Posts Tagged mushrooms
We went out to a Brazilian steakhouse Monday night for a birthday dinner, and I ate a quantity of meat that I might describe as obscene. So, for dinner the following night, I felt like maybe we should have something light.
A good veggie burger is satisfying without being heavy. There are lots of varieties of veggie burgers, based on any number of main ingredients, including things like textured soy protein. This recipe results in a very soft patty with a really good flavor that makes no attempt to taste like beef. It’s also dark green and swampy looking, so be warned.
- 2 cups cooked beans
- 8 oz raw mushrooms
- 1/2 lb fresh spinach
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 3 sprigs of fresh oregano
- 10 fresh sage leaves
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 3-4 tbsp sesame oil
The first six ingredients go into the food processor. I’d recommend doing the spinach first, and breaking it into two batches, then setting it aside once it’s pureed finely. Once everything is broken down, combine it thoroughly. You should be able to dump it all back into the food processor if you have a 7-cup model, if you don’t feel like doing a lot of hand mixing.
Blend in the flour gradually. You may need to adjust up or down. The texture you’re looking for is like thick oatmeal.
Pour the sesame oil into a pan and heat it up until it’s just starting to shimmer. Spread the batter (for lack of a better word) out 1/2″ thick in your desired patty size. Cook on medium-high heat until the bottom solidifies and browns – it will take several minutes. Don’t try to flip it too soon or it will break apart.
Once the patties are cooked on both sides, slide onto a bun and top with your favorite salsa, and you’re ready to go.
I served these with sweet potato fries, which I’ll post tomorrow.
This is a great way to use up the excess mushroom from a batch of stuffed mushrooms. It’s a fast, easy meal using storebought alfredo sauce and chicken breast. Very low effort, and really tasty.
Preheat your oven to 375°. Pour half the jar of alfredo sauce into a baking dish and spread to coat. Arrange tender-sized pieces of chicken breast in the dish and pour the remaining sauce over the top. Top with finely chopped mushrooms and bake for 30 minutes.
Risotto is labor intensive and takes time to make, and I wouldn’t recommend trying to make it at the same time as another complex dish, but it is a really good side dish and can even stand on its own as a main.
The key to risotto is arborio rice, which has short, rounded grains and a high starch content. You’ll sometimes see it labeled as risotto rice in stores, as it is closely identified with the dish. Arborio also makes great rice pudding. It absorbs a lot of liquid for its size and stays firm as it’s cooked.
A finished risotto is creamy and the grains are soft but whole. Mushrooms are a perfect addition in terms of flavor and texture.
You will need:
- 10 oz mushrooms
- 6 cups stock
- 1/2 cup onions
- 2 cups dry arborio rice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Salt to taste
I used shiitake mushrooms, sliced, and a stock I made a while ago from leftover pork ribs. Any stock or broth will do, but I like to use a nice gelatinous stock because it results in a thicker, stickier risotto. If you want a vegetarian version, use vegetable stock – it will thicken up a little less, but still be creamy and delicious.
Simmer the mushrooms in the stock on med-low heat while you prep your other ingredients.
Pour your olive oil in a deep saute pan and cook the onions until they are translucent. Add in the dry rice and cook it on medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
Turn the heat down to low and pour in about a cup of the stock. You don’t want to add the mushrooms yet, so what I usually do is dip a measuring cup into the stock and press it against the side to allow the liquid to stream in without any of the mushrooms falling in.
Stir the rice and broth gently until the rice has absorbed all the visible liquid. Now you can add another 1/2 – 1 cup of broth. Repeat this step until you’ve added all the broth and the rice has absorbed it all. This takes a lot of time – easily 40 minutes. The rice will cook and absorb faster on higher heat, but you risk breaking the grains and the resulting risotto has a weird gritty mouth feel.
Once all the liquid is all absorbed, stir in the mushrooms and warm them back up. Your risotto is ready to serve!
This served three as a main course, with plenty left over – which was part of the plan. Leftover risotto is the perfect material for making arancini (Italian for “little oranges”), which are fried rice balls with a hot molten core of mozzarella cheese. Last night’s rice is far better than fresh for this. Tomorrow night I’ll post the arancini.
The soup I made tonight is a chunky, hearty vegetarian meal-in-a-bowl that’s perfect for a cold night. I decided to pair it with baked frico. A frico is basically a cracker made entirely of cheese.
