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Lunch Lady Cookbook Trout Amandine

The Lunch Lady Cookbook – Trout Amandine

Jolly Roger profile pic

 

Hey there boys and girls! This is The Lunch Laddy comin’ at ya, straight outta cyberspace and in your face with another sumptuous recipe from The Lunch Lady Cookbook. Today’s recipe draws from a time honored culinary tradition that can be traced back to New Orleans and France. It’s trout season in New York State and the Lunch Laddy had the good fortune to be blessed with a monster filet of Lake Trout from Lake Ontario. It seemed only fitting that this wonderful fish be respected with special treatment. The Lunch Lady Cookbook is honored and proud to present to you Lunch Lady Cookbook Trout Amandine.

I actually received a bit of an education as I pondered this gustatory mystery. I found that I was one of the legions of kitchen hacks who misspelled the name of the recipe as “Trout Almondine” when it is actually spelled “Trout Amandine.” While I am no longer flexible enough to insert my foot in my mouth, I seem to be getting better and better when it comes to acknowledging my mistakes. So Mea Culpa. Trout Amandine it is then. Even though The Lunch Laddy is an old dog, he can still learn new tricks.

This recipe is pretty basic and there’s probably not much that is new and different from other Trout Amandine recipes, but it is new to me and thus, a new addition to The Lunch Lady Cookbook. The most important ingredients are fresh trout and almonds. This is NOT a recipe that would work by substituting fish sticks and beer nuts.

Lunch Lady Cookbook Trout Amandine

Here we go. Marinate filet of lake trout in fresh lime juice, salt and pepper for an hour or so. (Can be longer in the fridge) Lightly sauté chopped garlic and scallions in 2 tbs. butter. Dredge trout filet in flour and add to skillet. Brown both sides and lower heat to medium or lower. Cook each side for approximately 5 minutes or until cooked through. Transfer fish to plate and keep warm. Melt 2 more tbs. butter in skillet and sizzle away until it starts to turn brown. Add slivered almonds with cracked pepper and cook on low heat until crispy and brown. Pour over fish. Garnish with fresh herbs. The Lunch Laddy used curly parsley, chives and sweet basil from the Lunch Lady Herb Garden. Drizzle fresh lime juice and serve on fresh slices of lime with rice and vegetables.

photo 2
Before
Trout Amandine (1)
After

Beverage pairing: Bollicini 2014 from Damiani Wine Cellars in the Finger Lakes.

Prosecco style, bottle fermented, sparkling wine with hints of citrus and pear. Weighing in at 1.85% residual sugar, Bollicini is clean, fresh, fruity, DELICIOUS! Serve really cold. To truly realize the medicinal qualities of this wine it is important that you drink all of it.

Music pairing: Drive By Truckers, Ryan Bingham and Old Crow Medicine Show on shuffle.

Until next time, Bon Apetit from The Lunch Lady Cookbook!

 

 

The Lunch Lady Cookbook – Chicken a la Fausto

The Lunch Lady Cookbook ~ Chicken a la Fausto

Lunch Laddy at the Dirt Track Races
Lunch Laddy at the Dirt Track Races

Hey there Boys and Girls! This is The Lunch Laddy, comin’ at ya, straight outta cyberspace, with another, long overdue installment of The Lunch Lady Cookbook.

I’ve been away for a while, but now I’m back and I’m bad; and bringing you a mouth watering recipe for a dish that has become a go-to in the Lunch Laddy’s cucina. It is my gustatory pleasure to present to you “Chicken a la Fausto!”

