I recently received my copy of "Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef," ( WILEY, 2010) and left it on the dining table for a few hours as I worked on something else. When I returned, my husband was looking through it. While that in itself is quite a miracle (!), what he said really is the essence of this book, "I have been looking at this all afternoon - it is really a love story.. isnt it? And gluten-free? If the cover did not say that I would have never guessed that the recipes were gluten-free."
Yes, spot on.
This is a book that makes you want to kneel down and thank the stars that people like Shauna Ahern write books and will continue to do so. Why? Think Smoked Salt Caramel Ice-cream, a mouthwatering Black bean soup, and for this cool weather.. a lovely warm polenta with goat cheese.
The recipes are friendly and easy to make... and the book is great reading. I ask - what more could you want from a cookbook?
You can order it here - http://www.amazon.com/Gluten-Free-Girl-Shauna-James-Ahern/dp/0470419717
Or enter my giveaway. Wiley is giving away 2 books to Life of Spice readers. Tell me what you love about good cookbooks... Post it in a comment here at Life of Spice and I will pick two winners on Friday, October 22nd at 9:00 am.
Curried red lentil puree
(from Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef, (Wiley 2010)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 medium red onion, peeled and small diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon curry powder (preferably freshly ground Madras)
1/4 cup medium-diced tomatoes
1 cup red lentils
2 cups vegetable stock
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
Sautéing the vegetables
Set a large saucepan over medium-high heat and pour in 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the onion and garlic to the hot oil and cook, stirring, until the onion is softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle in the curry powder and cook until it is fragrant. Drop in the tomatoes and cook until they absorb the flavor of the curry powder and start to release some of their juices, 2 to 3 minutes.
Simmering the lentils
Scoop the lentils into the saucepan. Pour in enough stock to cover the lentils by 1 inch. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the lentils are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Spoon a few into your mouth and feel if you want to eat them. Strain the lentils but keep the stock.
Making the puree
Place the lentils in a blender. Pour in a quarter of the stock. Blend until the lentils are thoroughly pureed. Pour in more stock, depending on the consistency. You want the blender to run easily, but you also want the puree to be thick enough for a dip.
Transfer the puree to a large bowl and stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil, the cilantro, and the lemon juice. Taste the dip and season it with salt and pepper, if necessary.
If you are allergic to tomatoes, you can make the dip without them and still have something tasty.
Serve this with crackers, corn chips, or warm, crusty bread.