This tart was on the menu for my Mother’s Day Brunch this year. I wanted to make an egg dish that was easy and elegant, and this definitely fit the bill. With both mascarpone cheese and gruyere, it definitely comes out as a cheesy treat. When I baked the crust for 10 minutes on its own, it sank a bit, but the filling still worked great in the tart pan and we were left with a delicious and cheesy egg dish, even if the crust wasn’t perfect. In the future I would probably try to weigh down the crust, using this technique from All Recipes. Continue reading
This was the first recipe I made from Ina Garten’s new cookbook, which so far is just as amazing if not better than her previous ones. This is a perfect make-ahead meal, since the soup tastes better the next day.
I was tempted to add a whole cup of farro, but I’m glad I didn’t since the farro soaks up some of the liquid overnight. You can substitute sour cream for creme fraiche, as make mushrooms substitutions depending on what you can find at the store. Another substitution I made was I used 10-minute farro instead of pearled farro.
This was a great winter soup, it’s perfect for lunches during the work week!
Wild Mushroom and Farro Soup
adapted from Make It Ahead
- 1 1/2 ounces dried wild mushrooms (I used porcini and cremini – morels are expensive!)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 ounces pancetta, 1/2 inch diced
- 2 cups chopped yellow onions (about 2 onions, depending on how large)
- 2 cups (1/2 inch diced) carrots (3-4 carrots)
- 2 cups (1/2 inch diced) celery (3 to 4 stalks)
- 4 tsp minced garlic (about 4 cloves)
- 3/4 cup farro (I used Trader Joe’s 10 minute farro, although Ina prefers special pearled farro)
- 12 – 16 oz fresh mushrooms, cleaned, stems discarded, 1/4 inch sliced. Ina uses cremini, I used regular white button mushrooms
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp dry marsala wine
- 4 cups canned beef broth
- 3 large sprigs fresh thyme, tied together with kitchen twine
- salt and pepper (about 1 tsp, or to taste)
- 2 tbsp flour
- 2 tbsp butter, at room temperature
- 4 ounces creme fraiche or sour cream
- 1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
Place the dried mushrooms and 6 cups of water in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat, cover, and set aside for at least 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, heath the olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven. Add the pancetta, onions, carrots, celery, salt, and pepper and saute over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender. Add the garlic and farro and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the fresh mushrooms and the 1/2 cup Marsala and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until the mushrooms have released some of their liquid.
Meanwhile, strain the dried mushrooms through cheesecloth, reserving the liquid. Coarsley chop the mushrooms and add them to the pot, along with the strained soaking liquid, the beef broth, and thyme. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer partially covered for 45 minutes, until the farro is tender Discard the thyme bundle.
In a small bowl, mash together the flour and butter and stir into the hot soup. Simmer for 5 minutes, then stir in the cream and remaining 2 tbsp of Marsala, and taste for seasonings. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve hot.
One of my later-in-life food discoveries was yellow curry. I had never really had it, or thought to order it, until my first job out of college. We ordered a lot of takeout…one of the places down the street was the diviest looking joint ever. Like, I would never go in there on a whim. BUT we had a “house account” there where we didn’t even have to use a credit card, they would just send us a bill in the mail…weird, right?
There are so many stuffed mushroom recipes out there it was hard to pick one for our Thanksgiving appetizers! I thought this recipe from Ina Garten was the closest to the other stuffed mushroom recipes I have tried that I enjoyed so much. Getting a good picture of your food on Thanksgiving Day, well, that’s a different story…
Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms
adapted from Ina Garten
makes 25 mushrooms
25 extra-large white mushrooms
5 tablespoons good olive oil, divided
2 1/2 tablespoons Marsala wine, medium sherry, or white wine
1 pound sweet Italian sausage
6 scallions, white and green parts, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2/3 cup panko or bread crumbs
5 – 6 ounces mascarpone cheese
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
2 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Remove the stems from the mushrooms and chop them finely. Set aside. Place the mushroom caps in a shallow bowl and toss with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and Marsala (or sherry or wine). Set aside.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage, crumbling it with the back of a wooden spoon. Cook the sausage for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until it’s completely browned. Add the chopped mushroom stems and cook for 3 more minutes. Stir in the scallions and garlic and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the panko crumbs, stirring to combine evenly with all the other ingredients. Finally, swirl in the mascarpone and continue cooking until the mascarpone has melted and made the sausage mixture creamy. Off the heat, stir in the Parmesan, parsley, and season with salt and pepper, to taste, Cool slightly.
