Southwestern Lentil Shepherds Pie

The National Lentil Festival is held yearly in Pullman, Washington and as part of the festival they host the Legendary Lentil Cook-off.  I am still trying to make it to that one and looking forward to creating new recipes to enter next year.  But, in the meantime, thought I would share my entry from this year – Southwestern Lentil Shepherds Pie.  Recipe entries had to specify at least 1/2 cup raw lentils, 1 cup cooked lentils and/or 1/2 cup of lentil flour and no more than 15 ingredients (not including salt, pepper or an oiled pan).

Southwestern Lentil Shepherds Pie

Southwestern Lentil Shepherds Pie

1 poblano pepper
1 ear of corn, cleaned
1 lime
5 cups vegetable broth, divided use
1 cup raw lentils, rinsed
1 cup chopped sweet onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
4 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro, divided use, plus additional for garnish
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 chipotles in adobo sauce, seeds removed, minced, plus 1 teaspoon of the adobo sauce from can
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tomato, diced
1 24-ounce package refrigerated store-bought garlic mashed potatoes
8 ounces pepper jack cheese, shredded, divided use
2 ounces hot and spicy or nacho cheese flavored tortilla chips, crushed

Preheat broiler to high heat. Broil the poblano pepper until blackened and blistered on all sides, approximately 2 – 3 minutes per side. Remove from broiler and place into a small heat-proof bowl, cover with plastic wrap. Allow to sit for 5 minutes. Remove and discard skin and seeds. Chop poblano and set aside.

While the poblano is in the broiler, also place the ear of corn under the broiler. Broil on all sides just until the corn begins to lightly brown, approximately 1 – 2 minutes per side. Remove from broiler and allow to cool slightly. Cut the kernels off of the cob and set kernels aside.

Turn broiler off and preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Zest and juice the lime, set both aside.

Place a large, deep skillet with a lid over medium-high heat. Add in 3 cups of the vegetable broth, the lentils, onion, garlic, and 2 tablespoons cilantro. Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover skillet and cook lentils according to package instructions, approximately 30 minutes.

Once the lentils are fully cooked, in a medium bowl whisk together the remaining 2 cups vegetable broth, cornstarch, chipotles, adobo sauce, and ground cumin. Add to lentils in skillet. Also add in the tomato, reserved poblano pepper, reserved corn, 1/2 teaspoon lime zest and 2 teaspoons lime juice. Mix to fully combine. Cook over medium heat until heated through and thickened, approximately 2 – 3 minutes. Season with salt and ground black pepper, to taste.

While lentils are cooking, heat the mashed potatoes in a microwave just until warmed (or bring to room temperature if microwave is not available). Mix into the potatoes 6 ounces of the pepper jack cheese and remaining 2 tablespoons cilantro.

Evenly divide the lentil mixture between 4 single serve baking dishes. Top evenly with the remaining 2 ounces of pepper jack cheese, then with the mashed potatoes. Place baking dishes into preheated oven and bake for 15 – 18 minutes until heated through and bubbling around the edges. Then top evenly with the crushed tortilla chips, place back in oven and bake until chips begin to lightly brown, approximately 3 – 5 minutes, or can be broiled for approximately 1 minute. Garnish with fresh cilantro and enjoy!

Serves 4

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Tuscan Ham and Wild Rice Gratin

The Minnesota Cultivated Wild Rice Council recently hosted the “Get Wild with Wild Rice Recipe Contest” and my entry “Tuscan Ham and Wild Rice Gratin” was selected as a finalist.  The recipes had to include at least 1/4 cup of precooked Minnesota cultivated wild rice per serving,  at least 2 sponsor products, as well as had a limit to the total number of ingredients allowed.  I tried to incorporate as many sponsor products into the recipe as I could, which ended up being a total of 4 (the ham, cheese, broccoli and oil).  The sponsor names have been removed from the recipe below and the ingredients are listed generically.  Enjoy!!

Tuscan Ham and Wild Rice Gratin

Tuscan Ham and Wild Rice Gratin

11-ounce bag frozen Tuscan seasoned broccoli
2 tablespoons canola oil
8 ounces boneless ham steak, about 1/4-inch thick, then cut into bite-sized pieces
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3 scallions, chopped
1/4 cup chopped sundried tomatoes
15 Manzanilla olives, sliced
2 teaspoons capers, minced
3 cups cooked wild rice
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese

Gratin Topping:
2/3 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
2/3 cup panko
1 tablespoon melted butter

Place four single-serving, oven-safe baking dishes onto a large baking sheet; set aside.

Adjust oven rack to the top portion of oven. Heat broiler to high.

Prepare broccoli in microwave according to package directions; set aside to slightly cool. Transfer broccoli to a medium-sized plate and cut broccoli into bite-sized pieces; set aside.