Even if you are vegetarian, or vegan, or gluten free, there are still plenty of delectable delights in this dish for you. Just avert your eyes during the chicken part. Why “a la Fausto?” you may ask? Well, my friends, THAT is an excellent question. It is named after an unforgettable character we knew who called himself by that name. He passed through our lives like a tornado a few years back. He was a drifter, a grifter, a classic flim flam man. He pretended to be many things. He claimed to be an Italian prince, a doctor, a professional photographer, an opera singer, a bicycle racer, a wine distributor and a luthier, among other things. He had a magnetic kind of charm, and very expensive tastes, but never seemed to have his credit card with him or any cash on him. There were also just too many inconsistencies in his convoluted stories and it soon became apparent he’d steal the shoes right off your feet if you’d let him. He was eventually banished from the kingdom and was last reported to be posing as a diamond merchant in Lower Manhattan. Good luck with that. However, he did leave behind a bit of a legacy by way of of a couple of really good, rustic recipes. One was a recipe for baked chicken and vegetables, which I named Chicken a la Fausto.

Here is the variation I made today for The Lunch Lady Cookbook.

Chicken a la Fausto

Place 4 chicken quarters in a baking dish. Season with Worcester Sauce, basil, garlic powder, salt, pepper, barbecue sauce. Tuck in brussels sprouts, yellow summer squash and top with sliced red onion. Oh yeah. Don’t forget. Pour a healthy dollop of dry red wine into the mix. It’s a colorful dish. You got yer basic flesh tones, complemented handsomely by red, yellow, and green, all in one dish. Pop into a preheated 350 degree oven for 1 hour and voila ~ Chicken a la Fausto! Serve with salt potatoes on the side. Let rest and cover with aluminum foil (tin foil) which you can use to make a tin foil hat to wear while you watch Ancient Aliens after dinner.

Before
Before
After
After

Music pairing: Lazy, laconic, lilting tunes by The Be Good Tanyas, Gillian Welch and Eilen Jewel seemed to fit the mood of this early summer afternoon.

Beverage pairing: I recommend a sassy and splashy little Spanish red called Laya. Vintage 2014. A brash blend of garnacha tintorera and monastrelli grapes that yields a fruit bomb that explodes on your tongue like the 14.5% alcohol bad boy that it is. I have photographed it on my kitchen floor because I figure if you’re gonna end up on the floor, you may as well just start on the floor and stay there.

Beverage Pairing
Beverage pairing

2013 In Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,100 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

The Lunch Lady Cookbook Pull No Punches Lasagna

Lunch Lady Cookbook Pull No Punches Lasagna

Cooking
Cooking

Hey there boys and girls! This is The Lunch Laddy, Michael Gillan Maxwell comin’ at ya with a new installment of The Lunch Lady Cookbook. Today we tackle the hearty, time honored fave, lasagna, with a Lunch Lady twist.

There’s nothing like this lasagna that gives school kids the kind of energy they need to tear through the afternoon and make life living Hell for the teachers. It’s brimming with oodles of complex carbohydrates and protein. One of Lunch Laddy’s friends is eating it right now to get ready for the New York City Marathon.

The switchboard is already lighting up with callers asking the question: Why is it named ‘Pull No Punches Lasagna’?  It’s because this dish pulls no punches. This dish gots it all baby; Italian hot sausage, hot peppers, hot spices and a comprehensive tour of the “Cheeses of Italia.” While this dish is not for the faint of heart or the lactose intolerant, if you recently passed your EKG and stress test before indulging in our Achin’ For Bacon Mac & Cheese, you should be good to go. If you’re training for the lead role in the life story of the boxer Two Ton Tony Golento or the remake of Martin Scorcese’s Raging Bull, then this is the dish for you!

This makes one hellava mess in la cucina, and the Lunch Laddy’s kitchen looked like the aftermath of a drone strike, so it’s best to block off a couple hours just for the cleanup.

Pots and pans

 Mess

More mess

and More Mess

But don’t let that scare you off, because it’s worth it. So let’s get started right away. The Lunch Lady Cookbook is proud to present Lunch Lady Cookbook Pull No Punches Lasagna.