There are a couple of different techniques for frico, but I like making them in a 350°oven on a baking sheet lined with a piece of parchment paper. It looks very fancy, but it’s totally simple and quick.
I used an awesome cheese called pecorino romano – it’s made with sheep’s milk and is hard, dry, and salty, making it perfect for pairing with a dish like this soup. I bought a small tub of it pre-shredded at our awesome local grocery store. You can use a lot of cheeses for frico, so don’t worry if you can’t find this specific cheese. Shredded parmesan (not the powdered crap in the jar) or other hard cheeses work well for a crispy, crunchy frico; softer cheese like cheddar will make a more chewy frico. Fresh cheeses like mozzarella aren’t as good, although the dry shredded stuff they sell in bags is somewhat different than the squishy stuff you use to make caprese salad.
Basically you just make little piles of the shredded cheese, about 1/2″ thick. Flatten them out into an even layer and pop them in the oven for about 6-8 minutes or until the edges start to brown a bit. The frico will be quite flexible when you first pull it out, so if you want to shape it you can drape it over something. I’ve seen people make bowls with them, or you can gently roll them into little tubes.
The vegetable soup is a little more complex, and certainly requires more ingredients.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp finely minced herbs (whichever you like best)
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 8 oz celery
- 8 oz leeks
- Half a medium onion
- 8 oz French/green/wax beans (these are all essentially the same thing)
- 8 oz mushrooms
- 3 small (around 6″) zucchini
- 1 6-oz can of tomato paste
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 cups vegetable broth
I’ve listed the ingredients in the order you should add them to the pot. Cut up each of the vegetables into bite-sized or smaller pieces before they go in.
Set the heat at medium-low (3 on my dial) and allow each ingredient to sweat a bit (2-3 minutes) before adding the next. You’ll have quite a pot of vegetables before you add the broth – you could ostensibly eat it just like this.
Now it’s time to add in the tomato paste, stirring until mixed thoroughly. Turn the heat up to medium-high and add in the broth. Once the soup is hot, it’s ready to serve.
Every year after Thanksgiving dinner is over and the belts are loosened, we encounter the same problem: what do you do with all the leftover food?
This year we wound up with quite a lot left over. Several large Ziploc bags of turkey were sent home with various members of the family, but I wound up with two bags full of meat and a third with three of the four legs. I also had leftover cranberry sauce, peas, green beans, and gravy.
There are lots of things you can do with cooked turkey – in a soup or a casserole, or in a pot pie, or between some bread as a sandwich, or chopped up in an omelet, or with some sauteed peppers and onions, or…you see where I’m going with this.
Well, here’s one of my favorites. I made a quick trip to Costco today so my mom could pick up some stuff, and we grabbed a tray of their croissants. Slice them in half like a sandwich roll, and you can make these:
(the Sutter Home bottle is homemade salad dressing – equal parts honey, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar)
Turkey Salad on Croissant
You will need:
- 4 cups of cooked turkey
- 1/4 cup chopped nuts (I had pecans left from making candied yams)
- 1/2 cup cranberry sauce
- 1 tsp marjoram
- 3/4 to 1 cup mayonnaise
Cut up the turkey into small pieces. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Spread on your croissants and enjoy!
The mushroom side dish, by the way, is as follows:
- 3-4 cups leftover wine (I had cabernet sauvignon and flat prosecco)
- 3 tbsp sour cream
- 2 pints white mushrooms, sliced
- 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
Put your wine in a deep-sided pan with the rosemary and cook on medium for a few minutes, until the rosemary leaves soften. Remove the sprigs and add in your sour cream. Stir until combined. Add in the mushrooms and turn the heat up to medium-high. Cook until liquid is reduced and absorbed almost completely.
One of the things I like about using sour cream in sauces is that it’s not as sensitive to acidity or temperature as milk or cream would be. I’m really bad with sauces. Plus this got rid of a tub of sour cream that was lying around waiting to go bad.
Any recipe that calls for cooked chicken can make a good home for leftover Thanksgiving turkey. I like the turkey salad route because it’s a little livelier than just slapping the turkey on bread, but it’s not very labor intensive. After cooking for 15 people, I didn’t want to do anything too strenuous in the kitchen.