Lentil Stew with Andouille, Kale, and Sweet Potato

I love soup. The craziness of life that always seems to be associated with the fall weather also includes soup pots. Large ones. I tried this recipe from Williams-Sonoma’s blog (may they forgive the fact that I am too poor to own one of their fancy pots and instead opted for the cheap-swedish-company-with-name-in-blue-and-yellow version. I did not have a big fat turkey leg (aren’t those only at fairs?) and opted for spicy andouille sausage. My place quickly filled with savory smoky smells, and even though today’s high still went up to 80 something, nighttime it is a bit chillier and this hearty stew really hits the spot. I had 2 bowls and would’ve had more except I was really full (yes wearing elastic band pants!) This is definitely a keeper, I added no salt and used plenty of pepper. The flavors were oh so yummy!

 

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Butternut Squash with Coconut Milk and Curry

Let me start this post by saying that there is nothing wrong with this recipe. (Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian)But whatever you do, DO NOT BUY FROZEN BUTTERNUT SQUASH FOR THIS!!! This would make it 0-2 in terms of successful use of frozen butternut squash. I figured it would be convenient to have it on hand in the freezer. However, I will have to say it is probably only useful if you are making butternut squash soup. The texture is just too mushy. The recipe was delicious though. I could be happy with just the sauce over rice. It was super easy, and super fast. (Always a good combo don’t you think?) I’m on the fence about this recipe. I don’t know about the mix of the squash flavor, but perhaps it was also too soft. I think it would be better with a little more bite left in the squash. Try it and judge for yourselves.
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Orange-Dijon Chicken Wings

It is rather sad how terrible this photo came out only because the chicken itself is really quite good. I have tried quite a few recipes out of this slow-cooker book, some were a hit and some not so much. However, I am a big fan of Beth Hensperger recipes in general since they always seem easy to try and mostly quite tasty too. I know true wings are grilled, broiled, with crispy skin etc, but let’s keep in mind it is REALLY HOT here and with a busy schedule this is such a breeze to put together. Trust me if there was an easy way to get crispy skin with this flavor sauce I’d be all for that.  While I did this with little drummettes, I am sure it would be great with some chicken thigh as well using the same method. The flavor was a great blend of my favorites, sweet, tangy, and very addictive. The meat was melt off the bone tender. This is definitely a recipe I will keep using again!
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Couscous with Tomato, Lemon, and Scallion

This is a tasty side dish that takes very little time. I never knew toasting the couscous could give it so much more flavor. (Note the brownish color). Adding some cayenne gives it some kick plus extra tang from the lemon. The tomato and scallions add a fresh flavor. I made it alongside some chicken drummettes (will post the recipe next week!) for an easy delicious meal. The couscous recipe is from America’s Test Kitchen~ definitely a resource whose recipes I can rely on as delicious. Give this one a go!
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물냉면: Cold Noodle Soup

This has to be one of my all-time favorite Korean dishes. It seems like it would be unappealing because it is cold, but in the hot summer months it is so refreshing! The quick pickled radish is particularly important and the sweet Asian pear really balances out the acidity of the vinegar and pickles. I used the recipe from the same show as last week Two Chefs and made my own beef stock. I think I am trying to figure out what cut of meat exactly they use, because my broth came out a little greasy. However, adding vinegar really cuts through and cleans up the taste. It did take a long time and perhaps buying the pre-packaged soup would be easier, but the flavor was so great. Next time I’ll have to make the stock in bulk and have it on hand in my freezer. It is already turning out to be a scorcher of a summer where I am.
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비빔면: Spicy Noodles

It is summer and that means lots of dishes with the classic noodle of 냉면. I prefer the cold noodle soup but since I was hungry I ended up making these spicy noodles instead. This was from a series called Two Chefs airing on the Arirang channel. (But I am watching them on youtube). It was a tasty recipe, but I think I need to figure out how they do things like “Onion juice”, or “Pear juice”. When I put mine in a blender it just made it pulpy where they have just liquid. I think it would make the sauce a lot smoother and probably taste even better. It is nice to say that I tried my own sauce but perhaps it would be just easier to buy the premade stuff. I also thought it was interesting they had me use the hot pepper powder and not the paste. It seems it would be easier to modify initially using the paste, but what do I know. Definitely do not forget to include the radish, Asian pear, and cucumber! It really gives the dish a nice balance of crunch and flavors. This dish is still one of my favorites to eat and it is a definite must-consume whenever you see it on a menu!
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Late Night Panzanella

It had been a long day and I was so hungry that I almost opted just to get a burger or something. But I restrained myself and tried to think of how to use what I already had at home. Oh and it was past 10pm at night. I used Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything to remind myself of panzanella salad because I had tomatoes, stale french bread, and a bit of red onion. The recipe also called for fresh herbs, but I quickly threw out my basil because it had turned all slimy. (ick). The salad was delicious though and it made me feel good to use food and not have to throw it away because it had gone bad (bread is pretty rock hard). The recipe calls for a lot of tomato and bread, but I cut things up into a serving for one. Easy and done. I am not liking the lingering onion taste even after I brushed my teeth. I am thinking next time it would be better to soak the onions just to get out over-sharpness of the onion flavor.
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