Mushroom Stroganoff

What do you call a mushroom in a fable?

The morel of the story. Ha ha ha…ha.

I didn’t know mushroom stroganoff was a thing. I thought I invented it in my head one morning but when I started Googling, it saddened me to find that once again, I was not the only one with that idea.

Back when we were store hopping for the Indian Chaat ingredients, we picked up a bag of egg Cavatappi at the International market. It worked perfectly for this dish.

Meanwhile as I was making dinner, one of the girls came in and asked to have a snack.

And then when the youngest beast is fed…..

Apparently she’s been raised in said prison….sigh.

Back to dinner. Creamy mushrooms over pasta, how good does that sound?

INGREDIENTS

*Recipe adapted from https://damndelicious.net/2019/02/06/creamy-mushroom-stroganoff/

8 ounces egg noodles of your choice

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 1/2 pounds cremini mushrooms, sliced

2 large shallots, diced

Salt and pepper, to taste

3 cloves garlic, minced

4 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups beef stock

1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (less is more)

3/4 cup sour cream

2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Crushed red chili flakes, to taste

DIRECTIONS

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions; drain well.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add mushrooms and shallots, and cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are tender and browned, about 5-7 minutes or looks like this.

Season with salt and pepper, you can even add your crushed pepper now, if you like heat.

Stir in garlic and thyme until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute

Gradually whisk in beef stock and Dijon. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced and slightly thickened, about 4-5 minutes.

Stir in pasta and sour cream until heated through, about 1-2 minutes. 

Stir in Parmesan until melted, about 1 minute.

Serve immediately but not to the children who will whine about mushrooms. Leave them with their Nutella while you enjoy this delicious meal with a cold glass of Chardonnay!

A Way of Life-Chaat

You guys, our libraries are OPEN. I must say the book pick-up process has been pretty user friendly for the past year but I was so excited when I pulled up and saw the “we are open!” sign.

There was quite the wait list for Maneet Chauhan’s lastest cookbook Chaat, so when I finally got it, I couldn’t wait to dig in. After choosing a few recipes to try, then came the hunt for the ingredients. Not wanting to go to all of the stores looking for a few key ingredients, I improvised.

But first. Gouda turned 3 years old on July 4th. Part sweetheart part asshole, she didn’t even say thank meow.

Back to Chaat. I didn’t even know what chaat was, I just knew that there were different varieties out there, such as Paneer chaat and Aloo chaat. I found that the word describes a way of Indian life, more than just street food snacks. After more reading I learned that there are many regional variations of chaat but all of them have one thing in common. Each recipe of chaat has a combo of five essential components; the base, the sauce, the crunch, the vegetables and the umami. After that, the creative mashup is up to you.

We chose to make the Tabakh Maaz (twice-cooked caramelized ribs) and the Gajar ka Halwa (carrot pudding with pistachios and saffron). And obviously I would also make the cilantro-mint chutney because that is always a must at every Indian meal.

Back to the ingredient hunting. You guys, we have international markets on every corner but I could not find Paneer and I could not find lamb ribs. Turns out that paneer is easy enough to make and pork ribs would be a quick pinch substitute that would end in an abundance of food moaning.

I took an entire afternoon to make this meal, dipping into the sun every so often.

First up, make the cheese. Paneer, a farmer’s cheese made with milk, lemon and salt. That’s it, that’s the recipe.

Next was the carrot pudding, although the final product tasted amazing, the end result did not turn out how the cookbook promised. And no, it was not user error. Somehow grated carrot boiled in saffron, cardamom and milk was supposed to turn into a velvety pudding consistency. This did not happen and I even let it simmer for a lot longer than suggested. This picture is what I had after the recommended 30 minutes.

Nothing like pudding. I even used the emersion blender at the end but still no avail. This recipe just didn’t work, although it sure did taste good.

The cilantro-mint chutney came together in under five minutes, however I didn’t seed all five of the serrano’s because I like to live on the edge of pain.