What you need:

  •  Lasagna noodles (1 package)
  • 4 Italian hot sausages
  • Red pepper
  • Sweet onion
  • Portabella mushrooms
  • Tomato sauce
  • Pasta sauce
  • Ricotta cheese (8 oz)
  • Mozzarella and provolone cheese (2 Cups)
  • Four Cheese Shred asiago, Fontina, Parmesan, Provolone (5 oz package)
  • Garlic Powder
  • Sweet basil flakes
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Smoked paprika

How we do it peeples!

  •  Slice, dice, bend, spindle and mutilate hot sausage, sweet onion, red pepper and mushrooms
  • Brown hot sausage over low heat, then add onions, red pepper and mushrooms, stirring frequently
  • Boil pasta for approximately 10 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water. It should be el dente
  • Cover the bottom of baking dish with tomato sauce
  • Add layer of lasagna pasta
  • Spread layer of ricotta cheese
  • Add layer of other cheeses
  • Cover with pasta sauce
  • Repeat
  • Top with final layer of pasta, cheeses and sauce
  • Garnish with spices
  • Cover and bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes
  • Turn off oven and let stand, covered, in warm oven for at least 60 minutes

LasagnaNow THAT’S Yummy for the Tummy Y’all!

Dessert:

Why not top it off with a bowl of your favorite leftovers from Halloween? There’s nothing quite like a handful of miniature candy bars to keep you buzzing for hours.

Dessert

 Wanna Stay Up All Night? Eat Some Of These!

Beverage pairing:

Valpolicella Amarone

An insouciant wine that doesn’t bite back. It floods the palate with imaginary explosions of velvety flavors and undercurrents and aftertastes of the Venice canals at low tide.

Music pairing:

The Be Good Tanyas station on Pandora. You’ll hear good stuff from them, Bon Iver, Natalie Merchant, Gillian Welch and others.

Until next time  ~ the is the Lunch Lady Cookbook signing off with mangia, mangia, tutti frutti and arrividerci!

Ciao!

Lunch Lady Cookbook Mumbo Jumbo Chicken Gumbo

Lunch Lady Cookbook Mumbo Jumbo Chicken Gumbo

Cooking
Cooking

Hey there boys and girls! This is The Lunch Laddie, Michael Gillan Maxwell comin’ at ya with a new installment of The Lunch Lady Cookbook. As the waning days of October bring crisp temperatures and frost on the pumpkin, it’s time we turn our attention to heartier fare while exploring a rich, multi-cultural tradition. The Lunch Lady Cookbook is proud to present Lunch Lady Cookbook Mumbo Jumbo Chicken Gumbo.

Folklore has it that gumbo originated in southern Louisiana in the 18th century. 18th century Louisiana was the ultimate cultural melting pot, so it seems fitting that this dish would be a melting pot in its own right. Gumbo is like a greatest hits album of ingredients and culinary practices of several cultures, including West African, French, Spanish, German, Choctaw and Public School Cafeterias. Gumbo shares much in common with other one-dish meals like stew, goulash, paella and bouillabaisse. The beauty of it is that there is no single “right” way of making it, you can’t mess it up and you can toss in just about any ingredient you want and call it gumbo. This helps make it a go-to dish for festive gatherings like Cajun fiddle contests, barn raisings and 7th grade lunch periods.

Ingredients

3 Chicken Breasts (boneless, skinless)

1 Green Pepper (large)

Green beans (from last nights dinner)

1 Onion (Large, sweet)

2 Scallions Baby carrots (Maybe a dozen or so ~ they’re little ~ after all, they’re only babies)

Red baby potatoes (Same as above)

Mushrooms (Ginormous handful)

Diced tomatoes (Fresh is good, but I used 2 8 oz cans)

Cream of Mushroom soup ( all purpose secret sauce)

Garlic ( 2 or 3 cloves ~ diced)

Worcester sauce (dash or 2)

Red wine (1/2 cup. Actually pour 2 cups, add 1/2 cup to the gumbo and chug the rest)

Sour cream

Romano cheese

Spices

Salt (freshly ground sea salt)

Pepper (freshly ground)

Red Pepper flakes

Garlic Powder (freshly ground)

Basil Flakes

Tumeric

Rosemary (just a pinch ~ this stuff can take over a dish)

Bay leaf (if ya got it)

How we do it:

Combine tomatoes, mushroom soup and about 2 cups of water in stock pot. Heat slowly.

