Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Night in Bethlehem

Here are the recipes from our Relief Society Christmas Dinner. That was such a beautiful evening. It was one of the highlights of the Christmas season for me this year. I’ve delayed posting because I’ve been waiting for the pictures, but it looks like I don’t have those after all, so here are the recipes you’ve been requesting. We wanted to serve the type of food that could have been eaten in a Bethlehem inn. This would be a fun dinner to serve your family before Christmas.
Middle-Eastern Lentil Soup
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large diced carrot
  • 2 stalks finely diced celery
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups red or brown lentils
  • 1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, undrained
  • 1 (19 ounce) can cannellini beans, undrained
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 T. chicken bouillon powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon curry powder
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
  • cayenne pepper to taste (I didn’t use any because I used a hot curry powder)
1. In large pot saute the onions, garlic, carrots, and celery in a little olive oil for about 5 minutes.
2. Add the water, lentils, garbonzos, cannellini beans, diced tomatoes, and seasonings. Bring to a boil for a few minutes then simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or longer, until the lentils are soft.
3. Puree half the soup in a food processor or blender (this step is important to achieve the right texture). Return the pureed soup to the pot, stir and enjoy!
*This can also be made in the crockpot. Skip the sauté step and put everything into the crockpot at once. Cook for 5-6 hours on high or 10-12 on low, and then puree half the soup as directed.

Flatbread (makes 6 rounds)
  • 2 cups of All Purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 2 tablespoons yogurt
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  1. Mix all ingredients into a soft dough. Don’t add too much flour—just enough to keep the dough from being too sticky.
  2. Knead until the dough is smooth. Cover the dough and keep in a warm place for 3-4 hours. The dough should almost be double in volume.
  3. Heat the oven to 500 degrees with pizza stone for at least thirty minutes so stone is hot.
  4. Knead the dough for about two to three minutes and divide the dough into six equal parts.
  5. Take each piece of dough, one at a time, and roll into 8-inch circle shape. Dust lightly with dry flour to help with the rolling.
  6. You can place about 2 breads on the baking/pizza stone at a time. Bake about 2 to 3 minutes, depending upon your oven. Bread should be golden brown.
  7. Take bread out of the oven and brush lightly with butter and sprinkle with garlic powder or garlic salt on one side.
NOTE: Some of the bread was baked in the oven, as explained above. The rest was cooked on my pancake griddle, about 2 minutes per side, and then brushed with butter and sprinkled with garlic salt. I thought the pancake griddle was easier than the oven and I didn’t notice a difference in taste.
NOTE 2: The bread can be made ahead and warmed in the oven before serving.

  • Romaine lettuce
  • Baby Spinach
  • Feta cheese
  • grape tomatoes
  • red onions
  • olives
  • sliced cucumbers
  • Bernstein’s Light Fantastic Cheese Fantastico dressing