thoughts..r.un..n.in..g


modifying marinated mushrooms
April 17, 2009, 2:37 am
Filed under: Cooking/Food | Tags: , , ,

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I am on a roll with playing with recipes and actually having success with their turnouts (at least I think so).

My weekly routine of surfing my favorite food blogs (see links on left side of screen) always gives me dinner ideas. This week, I came across a simple, not to mention economical (two days after sending in a hefty sum to my impoverished government, this is another winner of cheap eats), recipe of marinated mushrooms at the wonderfully delicious running with tweezers. It looked perfect for my busy week. Looking closer at the recipe, her version was inspired by Tyler Florence’s recipe, also one of my favored chefs.

Running with tweezers‘ version added red wine vinegar. I added a few more ingredients to the original recipe to get a deeper flavor.

Note: I don’t measure anything, so my portions are guesstimates.

Marinated Mushrooms

1 basket white mushrooms,quartered
1/4 of a large onion,chopped
3 swirls of olive oil around the pan (I actually used
   Bitton brand Rosemary, Vanilla & Thyme Oil)
1 tsp butter
1 large clove garlic,minced
5 mini sweet peppers (red & yellow), chopped
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
zest of 1 lemon
2 swirls of balsamic vinegar
1 swirl of Worcestershire sauce
1 swirl of marsala cooking wine
pinch of sugar
pinch of salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil for dressing

Add olive oil (mine was the flavored oil) and butter to a large 
skillet over medium heat. Add onions and sweet peppers and cook 
them for about 5 minutes, or until brown and tender. 
Add garlic and mushrooms and cook for another 3 minutes. 
Stir in balsamic vinegar, worcestershire sauce, marsala wine, 
thyme, and sugar until mixture cooks down and the 
alcohol evaporates.Remove mixture from heat. Zest lemon over
mixture and pour over the remaining olive oil. 
Season the mixture with salt and pepper. Pour into a bowl 
and allow to cool. Serve at room temperature.

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I followed her suggestion to serve it over a good slice of toasted bread and smeared goat cheese over it. But instead of goat cheese, I have a fantastic mild flavored sheep’s milk cheese I bought at Costco. It added a lot of sweetness and creaminess to the mushrooms. And I bet this dish would be great over couscous as well. Try it!

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ain’t it a pretty night
November 16, 2008, 11:19 pm
Filed under: Cooking/Food | Tags: , , ,

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You know how Post-It was an accidental invention and that some of the best creations in history were results of trials and mishaps? My dinner tonight was almost that, except I dare not call it the best in history. Perhaps it is the best in my soup-making history.

The dinner choices on this cool, tranquil Sunday night were either Indian or Italian–frozen dinners which fill my freezer.  Hidden behind the prepared frosty goodness were veggies–spinach, corn, peas. Suddenly, vegetable soup sounded perfect.  The only fresh vegetable I had on hand was my recent new favorite, brussels sprouts. No, I didn’t grow up with my parents forcing me to eat the vociferous green, so I never developed an aversion to it.  In fact, after reading about its bounty health benefits, and seeing them handsomely displayed at Whole Foods, I had to try them.

I chopped up some onions and garlic, threw the brussels sprouts, frozen corn, spinach, and peas into a pot and started sauteeing, not knowing what to do next.  Then I found a bottle of Bitton brand Rosemary, Thyme, & Vanilla Oil that my dear friend Amy, whose effortless but delectable soups I often crave (and whose spice cabinet is inspiring!), gave me recently. The label on the bottle said that it’ll be an excellent soup so in the pot it went.  I opened up my measly spice drawer and randomly picked out some dried thyme, coriander, and black pepper (a must for me) to go into the soup.

As the soup simmered away, all the frozen vegetables began to liquefy except for the thewy brussels sprouts. Even for me who likes brussel sprouts, the soups was not looking particularly appetizing.  Some visual changes had to be done.  In went the hand held blender.

The soup turned out to be excellent!  I had a nice soup, bread, prosciutto and cheese dinner with my roommate. It’s an accidental success that needs some tweaking and improving.

Brussels Sprouts Veggie Soup

1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn

1/2 cup frozen peas

1/2 medium size onion, chopped

1 clove of garlic, chopped

1 cup frozen spinach

5 heads of brussels sprouts, cleaned and halved

2 tbs. olive oil

2 tsp ground coriander

2 tsp dried thyme

1 tbs Bitton Rosemary, Thyme & Vanilla Oil

2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth

2 cups vegetable broth (or double chicken broth)

salt & pepper to taste

Saute onions and garlic in olive oil on medium low heat until softened, about 4 minutes.  Add in brussels sprouts for a couple of minutes, then add in spinach, corn, and peas.  Season with coriander, thyme, and flavored oil.  Add in broth, turn heat on high.  Once soup comes to a boil, turn heat down to low and simmer for 7 minutes until vegetables are soft.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Turn heat off, use hand held blender to puree soup, or ladle soup mixture into conventional blender in batches.  Be careful of hot liquids.

Serve with bread and cheese.  Serves 4.