frozen) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk

Put the flour, confectioner’s sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse a couple of times to combine. Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is coarsely cut in - you should have some pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and some the size of peas. Stir the yolk, just to break it up, and add it a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. When the egg is in, process in long pulses - about 10 seconds each - until the dough, which will look granular soon after the egg is added, forms clumps and curds. Just before you reach this stage, the sound of the machine working the dough will change - heads up. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and, very lightly and sparingly, knead the dough just to incorporate any dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing.

To Press the Dough into the Pan: Butter a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan, using all but one little piece of dough, which you should save in the refrigerator to patch any cracks after the crust is baked. Don’t be too heavy-handed - press the crust in so that the edges of the pieces cling to one another, but not so hard that the crust loses its crumbly texture. Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer, before baking.

To Partially or Fully Bake the Crust: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil and fit the foil, butter side down, tightly against the crust. (Since you froze the crust, you can bake it without weights.) Put the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake the crust for 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil. If the crust has puffed, press it down gently with the back of a spoon. For a partially baked crust, patch the crust if necessary, then transfer the crust to a cooling rack (keep it in its pan).

To Fully Bake the Crust: Bake for another 8 minutes or so, or until it is firm and golden brown. Transfer the tart pan to a rack and cool the crust to room temperature before filling.

To Patch a Partially or Fully Baked Crust, if Necessary: If there are any cracks in the baked crust, patch them with some of the reserved raw dough as soon as you remove the foil. Slice of a thin piece of the dough, place it over the crack, moisten the edges and very gently smooth the edges into the baked crust. If the tart will not be baked again with its filling, baking for another 2 minutes or so, just to take the rawness off the patch.

Recipe from Dorie Greenspan's book Baking: From My Home To Yours

Saturday, May 8, 2010


I have not made blueberry muffins in ages but I totally had a hankering for them the other day. Growing up, we regularly made the blueberry muffins from the recipe out of the good ol' Betty Croker Cookbook. I wanted a little healthier version so I looked around and found this whole-wheat recipe from Gourmet. The batter is super thick. I think a little too thick. I am going to add a little more milk than the recipe calls for next time or I may add some applesauce. Even though the batter is super thick, the muffins are not dense. They have a nice crumb to them and have tons of berries. These are not the best muffins I have made but none went to waste that is for sure. I do plan on making these again but like I mentioned above, I may tweak a few things. Oh and these muffins are sprinkled with a mix of sugar and cinnamon which is a nice touch.


Makes 1 Dozen

for muffins

  • 1 3/4 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries (about 7 ounces)


  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

    a muffin pan (preferably nonstick) with 12 (1/3- to 1/2-cup) muffin cups



  • Preheat oven to 375°F with rack in middle. Butter muffin pan.
  • Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl, then whisk in zest.
  • Whisk egg in another bowl, then whisk in milk and butter. Add to dry ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula until just combined (batter will be dense). Fold in blueberries. Divide batter among muffin cups.


  • Stir together sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle evenly over batter in cups.
  • Bake until a wooden pick inserted into center of muffins comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool in pan 5 minutes, then unmold onto a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe from

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Rhubarb Meringue Pie

This recipe is out of the May issue of Martha Stewart Living. When I saw this pie I knew I had to make it. I was just so intrigued by it. You put the rhubarb through the juicer and only use the juice in the recipe. If you know anyone that does not like rhubarb because of the texture they should give this a try. The flavor was amazing!!! I just LOVE rhubarb!! I hastily snapped this photo before my family devoured it.


  • 1 9” pie crust baked and cooled (the recipe called for a sweet piecrust)
  • 2 pounds rhubarb, trimmed and cut crosswise into 3-inch pieces
  • 1 ¾ cups sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • Coarse salt
  • 3 large egg yolks plus 4 large egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter


1. 1. Juice rhubarb. You’ll need 2 ¼ cups juice; add water if needed. Whisk together 1 cups sugar, the cornstarch, and ½ teaspoon salt. Whisk in juice; bring to boil in medium saucepan, whisking. Cook for 1 minute.

2. 2. Place yolks in a bowl; gradually whisk in half of hot juice mixture. Return to pan. Cook over medium heat, whisking, until thick, about 1 minute. Whisk in butter. Strain through a fine sieve into pie shell. Refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours or overnight.

3. Preheat broiler with rack about 8 inches from the heat source. Heat whiles and remaining ¾ cup sugar in a double boiler or a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, whisking, until sugar dissolves and mixture is hot (160 degrees), about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl of a mixer. Whisk on high speed until medium peaks form. Dollop meringue onto pie. Broil until browned, 30 to 40 seconds.

***Note*** Because I use farm fresh eggs, I skip the step of heating the egg whites.

Recipe from the May 2010 issue of Martha Stewart Living.

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