Slice, dice, bend, spindle, mutilate and chop garlic, onion, green pepper, scallions and mushrooms.

Sauté lightly in olive oil (extra virgin please) over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Ease up on this part. You just want to give these veggies a jump start. Add to stock pot.

Slice, dice, bend, spindle, mutilate and chop potatoes and carrots and add to stock pot.

Slice, dice, bend, spindle, mutilate and chop chicken breasts.

Sauté lightly in olive oil (extra virgin please), garlic and Worcester sauce until brown.

Add spices at this point, turning chicken frequently until brown.

Add to stock pot. Cover and let simmer for up to four hours, stirring frequently while reciting voodoo incantations. (Although singing along to a good playlist is acceptable)

This dish is also an ideal candidate for slow cooking in the crock pot. Gumbo on Stove

 Hey genius! It fogs the lens when you hold the camera directly over a steaming vat of gumbo!

This dish can be ready eat sooner than that, but a long, slow simmer really gets the juices flowing and unlocks the flavor of the ingredients. Since watched pots never boil, this is a good time to throw in a load of laundry, split a pile of firewood and print out that manuscript you’ve been working on for the final proof read.

But for God’s sake, before you do any of these things, clean up that Godawful mess you’ve just made in the kitchen before Mom comes home!

Garnish with Romano cheese and sour cream and serve by itself or over rice. Crusty French bread is great for dipping and mopping the gumbo off your chin.

Musical Accompaniment:

Cajun music, of course. (Frankly, I’m surprised you had to ask) Anything by Clifton Chenier, Preston Frank, Walter Mouton and the original “Alligator man” Doug Kershaw will move this along in a lively manner. If you’re really ambitious, this is a great time to start to learn to play the Cajun accordion, or Cajun box as it is known. Just don’t drop it in the gumbo. Cajun Box Suggested Wine Pairing: This dish owes a lot to French Acadian and Cajun roots, so the Lunch Laddie’s preference is a robust and smooth French Rhone. A good friend of mine with a nose for wine once told me that a “good Rhone should taste like dirt!” In my opinion, this is the perfect wine for an earthy dish like gumbo. Gumbo and wine

For God’s sake man. Pour it in a glass. We’re not savages here!

So without further adieu, I must bid you au revoir. Until next time, this is The Lunch Laddie, Michael Gillan Maxwell signing off for The Lunch Lady Cookbook. Happy slurping!

Lunch Lady Cookbook Achin’ For Bacon Mac & Cheese

Lunch Lady Cookbook Achin’ For Bacon Mac & Cheese

Lunch Lady Action Figure
Lunch Lady Action Figure

Hey there boys and girls! This is the Lunch Laddy, Michael Gillan Maxwell comin’ at ya with a new installment of The Lunch Lady Cookbook. Back when the Lunch Lady Cookbook was just a gleam in his father’s eye, the Lunch Laddy was on a quest for the Holy Grail of Comfort Foods, the ultimate Mac & Cheese. I know our thousands of foodie fans out there were dismayed and even outraged by esoteric vegan recipes and gustatory explorations into parts unknown and roads untraveled.

People were saying: “Hey Lunch Laddy! What gives? You promised us Mac & Cheese and you give us recipes for vegan burritos and free range goulash. You bask in all the glory and we get bupkis! Enough already! We want the Mac & Cheese we were promised!”

The people have spoken and the Lunch Laddy has heard. I am here today to deliver what was promised. The Lunch Lady Cookbook is proud to present Achin’ For Bacon Mac & Cheese!

The Lunch Laddy will be the first to tell you he’s not a doctor and the last to offer medical advice. However, due to the rich nature of this particular dish, all of us here at The Lunch Lady Cookbook offices recommended that you schedule an EKG and a stress test to determine if you still have at least one available unclogged artery before proceeding. It’s like having enough available memory on your computer before taking on a software update.

