Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Smoked Trout Salad with Trout Deviled Eggs


These smoked trout deviled eggs are to die for! I first tasted this flavor combo when I ate at the Meatery in New Orleans, and knew right away that had to make them myself. Yes, they are worth the effort to find smoked trout. While my regular grocer only carried smoked salmon, I found smoked trout at Trader Joe's. Because the package was a lot larger than what I needed for a few deviled eggs, I used the rest in a salad - the flavor harmony was elegant!

Ingredients:

for the deviled eggs:

4 eggs
3 Tbs. low fat mayonnaise
1 Tbs. minced fresh parsley
1 Tbs. minced pickled jalapeno peppers
several grinds of sea salt
4 tsp. flaked smoked trout

for the salad:

4 cups baby spinach
1 cup thinly sliced cabbage
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
4 slices bacon, cooked, and cut into pieces
4 Tbs. Marcona almonds
1/4 cup Balsamic vinaigrette
1 pear, quartered, cored, and thinly sliced
12 oz. smoked trout

Directions:

For the deviled eggs: Place the eggs in a saucepan and cover with cool water. Place the pan on the stove top and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat, cover the pan, and let the eggs sit for 9 minutes. Drain the eggs, run under cold water to cool. Peel the eggs, cut in half lengthwise, and scoop the eggs yolks into a small bowl. Combine the eggs yolks with the mayonnaise, parsley, peppers, and sea salt. Stir gently to just combine. Scoop some of the yolk mixture into each egg half, topping each with 1/2 tsp. of flaked smoked trout.

For the salad. Combine the spinach, cabbage, parsley, bacon, and almonds. Toss with the vinaigrette. Divide among 4 salad plates. Fan 1/4 of the pair slices on the edge of each plate, place 3 oz of the smoked trout on another corner, and 2 egg halves on the third corner. Serve with toast or crackers, if desired.

Stealthy Cooking Tip: The smoked trout is quite salty, so you won't need much salt in the deviled eggs. This beautiful salad makes a nice presentation, and is equally at home for a dinner or a lunch. If you want to make it ahead of time, simply omit mixing the greens with the salad dressing. Cover each plate and refrigerate until time to serve. Drizzle the salad dressing on top just before serving. 




Wednesday, February 3, 2016

French Lentil Soup


This soup uses the French trio of onions, carrots, and celery as a base. I've added some sausage to make it more palatable to my meat loving family, though the sausage is entirely optional.

Ingredients:

1 cup lentils, green or brown
1 quart very hot water
1 tsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped, about 1-1/2 cups
1 spring onion, or 2 green onions, chopped, about 1/2 cup
1 tsp. fresh thyme or thyme leaves
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
3 stalks celery, chopped, about 1 cup
3 carrots, chopped, about 1 cup
2 cloves garlic, minced, about 1 tsp
1 quart low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
2 Tbs. tomato paste
2 cooked chicken sausages, sliced
1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs. red wine
1/2 tsp. sea salt, or more to taste
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Directions:

Place the lentils in a saucepan with the hot water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes until just tender. Prepare the vegetables while the lentils cook. Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot large enough to hold the soup. Add the onions, along with the thyme and cumin and cook until the onions begin to turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Add some water if the onions begin to stick. Add the celery, carrots, and garlic and cook another 5 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Add the broth and tomato paste and bring to a low simmer. Add the lentils, along with their cooking water, when they are cooked. Add the chicken sausages, along with the vinegar and wine. Adjust the seasoning by tasting and adding salt and pepper to your liking.

Serves 4-6

Stealthy Cooking Tip: I've added a small amount of chicken sausage to make this soup more appealing to my meat lovers. Chicken sausage itself is a healthy alternative to more fatty Italian pork sausages. Slice the sausage, heat it in the microwave for 1 minute, then drain off the accumulated fat to make this even healthier.