Monday, July 25, 2011

Lemon-Dill Tater Puffs & Quick Lentil Stew

I don't know if they exist in 'Merica, but I used to love "Papas Duqesas" as a kid.  Translates to Duchess Potatoes.  They were these awesome little potato puff balls that you could fry or bake and they rocked.  They had a crispy exterior and a soft, potato-heaven interior.  I guess they're like tater-tots, but without that rough hash-brown like texture on the outside.  Now, I've never bothered to try and make some, nor have I looked for them since having left Chile, but today's recipe is inspired by those awesome puff-balls from my memories.  I could have gone plain potato flavored, but let's get funky in case I eff it up and they don't resemble the little fellas at all.  At least I created a new food-thing!  Lemon and dill together are a wonderful combination, they make an awesome hummus... they're great in a potato salad... they're just meant for each other!  So, viola, Lemon-Dill Tater Puffs!  I'm serving with a side of Lentil Stew prepared quite quickly for purposes of having something other than potato puffs for dinner...

Lemon-Dill Tater Puffs
4 svgs, 155 calories per serving

2 lbs potatoes, diced (keep skin on for the vitamins)
1 TBS dried dill weed
1 TBS margarine
1/4 cup flour
zest and juice from 1 lemon
1/2 tsp salt

1. Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat, then lower heat to a rolling bowl (as opposed to the panicked boil at super high heat).
2. In the meantime (the in-between time), dice the potatoes roughly.  They'll be getting smashed, so just go for rough chunks.
3. Boil the potatoes 20 minutes, or til soft but not falling apart.  Drain when done.  (You can reuse this pot without OCD-ly cleaning it for the le
4. In a large bowl, smash the taters pretty well.  You don't want any large lumps. Add the margarine, mix well.  Set aside to cool about 15 minutes.  Add the rest of the ingredients, and mix really well.  Set aside to cool another 15 minutes in the fridge.  You want them to be cool.
See, meanwhile you can be preparing the lentil stew below... just sayin'...
5. When they are pretty cold, heat your oven to 400F.  Prep a baking sheet with parchment paper.
6. Here comes the tricky part.  Spoon out in 1/2 TBS amounts, or 1 TBS and divide, and make spheres with the potato mixture.  Make an even layer of spheres and bake at 400F for 20 minutes.  They will flatten out some in the oven... so the spheres will be more like, um, flattened plops...
7. Remove from oven, lower temp to 350F, turn over the little fellas and return to oven.  Bake about 10 minutes, or until a nice, more even golden brown.
8. Enjoy!

4 svgs, 340 calories per serving

1 cup red lentils
2 cups water
2 cups frozen mixed veggies of choice (I have corn, carrots, lima beans, peas, green beans and some leftover edamame, about 1/4 cup of the latter)
1 cup frozen brussel sprouts (also freezer leftovers... if you don't have or don't desire the awesome little cabbage-cousins, then just add 3 cups of your favorite mixed frozen vegetables)
1 cup non-sweetened/flavored milk (I used Silk's Almond Milk)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 TBS dried, unsweetened coconut
1/4 c chopped, toasted macadamia nuts (cashews can be subbed, probably also  walnuts... I suggest one of these 'white' nuts that aren't too strong... but toasted makes them taste better.  To toast, chop them up and spread on a baking sheet/pan in a single layer and toast in a 350F oven for about 5 minutes)
1 TBS minced, fresh ginger
1 TBS agave nectar
1/2 salt or to taste
2 tsp dried ground ginger
1 tsp DOLE Portobello Mushroom Powder (optional, but see note below)

1. In a large pot (possibly the pot used above for taters), bring 2 cups of water to a nice, rolling boil.  Add the lentils and lower to a simmer.  Wait, stirring occassionally, about 15 minutes or til the water is absorbed.  In the meantime, measure out the frozen vegetables and leave them at room temp to thaw out some.  You can also toast the macadamias.
2. Add the semi-frozen veggies, milk, cider vinegar, coconut, agave and minced ginger.  Continue to simmer about 10 minutes, til veggies are warmed through and through.  Add the ground ginger, and mushroom powder if using, and taste for salt and ginger.  And adjust according to your palate.
3. Remove from heat, and let it sit about 5 minutes.  Ladle into bowls and top with 1/4 of the macadamia nuts per serving. Top with some coconut if you'd like ;)

Yeah, so what's with the Dole Mushroom Powder you ask?  Never heard of it before...  Well, that would be because it's new!  Here, check out the site... it's all about the D-Vitamins, baby!

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