Achin' for Bacon

You will need the following: 

  • 1 package Gluten Free Brown Rice Elbows (Hey! Shut up! We need something healthy in this dish!)
  • 2-3 cups of assorted cheeses ~ sharp cheddar, colby, jack & Romano for starters.
  • 3/4 cup skim milk
  • 5 slices cooked bacon ~ sliced, diced & chopped
  • Garlic powder
  • Red pepper flakes

How we do it:

  • Cook pasta for 2-3 minutes and drain. (It will be super el dente, but this is what you need because it’s gonna bake for a while. It’s called Mac & Cheese NOT Mush & Cheese)
  •  Lubricate baking dish with butter. This is no time to be shy. Grease that puppy up!
  •  Pour in pasta and stir in cheese, bacon and spices, saving some of each for the coup de grâce topping.
  •  Cover and bake at 350 for 45 minutes.
  •  Brown, uncovered for the last coupla minutes.
  •  Cover and let stand for at least an hour.
  •  Serve with copious amounts ketchup.

A Lunch Lady Cookbook Repast

Musical Accompaniment: Todd Snider station on Pandora

Libation: A rich full bodied red wine with undercurrents of blueberry jam and hot dogs. Jug wine from the bottom shelf will be the prefect accompaniment to this prosaic dish.

Until the next time, this is the Lunch Laddy, Michael Gillan Maxwell signing off and saying: Eat hearty me hearties!

THE LUNCH LADY COOKBOOK

DOG DAYS INSALATA CAPRESE

Cooking

Cooking

DOG DAYS INSALATA CAPRESE

Hey there boys and girls! This is the Lunch Laddy, Michael Gillan Maxwell coming’ at ya with a late summer dog days edition of The Lunch Lady Cookbook. For those of you who have spent any quality time in the trenches with real Lunch Ladies, you know that public school cafeterias are not known for their hors d’oeuvres. But maybe they oughtta be. Perhaps it would bring a whole new level of sophistication and civility to the 30 minute lunch period. But first we need to call it something different. Just trying to say “hors d’oeuvres” correctly, much less trying to spell it, is a recipe for a Beavis and Butthead moment in any middle school cafeteria. So let’s just call it an “appetizer”.

Today we celebrate late summer with a time honored seasonal appetizer ~ Insalata Caprese, or in American layman’s terms ~ Mozzarella, Tomatoes and Basil.  While arguably, this dish can be made during any season, nothing beats freshly picked, vine ripened tomatoes and basil straight from the garden. Let’s face it, unless you’re an Italian dairy farmer, most of us don’t have the capacity to produce fresh mozzarella on site, so we’ll just have to do the best we can with what we can get. Not only is this recipe mindlessly simple, it’s also lots of fun because you get to use a really, really sharp knife.

And so, without any further adieu, I present Lunch Lady Cookbook Dog Days Insalata Caprese!

Ingredients

Ingredients:

1 large freshly picked vine ripened beefsteak tomato

1 sprig freshly picked sweet Italian basil

Ball of fresh mozzarella

Colossal Spanish Olives (stuffed with feta cheese)

Process: 

Slice mozzarella and arrange on platter

Sliced Mozzarella

Slice tomato and place on mozzarella slices

Sliced Tomato

Slice olives and place on top of mozzarella and tomato slices (are you sensing a pattern here?)

Olives

Garnish with shredded basil and VOILA! There you have it!

Appetizer

Libation:

Ice cold Pinot Grigio (This will generally not be available in the cafeteria except as a black market item, but you may find it in some faculty lounges)

Wine

Musical Accompaniment:

The Lunch Laddy had Guy Clark’s “Cold Dog Soup” dialed in on Pandora, but adjust to suit your own tastes.

Serve “al fresco” on screened porch with other appetizers while shouting “Mangia! Mangia!”