Heat canola oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add in the ham and cook until heated through and it begins to lightly brown, approximately 4 – 5 minutes. Add in the garlic, scallions, tomatoes, olives, capers, wild rice, lemon zest, lemon juice, black pepper and reserved broccoli; mix to combine. Cook for 1 – 2 minutes, just to heat through. Add in the 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, mix to fully combine; set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix together the gratin topping ingredients.

Evenly divide the ham/wild rice mixture between the four baking dishes; top evenly with the gratin topping. Place baking dishes under broiler and broil just until gratin topping starts to lightly brown, approximately 1 to 1 1/2 minutes.

Serves 4

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Chicken Bolognese with Creamy Garlicky Polenta

 

Chicken Bolognese with Creamy Garlicky Polenta

3 tablespoons Sinful Food Garlic Olive Oil, divided
1 cup frozen seasoning blend chopped vegetables (onions, celery, green & red bell pepper)
1/2 pound ground chicken
14.5 ounce can petite cut diced tomatoes with green chilies
1/4 cup red wine
3 tablespoons minced fresh basil, divided
1 cup milk, plus up to 1/2 additional cup
1/4 cup fast cooking polenta
1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons finely shredded parmesan cheese, divided
Additional finely shredded parmesan cheese, minced fresh basil and Sinful Food Garlic Olive Oil for garnish

Heat 1 tablespoon Sinful Food Garlic Olive Oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add in the frozen vegetables and cook until heated through, approximately 2 – 3 minutes. Add in 1 tablespoon Sinful Food Garlic Olive Oil and the ground chicken. Cook until chicken is cooked through, approximately 3 – 4 minutes, breaking up the chicken into small pieces as it cooks. Stir in the diced tomatoes with juices, red wine and 1 tablespoon basil. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook at a low boil for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

When Bolognese has cooked approximately 20 minutes, prepare the polenta.

Place the 1 cup milk and remaining 1 tablespoon Sinful Food Garlic Olive Oil in a medium saucepan and heat over medium-high heat just until it is about to boil. Stir in the polenta and cook, stirring constantly, until it begins to thicken, approximately 3 – 4 minutes. Stir in the 1/3 cup parmesan, and 1 tablespoon basil. Stir in enough milk (from the additional 1/2 cup) to loosen to desired creamy consistency.

When ready to serve, stir into the Bolognese the remaining 1 tablespoon basil and remaining 3 tablespoons parmesan cheese.

To serve, spoon polenta evenly into two serving bowls, top with the Bolognese. Garnish with additional shredded parmesan cheese and minced fresh basil; drizzle each with about 1 tablespoon Sinful Food Garlic Olive Oil.

Serves 2

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Southwest Summertime Burgers and a Saucy Mama Giveaway

I’ve been waiting for weeks to be able to share this delish burger with you.  It is my entry in the Barhyte Specialty Foods Saucy Mama’s 2017 Recipe Contest.

First, though, a little about the contest! Saucy Mama is a sponsor of the World Food Championships (WFC) and for the fourth year in a row, this contest is a preferred qualifying event for WFC.  WFC will be held in November in Orange Beach, Alabama.  Saucy Mama has put together a team of previous years contest winners and is looking to add one more team member, in either the burger or bacon category.  Anyone wanting to participate in this contest made application to Saucy Mama, where they accepted the first 25 qualified applicants that maintain a food blog and/or active, public social media presence surrounding food.  They generously provided our choice of 6 of their absolutely yummy products to use when creating our entry.  The winner of the contest receives a golden ticket to WFC (which is the registration and entry fee to participate), a $1,000 travel stipend and a team dinner with the entire group in Orange Beach.  To be on Team Saucy Mama would be a huge honor!

Oh, and one more thing…Saucy Mama has graciously offered all 25 participants the opportunity to hold a giveaway and provide the winners with one package featuring three Saucy Mama products (except olives and apricot ginger mustard).  In order to register for my giveaway, visit Saucy Mama’s webpage and peruse the products.  Comment on this post with the three items you would choose should you win.  All comments must be made by midnight, EST on Wednesday, June 21st!  So hurry, don’t be left out…you will absolutely love anything you choose (but if you want to know my favorite…it is the Poblano Ranch Dressing!)

So, without further ado, here is my entry:

Southwest Summertime Burgers

Southwest Summertime Burgers

4 ounces Spanish chorizo, casing removed
1 pound ground chuck
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1/4 cup finely chopped poblano pepper, seeds removed
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2/3 cup fresh corn kernels (substitute frozen corn kernels that have been thawed if fresh is not available)
3 cups thinly sliced, then quartered, sweet onion
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
6 tablespoons Saucy Mama Honey Barbeque Wing Sauce
4 ounces pepper jack cheese, thinly sliced
1 cup small diced, hulled strawberries
1/4 cup small diced tomato
1/2 teaspoon lime zest
2 teaspoons lime juice
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 good quality hamburger rolls, split, toasted
1/2 cup Saucy Mama Poblano Ranch Dressing

Cut the chorizo into small pieces. Place pieces into a small food processor and process until finely ground. Place chorizo and ground chuck into a medium bowl; mix together until combined. Equally divide into four portions and form into burgers slightly larger than the rolls; set burgers aside.

