To keep you from starving during this lean TV-time, I've come up with a new twist on an easy favorite, and as always, have fun ways to make quick, healthy food while you feed your pop culture soul. First up: Lentil chili and Garlic bread! And a Halloween remake of my "Happy New Year" that's sure to please even your furriest of fanged friends.
Lightening Lentil Chili
Use your favorite canned lentil soup (or, cook organic dry lentils in vegetable broth using the directions on the package--about 30 minutes). Pour soup into a pan and heat on medium. While soup is heating, add a healthy palmful of cumin, a palmful of organic paprika, two dashes of Ancho chili powder, five grinds of fresh black pepper, 4 dashes of madras curry, and, a pinch of roasted ground coriander. Make sure that all the spices are evenly incorporated. As the soup heats, you'll find that it thickens and takes on a more red "chili" color (thanks to the paprika). Once your soup is heated thoroughly, you're ready to serve! Top with extra sharp shredded cheddar and enjoy! Now, on to the Garlic Bread....
Thunder Garlic Bread
1) Buy a fresh Tuscan loaf (round) from your favorite grocery store or bakery. You can also use any of your favorite bread products. I like to have the bakery pre-slice the bread for me into thick slices. When you get it home, remove the package and cut the larger slices in half vertically. Line two baking sheets with foil and spray with olive oil. Set bread and pans aside. Turn your broiler on to High in preparation for Step 3.
2) Compound Butter: Using four talespoons of room-temperature salted butter, include a tablespoon of washed, chopped fresh parsley and a clove of minced garlic (or a teaspoon of garlic powder) and incorporate until thoroughly mixed. Spread each piece of Tuscan bread with butter mixture and place bread slices on to the cookie sheets.
3) Place pans on top rack of oven under broiler; watch VERY CAREFULLY. The broiler tends to burn unwatched food. Anywhere between 3-5 minutes, you should see the butter melt and the edges brown. Remove from oven. NOW, sprinkle shredded Italian cheese (use mozzerella, asiago, parmesan, or a combination of your favorites!) over the top of each piece. Place under broiler again for no more than a carefully watched 2 minutes.
Et voila! You now have a pile of Thunder Garlic Bread to go with your Lightening Lentil Chili...need something to cool everything down? Coming up next!
Happy Halloween 2011: The Cocktail
Just like my "Happy New Year," you'll need some good bourbon, pomegranate liqueur, and for our Halloween version, fresh squeezed BLOOD orange juice, pomegranate seeds, and ancho chili powder. Because this is such a pretty drink made by the glass, you'll need a shaker.
Start with a 16-ounce glass filled with ice. Pour 3 ounces of fresh squeezed blood orange juice in shaker. Add two dashes of ancho chili powder. Shake vigorously before adding one ounce of good bourbon, 1/2 ounce of pomegranate liqueur, and 1 ounce of cointreau, and 10 pomegrate seeds in shaker. Shake well once more. Pour over ice. Top with San Pellegrino mineral water. Then, add a topper of cointreau. Garnish with a thick piece of black licorice on the side of the glass. And enjoy!
This orange-colored concoction will certainly keep you entertained while handing out candy to the trick-or-treaters. And with my Lightening Lentil Chili and Thunder Garlic Bread, it's a sweet end to the perfect fall meal, chasing the chill out of the scariest night of the year! To make my Happy Halloween 2011 non-alcoholic, substitute orange juice (I use Trop 50) for cointreau and pomegranate juice for the pom liqueur. It's hard to substitute something that mimics the bourbon so know that a little carmel syrup and extra San Pellegrino will go a long way when mixed with the ancho powder and pom seeds. Use a tablespoon of carmel syrup and an extra ounce of San Pellegrino. No need for a topper here. Garnish as above...and bask in the glory of Halloween!
Have a fun, SAFE and very happy HALLOWEEN! Until next time...Boo!