This is your Lunch Laddy, Michael Gillan Maxwell wishing you all a dog days Bon Appetit and saying arrividirci from The Lunch Lady Cookbook!

The Lunch Lady Cookbook ~ A Midsummer’s Night Dream ~ Wild Texas Gulf Coast Shrimp

The Lunch Lady Cookbook

A Midsummer’s Night Dream  ~ Wild Texas Gulf Coast Shrimp

Lunch Laddy at the Dirt Track Races
The Lunch Laddy at the Grill

Hey there boys and girls! This is The Lunch Laddy, Michael Gillan Maxwell comin’ at ya with a summer edition of The Lunch Lady Cookbook! It’s the season for running around naked in the back yard, chasing fireflies, dodging lightning bolts during thunderstorms and jumpin’ in the old swimmin’ hole (or the neighbor’s pool when they’re out of town!) And nothing says “summer” more than grillin’ & chillin’ and munchin’ on savory summer salads.

Today, the Lunch Laddy checks in with a sumptuous feast for a midsummer’s eve consisting of Wild Texas Gulf Coast Shrimp, Avocado Salad With Fresh Garden Herbs, Coleslaw and the appropriate libations and musical accompaniment.

That’s enough pussy footin’ around. Without further adieu, The Lunch Lady Cookbook is proud to present A Midsummer’s Night Dream ~ Wild Texas Gulf Coast Shrimp.

As you know, The Lunch Laddy cut his teeth hangin’ with the home girl Lunch Ladies in their respective middle school cafeterias. Although Shrimp on the Barbie ~ Hey! Get your minds out of the gutter! We’re not talking about Ken’s relationship with Barbie here! That’s what they call it Down Under. No. That’s not what I mean either. We’re talkin’ about Australia here. OK. Go ahead and snicker all you want wise guy. I know where you live!

Ken & Barbie

Shrimp on the Barbie? Not!

Now, as I was saying, although Shrimp on the Barbie is not exactly a middle school cafeteria staple, The Lunch Laddy thinks it oughta be! It’s mindlessly simple and it’s good and good for ya!

Ingredients:

Jumbo Wild Texas Gulf Coast Shrimp

Lunch Laddy Sweet Honey Sauce

Raw Honey (Tablespoon)

Olive Oil (Tablespoon Extra Virgin, if you please)

Sweet Mustard (Tablespoon)

Garlic Powder

Sea Salt

Ground Red Pepper

How We Do It:

While the Barbie is heating up  ~ again, people, minds out the gutter?

Clean and de-vein shrimp (if you just hauled it out of the Gulf, you’ll need to do this) then peel shrimp and remove tail

(might as well get this all out of the way before grilling!)

Skewer, if you’re in the mood for poking stuff with a sharp stick

Combine honey, olive oil, mustard and spices and mix briskly

Brush coating of Lunch Laddy Sweet Honey Sauce on shrimp

Place on grill

Hey! Snap out of it! Either glowing coals or turn that puppy waaay down ~ You’re not working in a foundry here ~ this requires restraint and the delicate touch of a sensitive backyard grill chef. And this is no time to get caught up in swilling brewskies! Keep an eye on these guys, turning frequently and brushing with Lunch Laddy Sweet Honey Sauce. (While you’re at it, brush some on yourself too ~ Barbie will thank you for it later!) Shrimp is done when it turns pink and sauce starts to get a little crispy. A few minutes ~ tops!

Shrimp

Wild Texas Gulf Coast Shrimp

Lunch Laddy Avocado Salad With Fresh Garden Herbs

Ingredients:

Avocado

Tomato

Sweet Vidalia Onion

Spanish Olives w/Pimento

Fresh Lime

Basil

Chives

Olive Oil

Feta Cheese

How We Do It:

Dice avocado, tomato, and onion

Combine with juice from lime, olives, fresh basil & chives

Toss with olive oil and feta cheese

Serve chilled

Avocado Salad

Avocado Salad With Fresh Cut Garden Herbs

Coleslaw:

Ingredients:

Shredded cabbage

Shredded carrots

Mayonnaise

Olive oil

Honey

and a whole bunch of other stuff

How We Do It:

Combine bag of shredded cabbage and carrots with coleslaw sauce.