Then we have the ribs. You guys, these are ridiculous. Once I got over the fact that I wasn’t making lamb, sigh, I went in open minded. These ribs are simmered in water with the addition of milk with a handful of spices; cardamom’s, cinnamon, tumeric, fennel seeds and of course garlic. Once they were “fall off the bone” tender. I let them rest until I admitted to myself that the carrot pudding was not going to in fact be “pudding”.

I heated a cast iron pan, added some ghee, and lightly sprinkled some cane sugar over the ribs (not in the recipe) and fried them until perfectly caramelized.

And then……

So now I have a new way of cooking ribs. I can’t wait to make this for friends and family, it’s that good. Next time I would like to make pork and lamb side by side. And the chutney, just smother it on the ribs or eat it by the spoonful.

This is a cookbook that I could definitely cook my way through, so many good looking recipes, even if the carrot pudding recipe was a lie. Ha!

Nerve Endings

It’s been over a year of not going to a park, playground or anywhere inside for that matter. Spending most warm weekends at the beach, the girls have finally realized that when we tell them that the ocean water is cold, they tend to believe us. Our pool finally opened and although we warned them that the water is going to be ice, they wanted to go with the boogie boards instead of the beach. Fast forward an hour, both Kaili and Averi were shivering while Shayne was still swimming and at that moment we wished for a playmate that also didn’t have nerve endings.

April 12th will go down in the books as the best day of 2021 as all of the girls finally went back on to campus for school. Almost 400 days you guys, sigh!

We celebrated back to school night with a mushroom galette and sticky rice with mango.

If you are one of those “I don’t like mushrooms” then I am sorry because this recipe was so DELICIOUS.

For dessert, I made sticky rice with mango. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like this dish, do you?

If you can, I suggest trying New York Times recipe but they are picky with what content they give out without an account…sigh. Otherwise, just grab a recipe and make sure you have ripe mango’s, coconut milk and the right glutinous rice. Then you are set!

I am currently simmering a Tikka Masala, stay tuned!

Who Does the Shopping for that Bunny?

For Peeps sake, the bunny that walks on two legs and lays Easter eggs overdid it on the girls baskets this year.


But it didn’t did leave any actual Peeps, or Reeses eggs, what gives? Who does the shopping for that bunny?

The girls had an abundance of sugar, new masks plus water balloons which made for a fun evening on a warm day.

I was in a bakey mood so I attempted a shot at a butterfly cake. It wont win any awards but the girls said it was “the best cake EVER” so I won no matter what.

The water balloons were put to good use, there may have been some tears, not mine but they did manage to get me soaked.

An anonymous neighbor leave three wooden bunnies for the girls to paint for Easter.

So we most definitely had our Easter art displayed.

Some Bunny Loves You!

Last but definitely not least, we made another 5 star Bon Appétit recipe.

Ramen Noodle with Spring Onions and Garlic Crisp

There is a bit of prep but it comes together quickly. I found the fresh noodles at the Ranch 99 market. In addition to the ingredients listed, I also added some toasted sesame oil (about 1 tsp.) and a dash of Shaoxing (Chinese cooking wine) to give it a little more Asian flare. We mayyybe went overboard on the serrano, it was spiiicy, but so good!

Jerk Shrimp with Coconut Rice and Mango Salsa

We had a few days of nice weather where we took advantage of the beach with and without the girls.

The warm weather brought on thoughts of traveling and eating seafood by the water. Instead I made this this delicious dinner and we ate it watching our guilty pleasure reality show.

INGREDIENTS FOR SHRIMP

  • 1 Pound raw shrimp, cleaned and deveined
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil

INGREDIENTS FOR MARINADE

1 Tbsp lime juice

1 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 Tbsp soy sauce

1 Tbsp honey

1 Tbsp ketchup

1 tsp each paprika, chili powder

1/2 tsp each garlic powder, onion powder, all spice, cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp each ground ginger, dried thyme, salt

Pinch cinnamon and nutmeg

DIRECTIONS

Add marinade ingredients to a freezer bag or medium bowl and whisk to combine. Add shrimp and marinate at room temperature for 15-30 minutes or in the refrigerator for up to 60 minutes.

Heat one tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat in a large skillet. Add shrimp and marinade and cook approximately 3 minutes per side, or just until opaque and cooked through.