Fill each mushroom generously with the sausage mixture. If you are finding not very much stuffing is fitting into your mushroom, you may want to take a melon baller or similar kitchen tool to hollow out the mushrooms more. Arrange the mushrooms in a baking dish large enough to hold all the mushrooms in a snug single layer. Add another dusting of parmesan cheese on top, if you wish. Bake for about 50 minutes, until the stuffing is browned and crusty.
NOTE: You may have some leftover stuffing, I know I did! You can save the stuffing and make an instantly delicious egg scramble the next morning. Bonus!
I mean…what is there to say about Beef Stroganoff, except that it’s a classic recipe? I finally learned how to make it the way my mom does…by mostly just wingin’ it. Make sure you get quality steak, since it makes a huge difference. Mushrooms, red wine, sherry and beef broth make a dreamy sauce. Even crazier when you add some tzatiski that you just happened to have in the fridge to the mix…
Let’s get started. This Beef Stroganoff is definitely a step-by-step process, but it’s worth it in the end, especially the leftovers! Continue reading
I think the only thing I like about football games is the opportunity to make awesome finger foods and appetizers to drink with copious amounts of tasty beer. Unfortunately, we tend to do things like go skiing on football days, so I haven’t made as many delicious things as I would like…
When I saw this quickie recipe in Southern Living I had to make it right away since:
A.) Pizza is probably my favorite food
B.) This recipe is super easy to make
C.) They come out as cute tiny minis!
Adapted from Southern Living
Makes 24 Puffs
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 cup (4 oz.) shredded mozzarella and/or cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup sauteed mushrooms
- 1/4 cup sliced black olives
- 1/2 cup mini pepperoni
- Vegetable cooking spray
- Jarred pizza sauce, warmed
- Preheat oven to 375°. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and garlic salt in a large bowl. Whisk in milk and egg. Stir in cheese, mushrooms, olives, and pepperoni. Let batter stand 10 minutes, and stir until blended. Coat cups of a 24-cup mini muffin pan well with cooking spray. Spoon batter into muffin cups. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until puffed and golden. Serve with warm pizza sauce.
This is probably one of the least healthy salads ever. But it’s definitely one of the best tasting salads out there. Probably because there is bacon, and lots of it. My mom has wowed guest after guest with this salad, and for a good reason.
Hot Honey Mustard Spinach Salad with Bacon
serves 4 – 6
For the dressing:
- 5 slices of bacon (or more, depending on your love for bacon)
- 3 Tbl rice wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 3 Tbl vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 Tbl prepared mustard (whatever you like, honey mustard, sweet hot, pub mustard, they are all good)
- 1 1/2 Tbl honey
- about 6 cups raw spinach
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds
- about 2 cups raw mushrooms, sliced
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes (optional)
Cut bacon into bite size pieces before cooking. Cook bacon until crispy. Remove cooked bacon from pan, set on a plate w/ paper towel to absorb the grease. Add the raw mushrooms to the bacon grease and cook on medium until mushrooms are tender. Remove mushrooms from pan. Add vinegar, another dash of vegetable oil (ONLY if the mushrooms absorbed all of the bacon grease). Add the mustard and honey. Bring to a boil over medium high heat stirring constantly with a wire whisk. Remove from heat. It won’t seem like a lot of dressing, but it’s gonna coat the salad beautifully.
Place mixed greens, parmesan, almonds, and tomatoes in a large bowl. Add the cooked bacon and mushrooms. Pour warm dressing over greens and toss gently to coat. Serve immediately.
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My mom (the famous LuLu) had been planning on visiting for a girl’s weekend for about a month. At the very inception of these plans, my aunt said, “Let’s make pasta primavera.” I had heard of it, but couldn’t remember ever having it. The “retro” recipe is long and laborious, but so worth it. Now that I know our personal family history of it, I can’t wait to make it again.
As the days drew closer to my mom’s visit, I started asking more about the dish. She said, “Grammy started making it around the time we were in college. It was something we would eat in the spring or summer.” She then told me I could find the recipe in a New York Times article if I googled it. I didn’t realize Pasta Primavera was such a huge deal back in the day. No surprise though, that Grammy was on the cutting edge of what to cook, long before Food Network, Pinterest, or blogs. It made me smile.
