Prosciutto Wrapped Roast Vegetables

Roastveg_Web

I enjoyed this meal a few weeks ago when I was looking for a dinner that felt fancy but wasn’t too difficult to make. Jake helped me wrap the veggies with the prosciutto, so it went pretty quickly and we were able to have an elegant dinner in about 45 minutes. I really enjoyed the balance of salty meat with the sweet roasted root vegetables over an earthy, tart bed of lentils. It was a tasty (and cheap!) French-inspired dinner.

Serves 2.

Ingredients

For the lentils

  • 1/2 cup raw Puy (French) lentils
  • chicken stock
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • white wine
  • tarragon
  • white pepper, black pepper, salt

For the vegetables

  • 2 Parsnips
  • 4 Carrots
  • 1 cup sticks of peeled butternut squash
  • olive oil
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 8 slices prosciutto
  • parsley to top

Cook’s note: You may also use rutabaga, turnips, sunchokes, fennel, or other flavorful roots as substitutes for the parsnips, carrots, and butternut squash.

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Rinse the lentils in a strainer and pick out any bad ones. Then, put into a pot and cover with chicken stock. Bring to a boil and then let the lentils simmer, about 40 minutes, until cooked. Keep an eye on them and stir occasionally. If they start to seem very dry, add a little more stock.

Meanwhile, peel the parsnips, carrots, and butternut squash and cut them into sticks about one half-inch thick. Crush one clove of garlic and mince the rosemary. Dress the vegetables with some olive oil, garlic, rosemary, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Transfer to a baking sheet and roast the vegetables for 20 minutes.

Start to prepare for the lentils. Dice the onion, celery, carrot, and two more cloves of garlic. Add to a large saute pan with a little bit of olive oil and cook over medium heat until the onions start to become translucent, about 5 minutes. Then pour over the white wine and reduce the liquid by half. When the lentils are done, drain them and add them to the pan. Mix all of the vegetables together and season to taste with tarragon, white pepper, black pepper, and salt. Turn off the heat and cover to keep warm while you wait for the roasted vegetables.

Slice the prosciutto into strips about 1/2-inch thick. After the vegetable sticks have roasted for 20 minutes, take them out of the oven. Working until the prosciutto strips are gone, roll a strip of the meat around the width a vegetable stick and place back on the baking pan, seam side down. When you have used all the prosciutto, turn over remaining vegetables and place the pan back in the oven for an additional 10 – 15 minutes, until the prosciutto is crispy and the vegetables are soft.

Serve the wrapped roasted vegetables over a bed of the lentils, topped with parsley. Accompany the meal with more wine and a good bread!

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Dinner for Two

Final_Mousse

I just had a wonderful opportunity to write (and eat!) a few recipes for dinner for two on Valentine’s Day for the Bay Weekly Newspaper! If you are looking for a romantic dinner for two, or two servings for one, check out my recipes for Lobster Bisque, Lamb over Pomegranate Couscous, Braised Artichokes, and Chocolate Mousse here!  You won’t be disappointed.

Final_Lamb

Pork Braised with Sauerkraut

pork

We have had some pork shoulder in the freezer for a while, and decided it was time to make a delicious dish out of it. This recipe was inspired by Julia Child’s recipe in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, although we made a few changes here, mostly by adding the pork to a slow cooker, so that we could have a lazy, low maintenance dinner that was really fine cuisine!

Serves 4-6.

Ingredients 

Pork Salt Rub

  • 3 pounds pork shoulder
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. sage
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed

Slow Cooker Ingredients

  • 1 cup sauerkraut
  • 2 carrots, scraped and shredded on a box grater
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 macintosh apple
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 cups brown stock (chicken is okay)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. Sage
  • 1/4 tsp. Thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. Parsley
  • 1/8 tsp. Clove
  • 1/8 tsp. Nutmeg
  • 1 Bay Leaf

Instructions 

Mix together the salt, spices, and garlic to make a spice rub. Rub the mixture over the entire surface of the pork. Close the pork in a bag and refrigerate for at least an hour (up to several days).

Brown the pork in a skillet with about 1 tbsp. oil over high heat until the pork is a nice crispy brown color on every side. Place the browned meat into a slow cooker. Add all of the sauerkraut to the slow cooker along with 1 cup of red wine and 2 cups of stock. The liquid should cover about 1/2 – 3/4 of the meat.

In the same pan used to brown the pork, add in onion, apples, and carrots. Saute over medium low heat until the onions are slightly caramelized. Then, add the crushed garlic and cook until it is fragrant but not burnt. Add 1/2 cup of wine to the pan and cook until the wine is fully reduced. Add the mixture to the slow cooker.

Add all of the spices to the slow cooker. Salt and pepper the liquid to taste. Cook the pork on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-6 hours.

Slice off pieces of the pork and spoon out the vegetables. Serve with a bowl of the braising liquid and French bread.

*If you do not own a slow cooker, bake in a covered oven-safe casserole at 325 degrees for about 2 hours or until the pork is done.