INGREDIENTS FOR COCONUT RICE

2 cups Jasmine Rice

1 can coconut milk

1 + 1/2 cups water

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

In a medium sized pot, rinse the jasmine rice several times until the water runs clear. Drain any excess water and add the coconut milk, water, salt and sugar.

On high heat, allow the mixture to boil. Once it starts to boil, turn the heat down to low and cook covered for 20 minutes.

Uncover and continue to cook for 5 minutes. Fluff and serve.

INGREDIENTS FOR MANGO SALSA

1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted, and finely chopped

2 Tbsp finely chopped red onion

1/2 jalapeño chile, minced  (or more depending on how hot the chile is)

 3 Tbsp fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

3 Tbsp fresh lime juice

Garlic salt to taste

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and season with garlic salt to taste. The longer it hangs out the better it gets.

Chili Peanut Rice

After countless hours of watching the Bon Appetit Test Kitchen I finally decided to make one of the recipes that caught my eye. I ordered Priya’s cookbook Indian(-ish), mostly to just browse through since we can find all of the BA recipes off of their website. She has a lot of recipes worth trying but this one is a crowd pleaser. I struggled to find a couple of the ingredients. I dragged the girls through HMart looking for fresh curry leaves and black mustard seed with no luck but I did grab some fresh lime leaves as a back up. Then I dragged them through an international market which is stocked mostly with Mediterranean items but I did find the mustard seeds there. I used the lime leaves in place of the curry leaves and also added some fresh basil to try and mimic the same flavor. Next time I need to locate all of the ingredients without children.

This is a perfect recipe for leftover rice if that happens at your home. Our rice gets eaten up by children so I don’t normally have leftover rice, but if I did. Next time I make this I will use more spice, my serranos were very mild. This is a really good dish and will go so well with BA’s crispy honey garlic chicken thighs, or tandoori chicken, or palak paneer and naan, actually anything or nothing.

*recipe from Bon Appétit

INGREDIENTS

3cups cooked basmati rice (from about 1 cup dry rice)

2Tbsp. (or more) fresh lime juice (from about 1 lime)

1tsp. (or more) kosher salt

½cup ghee or extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1Tbsp. black mustard seeds

10fresh curry leaves

1cup roasted, unsalted peanuts

1medium onion, sliced into thin strips

2small Indian green chiles or serrano chiles, halved lengthwise (no need to stem them)

2Tbsp. chopped cilantro leaves with tender stems

Combine rice, lime juice, and salt in a large bowl; set aside.

Heat ¼ cup ghee in a shallow medium pan over medium. Once ghee melts (or oil begins to shimmer), add mustard seeds. As soon as they begin to pop and dance around in the ghee, which should be within seconds, remove pan from heat. Add curry leaves, making sure they get fully coated in ghee (there may be more popping and splattering, and that’s okay!). The leaves should immediately crisp up in the residual heat.

Return pan to medium-low heat and add peanuts. Cook, stirring, until peanuts turn a medium shade of brown and become fragrant, 5–8 minutes. Pour peanut mixture over reserved rice mixture and toss gently to

Heat remaining ¼ cup ghee in same pan over medium. Once ghee melts (or oil begins to shimmer), add onion and chiles, spreading in an even layer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is lightly browned and starting to caramelize, 5–7 minutes. Stir onion mixture into rice. Taste and add more salt and lime juice, if needed. Garnish with cilantro before serving.

Dorie Greenspan’s Ricotta Spoonable

I was flipping through Dorie Greenspan’s cookbook and this recipe for Spoonable Ricotta caught my eye. It would make the perfect centerpiece for any easy charcuterie plate. Aka, a quick dinner to throw together for a night of playing catch-up on some of our favorite shows. Gouda bookmarked the page for me while I ran to the market.

This is hardly a recipe that needs explaining. Basically you throw some shallots, lemon juice and any herbs that you want into some whole milk ricotta. I used the last lemon from my tree in this and wished I had another one, so it’s all about what YOU like. I highly recommend using tarragon in this. Oh and don’t go cheap on the Olive oil you use, go big!

I served this with crackers and homemade crostini.