(Available in the fresh produce section of your local grocery store)

Did I mention ~ “mindlessly simple”?

Serve chilled.

Cole Slaw

Cole Slaw ~ The Cowboy Way

Libations:

Corona beer ~ Ice cold with a twist of lime

The Lunch Laddy’s not usually a fruity beer guy, but this is to die for. Unless you get the lime wedged in your esophagus, then it’s to die from.

Corona

Corona With Lime ~ No ~ You can’t Just Drink One

Musical Accompaniment:

Robert Earle Keane, Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, James McMurtry & Jerry Jeff Walker for that Up Against the Wall Redneck Mother Wild Texas Gulf Coast vibe.

That about does it for this summer edition of The Lunch Lady Cookbook.

This is your Lunch Laddy, Michael Gillan Maxwell signing off and reminding you all to

hang in the shade, drink plenty of cerveza & most importantly

Be Cool ~ DON”T Stay in School!

Lunch Lady Cookbook Mondo Fandango Lentil Soup

Lunch Lady Cookbook Mondo Fandango Lentil Soup

Cooking

Hey there boys and girls! This is Lunch Laddy Michael Gillan Maxwell bringing you the latest edition of the Lunch Lady Cookbook. I don’t know about you, but after I’ve been outside in the crisp autumn weather doing manly things like wearing flannel shirts, raking leaves, tossing the old pigskin around, cleaning gutters, cutting firewood and wrangling Cocker Spaniels, it takes some stick-to-your-ribs hearty fare to keep the Lunch Laddy’s depleted afterburners chugging away.

Lumberjack

It’s times like this when Cup-a-Soup just ain’t makin’ it. You need something to stoke the furnace. It’s time to pull out the big guns and make it from scratch and while you’re at it, you might as well chef up a power packed protein and antioxidant bomb with plenty of fiber to move the mail.  It’s the right time of the year for Lunch Lady Cookbook Mondo Fandango Lentil Soup.

Pull together the following ingredients, and commence to slicin’ n’ dicin’

1 package red lentils

2 cups chopped celery

2 cups brussels sprouts (cut in half)

2 cups chopped carrots

1 chopped onion

16 oz. chopped baked ham w/bone

16 oz. can diced tomatoes with green pepper and

8 oz. can tomato sauce

6-8 cups water

2 -3 coves of garlic

Worcester sauce

Hot sauce

Spices ~ sea salt, fresh ground mixed pepper, basil flakes, garlic powder

Chopping Vegetables

Combine tomatoes, tomato sauce, carrots, brussels sprouts and celery in a stock pot.

Rinse and drain lentils, then add to stock pot with other ingredients.

Bring to boil then turn to simmer.

Slice ‘ dice onion, garlic and ham ~ sauté until onions are caramelized ~ add to stock pot.

Season generously.

Simmer for 2-3 hours, stirring frequently.

Boiling Cauldron

Top with Pecorino Romano Cheese and serve with massive piece of buttered crusty rosemary olive oil bread

Lunch Lady Mondo Fandango Lentil Soup and Bread

Beverage Pairing ~ Brooklyn Brown Ale (or 2)

Brooklyn Brown Ale

Musical Pairing ~ Plenty of gutbucket blues with reverb drenched chainsaw guitars ~ early Stones, Black Keys,  Junior Kimbrough, R.L. Burnside

And if your guests give you any kind of grief at all, then it’s NO SOUP FOR YOU! COME BACK ONE YEAR!

The Soup Nazi “No soup for you!”

Until next time, this is the Lunch Laddy signing off for The Lunch Lady Cookbook.

Party hardy and eat hearty. Bon apetit!

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