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Friday, June 11, 2010

Hey Derya, what's with the roux?

I made another recipe from Ayla E. Algar's book Classical Turkish Cooking: Traditional Turkish Food for the American Kitchen.
This recipe comes from page 37; Creamy Red Lentil Soup.

To make this you cook some onions in butter (I used canola oil) in a thick bottomed pot, add lentils and stock and cook until tender.
The recipe says to push the cooked lentils through a sieve, throw away the solids and keep what you push through the sieve. I had a problem with this for two reasons - 1) I'm poor. Thowing away lentils that one can't smash down small enough is wasting food that can fill my belly and 2) I really really hate cleaning strainers. The food gets caught in the holes and I have to take a wire brush to remove everything, sometimes having to take a toothpick and poke holes through the dried up food. I try to avoid using strainers, in favor of using the collander or the hand mixer.
I ended up using the hand mixer and getting the lentils as small as possible, pushed the lentils through the sieve and then tossed the sieve. I hated that sieve, anyways.
OK, so after that you make a roux and put it in the soup. Then you take some milk, beat a few egg yolks in it and then add that mixture to the soup.

While the soup is cooking, the cookbook says to take some bread cubes and fry them in butter to use as garnish. I had a 2 day old loaf of Grace Pugliese. I cut it into cubes, tossed it with a bit of olive oil and stuck in the oven.

The soup plated up nicely. The toasted bread on top was a good complement to the meal. The soup wasn't really super freakin' fantastic, but it was good. Nobody had seconds, but everyone finished their firsts. The Girl chose to use the bread cubes as chips and the soup as salsa to eat her soup. The Boy didn't really eat any, but sometimes he isn't into dinner. Sometimes he totally chows on dinner, but that night he wasn't really interested.

I told Derya I made the soup. She said that was her favorite thing in the book. When I told her I didn't understand why the roux was necessary, what with the egg ... and she stopped me and said "Egg?, my mom never used egg."

Just like the Chicken Pudding, the Creamy Red Lentil Soup wasn't yucky, it just wasn't remarkable.

I think on Sunday I will try to make Manti, it's sort of like ravioli made with ground lamb.

1 comment:

  1. So wait, were the lentils used to make the roux? Interesting...
    Wow, ravioli...that's like level 9 or 10 cooking! Bold.


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