Queen of “Doorknock Dinners”
I am often asked where I get my inspiration for cooking. Well, I read cook books like novels, from cover to cover, rarely being opened again. I have an inability to follow a recipe, which is why I am such a lousy baker. However, not following a recipe does allow for some great creativity!
My greatest inspiration, honestly comes from the ingredients themselves.
Do you remember that show called “Doorknock Dinners”? It was on the food network years ago (in the late 1990′s), and I totally loved watching it. The host, Gordon Elliott unexpectedly shows up on the doorstep of homes with a highly skilled chef in tow. Once welcomed inside, the chef prepares a gourmet meal for the family, using only ingredients found while rummaging through the home owners cupboards and fridge! I am sure that is when I started getting creative and inspired by the ingredients I had on hand. My husband says I am the Queen of doorknock dinners…. a title I wear with pride! Hey Gordon!! Wanna get the show started again? I’ll be your doorknock chef! Seriously!! Oh what fun that would be for me!!
This dinner was inspired by a box of Sabarot French lentils du Puy I had in the cupboard, as well as a container of that super yummy cilantro pesto from Sunflower Kitchens. See?? Not everything has to be completely scratch! Frozen tilapia, a can of baby corn, half a red pepper and a starting to wilt head of iceburg lettuce. Put it all together, and dinner is served!
Mix it up! Just choose WHOLEsome ingredients and you’re golden.
For this dinner, simply broil, grill or pan fry your favorite white fish (I broiled this one with a sprinkling of sea salt, pepper and herbs de Provence). Top fish with Sunflower Kitchens Cilantro “Zesto-pesto”. GREAT combination!!
If you’ve never had Lentils du Puy before, you really must give them a try! They are more expensive than other lentils, but in my opinion, worth it. They really hold up well for salads and sides – they stay firmer than other lentils and have a rich earthy flavour. They’d be GREAT paired with beets… hmmmm…. put that on the idea shelf for next time.
To cook lentils, add twice as much cold water as lentils to sauce pan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to med/low, cover and cook for 35-40 minutes. Check frequently, sometimes you may need to add a bit more water. These lentils will have a little more bite to them than others you are used to. I like mine simply with a squeeze of lemon and some sea salt and pepper. They are also great added to soups, stews and salads.
The salad is just some simple crunchy iceburg lettuce, fresh organic watercress from my Plan B box, canned baby corn and sliced red peppers. The dressing is a simple olive oil and vinegar with a pinch of cumin for fun.
See? You CAN make a fab dinner WITHOUT a recipe!! Go on… get your creative juices flowing….have some fun with it!! Tell me what YOU come up with on your doorknock dinner adventure!