So, mid-afternoon on a Saturday after pedicures, the three of us girls started making the dish. We found parts of the New York Times Recipe to be a bit unclear, but hey, Ina can’t write every recipe out there.
We blanched a lot of vegetables, all separately.
Though delicious and worth every step, this is not a recipe you want to make if you don’t have many pots or pans, or don’t feel like doing a ton of dishes later. Wait, scratch that. Go out and buy more pots and pans, and make someone who loves you do the dishes. Problem solved!
We made a double recipe, so we had a little trouble fitting all the veggies into one pan.
When we finally sat down to eat, I was so happy. Surrounded by some of the people I love the most, with a plate of pasta you can feel good about eating. Pasta Primavera was more than a trendy dish made decades ago, but clearly brought back fond memories of Grammy for my mom and aunt. They said it tasted just like they remembered it. They wondered how she did it all by herself, never complaining or asking for help. It may have took the three of us to make it, but Grammy would have been proud.
- 1 bunch broccoli
- 2 small zucchini, unpeeled
- 4 asparagus spears
- 1 1/2 cups green beans
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
- 3/4 cup fresh or frozen pea pods
- 1 tablespoon peanut, vegetable or corn oil
- 2 cups thinly sliced mushrooms
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon minced hot red or green chili, or 1/2 teaspoon dried red-pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 3 cups 1-inch tomato cubes
- 6 basil leaves, chopped
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons chicken broth
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, approximately
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts.
1. Trim broccoli and break into florets. Trim off ends of the zucchini. Cut into quarters, then cut into 1-inch or slightly longer lengths (about 1 1/2 cups). Cut each asparagus into 2-inch pieces. Trim beans and cut into 1-inch pieces.
2. Cook each of the green vegetables separately in boiling salted water to cover until crisp but tender. Drain well, then run under cold water to chill, and drain again thoroughly. Combine the cooked vegetables in a bowl.
3. Cook the peas and pods; about 1 minute if fresh; 30 seconds if frozen. Drain, chill with cold water and drain again. Combine with the vegetables.
4. In a skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil and add the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook about 2 minutes, shaking the skillet and stirring. Add the chili and parsley. Stir, add the mixture to the vegetables.
5. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a saucepan and add half the garlic. Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cook about 4 minutes. Add the basil.
6. In a separate pan, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet and add the remaining garlic and the vegetable mixture. Cook, stirring gently, until heated through.
7. Cook the spaghetti in boiling salted water until almost (but not quite) tender, retaining a slight resilience in the center. Drain well.
8. In a pot large enough to hold the spaghetti and vegetables, add the butter and melt over medium-low heat. Then add the chicken broth and half a cup each of cream and cheese, stirring constantly. Cook gently until smooth. Add the spaghetti and toss quickly to blend. Add half the vegetables and pour in the liquid from the tomatoes, tossing over very low heat.
9. Add the remaining vegetables. If the sauce seems dry, add 3 to 4 tablespoons more cream. Add the pine nuts and give the mixture a final tossing.
10. Serve equal portions of the spaghetti mixture in hot soup or spaghetti bowls. Spoon equal amounts of the tomatoes over each serving. Serve immediately.
Serves 4 as a main course; 6 to 8 as an appetizer.
Champagne Chicken…Simple, elegant, delicious…and a great option for a Valentine’s Day dinner!
- 6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
- 6 tbsp. lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup butter, divided
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/4 cup shallots, diced
- 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 3/4 cup chicken stock
- 3/4 cup champagne
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
- 2 tbsp. chives, minced
- Pound each chicken breast to an even thickness. Sprinkle each with 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice and black pepper to taste.
- In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter, add oil and saute chicken over medium-high heat, about 2 minutes per side, until nicely browned. Remove from pan, cover and keep warm.
- In the same pan, melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Saute shallots until translucent. Add garlic and cook 2 minutes more, scraping up browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Pour in chicken stock, champagne and remaining 3 tablespoons lemon juice. Bring to a boil and cook to reduce to a thin glaze. Add cream and boil for 6 minutes until thickened. Return chicken to pan and heat through. Sprinkle with minced chives and serve immediately over rice or pasta.