INGREDIENTS

2 cups whole-milk ricotta, drained if there’s liquid

1 large lemon, or more to taste

3 tablespoons minced shallots, rinsed and patted dry

1 tablespoon GOOD extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel if you have it, or ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

1 pinch freshly ground pepper ( I used 2)

1/3 cup minced mixed fresh herbs, such as dill, parsley, tarragon, thyme, cilantro and/or basil.

DIRECTIONS

Put the ricotta in a medium bowl. Finely grate the zest of the lemon over it, then halve and squeeze the lemon and blend in the juice. Stir in the shallots, scallions, olive oil, salt and a healthy pinch of pepper. Taste for salt and pepper, then stir in the herbs. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour before adjusting for salt, pepper and lemon juice and serving.

Scallion Pancakes

I was being spammed all over my Istagram and Feedly with these Scallion Pancakes. I don’t know why all of the sudden this recipe was haunting me, but you know what? Once I made them, it stopped. We are definitely being watched.

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*Recipe HERE from Bon Appétit

These turned out to be really delicious but I’ll be honest, it was more work than I was expecting it to be.

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My America’s Test Kitchen cookbook had step by step pictures that helped as an assistant.

I froze the leftovers we couldn’t finish, I imagine they will defrost just fine.

I made two different dipping sauces, one that came with the BA recipe and another I made with dark soy sauce, ginger, hoisin sauce and mirin. I think we liked that one a tad better.

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I am glad I finally made these but I don’t think I would do it again on purpose.

 

 

 

 

Puff Pastry Sausage Rolls

Ever since I had my first meat pasty in London, my radar for a British meat pie is always on. This is an easy recipe that sort of has a pasty vibe, perfect for a party or pot luck, when those days are allowed again.

*recipe is from Epicurious

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INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 pounds good pork sausage

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried thyme

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 (17-ounce) package frozen puff pastry, thawed

2 eggs beaten

DIRECTIONS

 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl mix together the sausage, basil, oregano, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste until all the seasonings are well distributed throughout.

Roll out all the puff pastry into one large rectangle about 1/8 inch thick. Put the wide side of the rectangle to your left. Form the sausage meat into a log about 1 inch thick and long enough to fit the width of the pastry. Lay this log along the whole edge. Roll the pastry around the sausage, brush with beaten eggs at the join, and cut so that the pastry has just enough room to slightly overlap. Repeat the process with the remaining sausage meat and pastry. Line up all the sausage rolls making sure the seam on each is at the bottom and not showing. Brush the tops with the eggs and cut the sausage rolls into either 1 1/2-or 3-inch logs.

*serve with your favorite mustard or an aioli or nothing, they are good on their own.

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Goat Cheese and Arugula Pizza with Spicy Honey

This recipe is what everyone needs during this self isolation era. I can promise you that however you are getting your groceries, the goat cheese and arugula are not what’s flying off of the shelves. However, the flour and yeast is so hopefully you already have that stocked in your pantry or you can find pre-made pizza dough; luckily I did.

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Ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup marinara sauce

4 ounces goat cheese

1 1/2 cups freshly grated cheese (mozzarella or a blend)

4 cups baby arugula greens

 

Spicy Honey

 

1/2 cup honey

1 jalapeño pepper thinly sliced 

 

Directions

Prep the dough and let it rise.
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Drizzle a couple of tablespoons olive oil into a 9×13 cake pan or dish.
Remove the dough from the bowl and knead it a few times until silky, using a sprinkle of extra flour if needed. Place the dough in the pan and press it out towards the edges. Once it’s in the pan and as close to the edges as it will get, cover it and let it rise again for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 550 degrees F.
To assemble the pizza, press the dough down in the pan with your fingertips and remove any large air bubbles. Spread the sauce on the dough, leaving a small border around the edges. Add on about 1/2 of the goat cheese and top with the grated cheeses.
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Bake the pizza for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cheese is golden and bubbly and the crust around the edges is golden. Toss the arugula with the tablespoon of olive oil. Remove the pizza and drizzle it with a few tablespoons of the spicy honey.
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Top it with the arugula. Add the remaining crumbled goat cheese, don’t forget the jalapeno slices!
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Sit back and enjoy!