Thursday, January 30, 2014

Lentil Soup

Treasured Heirloom Recipes

Lentil Soup

Ingredients:
2 tbsp of olive oil
1 tbsp of garlic, pressed
1 small sweet onion, finely chopped
5 medium carrots, finely chopped
2 stalks of celery, finely chopped 
2 cups of lentils, picked and rinsed
4 medium peeled, seeded and finely chopped tomatoes
2 quarts vegetable broth
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground grains of paradise
kosher salt and pepper
1 bag of frozen spinach

Instructions: 
Heat the olive oil into a large Dutch oven and set over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, garlic, carrot, celery a dash of salt, stirring until the vegetables are tender, approximately 7 minutes. Add the lentils, tomatoes, broth, coriander, cumin and grains of paradise and stir to combine, add salt and pepper to build flavor. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the lentils are tender, approximately 45 to 60 minutes.
While Lentils are simmering, in a separate sauté pan, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil and sauté frozen spinach on medium high heat about 2 to 3 minutes then add to the soup when its about 45 minutes into the simmering.  

Variation 
1. Add left over ham bone when you add the lentils, tomatoes, broth...
when the Lentils are tender add 1 cup of ham chopped about 1/4 inch square and 1/2 cup of lemon juice, simmer for about 5 more minutes and its ready to serve.
2. Add 1/2 cup of lemon juice at the end and let it simmer for about 5 more minutes and its ready to serve.  


Thursday, January 16, 2014

New York Style Cheesecake

Treasured Heirloom Recipes



New York Style Cheesecake

Crust:
2 cups of graham cracker crumbs 
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
Filling:
32 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup granulated white sugar
6 large eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
Topping:
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons granulated white sugar 
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Tips:  Sometimes the surface of the cheesecake cracks.  To help prevent this from happening do not over beat the batter, especially when creaming the cheese and sugar. 
Another reason for cracking is over baking the cheesecake.  Your cheesecake is done when it is firm but the middle may still look a little wet. 
Also, make sure the springform pan is well greased as cracking can occur if the cheesecake sticks to the sides as it cools.
New York Cheesecake: Grease a 9 inch springform pan. Place the springform pan on a larger baking pan to catch any leakage while the cheesecake is baking. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fº with rack in center of oven.
For Crust: In a medium sized bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Press the crumbs evenly over the bottom and about 1 inch up the sides of the springform pan. Cover and refrigerate while you make the filling.
For Filling: In bowl of your electric mixer place the cream cheese and sugar. Beat on medium speed until smooth about 2 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well about 30 seconds after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the whipping cream, lemon zest, almond extract and beat until incorporated. Remove the crust from the refrigerator and pour in the filling. Place the cheesecake pan on a larger baking pan and place in the oven.
Bake for 15 minutes and then lower the oven temperature to 250 degrees Fº and continue to bake for about another 60 -90 minutes or until firm and only the center of the cheesecake looks a little wet and wobbly. The baking time can vary due to the differences in ovens, so make sure to check that the cheesecake is firm with only the center being a little wet and wobbly. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine the sour cream, sugar, and vanilla extract. Spread the topping over the warm cheesecake and return to oven to bake for 15 more minutes.  Remove from oven and carefully run a knife or spatula around the inside edge of pan to loosen the cheesecake helps prevent the surface from cracking as it cools.
Let cool completely before covering. Refrigerate at least four hours, preferably overnight. Serve with fresh fruit or fruit sauces.
To freeze:  Place the cooled cheesecake on a baking pan and freeze, uncovered, until firm. Then wrap in aluminum foil and place in a freezer bag. Seal and return to freezer. Can be frozen for several months. Thaw uncovered cheesecake in the refrigerator overnight.
note for Splenda user: for the filling- use 1 cup of Splenda or 1/2 cup of Splenda Sugar Blend,  for the topper- use 2 tbsp of Splenda or 1 tbsp of Splenda Sugar Blend