In a large non-stick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add in the poblano pepper and cook until it begins to soften, approximately 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the garlic and corn and cook for 1 minute; transfer to a medium bowl; set aside to cool.

Place the skillet back over medium heat. Add in the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, allow to heat. Add in the onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and cook until the onions are crisp tender, approximately 5 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl, add in the Saucy Mama Barbeque Wing Sauce, mix to combine; set aside.

Place the skillet back over medium heat. Place the reserved burgers into skillet and cook until first side is browned, approximately 3 – 4 minutes. Flip burgers over, top with the pepper jack cheese, and continue to cook until burgers are lightly browned on the second side and cheese has melted, approximately 3 minutes.

While burgers cook, finish preparing the strawberry corn salsa: To the reserved bowl of poblano and corn mixture, add in the strawberries, tomato, lime zest, lime juice, cilantro, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper, mix to combine.

To assemble the burgers, place the bottom of the hamburger rolls individually onto 4 serving plates. Evenly top the roll bottoms with the barbeque onions, then with a burger, then with the strawberry corn salsa. Drizzle each with 2 tablespoons of the Saucy Mama Poblano Ranch Dressing. Top with roll tops and enjoy!

Makes 4 burgers.

 

UPDATE July 22, 2017 – the winner of the drawing is Susan Chase!  Enjoy Susan!!

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Flamenco Shrimp with Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Puree

So, one of my favorite contests to enter, that I have yet to crack, is the Gilroy Garlic Festival.  Once again this year, I entered two recipes (the limit you can enter) and sadly didn’t make it again! But, you know me, that is not going to stop me and I will be cooking and eating garlic like crazy next year to try and make it to the finals in 2018.  There is nothing like a live cook-off and everyone that I know that has been lucky enough to make it, has nothing but good things to say about it.  In the meantime, I thought I would share one of my recipes from last year.  It was delish and even though the recipe calls for a lot of garlic, it was not overpowering at all!  Enjoy!!

Flamenco Shrimp with Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Puree

Flamenco Shrimp with Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Puree

1 head garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 head cauliflower, leaves and stem removed, stalks trimmed, broken down into florets
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1/4 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1/4 cup finely grated Manchego cheese
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 pound extra-large shrimp, shells removed, tails left on, cleaned
2 ounces Spanish chorizo, casing removed, quartered, sliced
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dry sherry, divided
3/4 cup seafood stock, divided
2 tablespoons whole grain Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
Garnish: Fresh chives, sautéed slices of cauliflower florets, optional

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Cut approximately 1/4 inch from the top of the bulb of garlic, exposing the individual cloves of garlic. Place the bulb of garlic onto a double thickness piece of aluminum foil (large enough to seal the garlic in the foil). Drizzle the garlic with 1 tablespoon olive oil, seal foil around garlic and place onto a small baking sheet. Place into preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, cool slightly. Remove roasted garlic from garlic skin; mash into a paste, set aside.

Roughly chop the florets and place into a medium saucepan. Add in the smashed garlic cloves and enough water to just cover the cauliflower and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer until cauliflower is very tender, approximately 10 minutes. Using a spider or slotted spoon, transfer cauliflower to the bowl of a food processor, add in 2 tablespoons of the cooking liquid and the reserved roasted garlic, and process until smooth. Add in the sour cream and 2 tablespoons butter, and process until fully incorporated approximately 10 – 15 seconds. Stir in the Manchego, 1/4 teaspoon salt and the black pepper; set aside; keep warm.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix together the 2 cloves minced garlic, cumin, ancho chili powder, smoked paprika, ground chipotle, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and the 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Toss shrimp in marinade and mix to fully coat; let marinate 30 minutes.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add in the shrimp and cook until cooked through, approximately 2 minutes per side.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add in the chorizo and cook until crispy, approximately 2 – 3 minutes; add in the sliced garlic and cook 30 seconds, just to soften; remove from skillet; set aside. To the skillet, over medium heat, add in 1/4 cup sherry, 1/2 cup seafood stock, and mustard and cook until mixture reduces to 2 tablespoons. Over medium-low heat, add in the reserved chorizo mixture, crushed red pepper flakes, chives, remaining 1/4 cup seafood stock and remaining 2 tablespoons sherry and heat just until heated through, melt in remaining 1 tablespoon butter.

To serve, spoon the cauliflower puree onto serving plates, top each evenly with the shrimp, spoon chorizo around the puree, drizzle broth over entire dish. Garnish with fresh chives and sautéed slices of cauliflower florets, optional.

Serves 2

 

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