Tag Archives: mushrooms

Stouffer’s Tuna Noodle Casserole Recipe

Just Like Mom Used to Microwave

We’re each uniquely a walking paradox, darlings, and what we feast on is no exception.  I’d like to tell you that I feast on ramps, truffle oil and gold dust all day-every day, but it’d be a lie.  Sometimes, my taste buds want to slum it a bit and indulge in a guilty dalliance of the frozen variety.  Stouffer’s has a bevy of these treats that beckon me when I’m too tired to cook.  Yes, I can make far more comforting versions of mac and cheese, stuffed peppers, swedish meatballs and veggie lasagne.  And yes, my grabbing one of those little red boxes is incongruous with my love of all things wholesome and lovingly prepped with ingredients that I can select and choose.  So how does an evolved home chef tow the line and make peace with her guilty pleasures?  She figures out a copy cat recipe that gets the job done.

Continue reading Stouffer’s Tuna Noodle Casserole Recipe

Chicken Marsala with Crispy Potato Gnocchi and Sauteed Spinach

Recipes for a Cure
This saucy dish is part of a collection of recipes written to benefit the National MS Society. In 2008, my sister Lexi (then 21 years old) was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. We formed a team of friends and family called MS is BS (Mind Strong is Body Strong), and each year we raise thousands of dollars for MS research. This recipe was written in tribute to a generous donation towards my $1500 fundraising minimum for the 2013 Capital Challenge Walk, a two-day 50K walk through Maryland, Virginia and DC. Learn more about team MS is BS on our website at http://msisbs.org.
In my exceedingly short time spent in the desert, I came to realize that one of the keys to my happiness was earned in the kitchen. Those times that I spent with friends close at hand, chatting about randomness, sipping some boozy concoction and performing the feat of creating some sort of culinary majesty. By the time I left, there was a cohort of folks referred to as “the usual suspects” who spent many an evening at the Gunderdome chopping, rolling, stirring and feasting. My buddy Alex (whom I knew was destined to have major cool points in that we both went to Fordham University) was one of my kitchen darlings, and this recipe was created in honor of her and her partner in crime, Josh.

Continue reading Chicken Marsala with Crispy Potato Gnocchi and Sauteed Spinach

Wild Mushroom Cannelloni with Kale Pesto and Bechamel

Recipes for a Cure
This saucy dish is part of a collection of recipes written to benefit the National MS Society. In 2008, my sister Lexi (then 21 years old) was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. We formed a team of friends and family called MS is BS (Mind Strong is Body Strong), and each year we raise thousands of dollars for MS research. This recipe was written in tribute to a generous donation towards my $1500 fundraising minimum for the 2013 Capital Challenge Walk, a two-day 50K walk through Maryland, Virginia and DC. Learn more about team MS is BS on our website at http://msisbs.org.

Shrooms and Dinosaurs.  For Real.

In crafting this recipe, I was reminded of the fact that the reason I love to cook is because it is one of the few tasks that allows me to both obsess over ingredients and elevate them at the same time.  The creation of this recipe started with a memory – I was in Italy for the summer on a study abroad (aka. the photography boondoggle in Europe) with my good friend Lauren.  There were easily a hundred of us living in Orvieto, all crammed into the same little hotel, each with our favorite spots in the town that we had claimed as our own.  Lauren was in love with this one haunt for lunch, and not only did she try to eat there just about every day, but she informed me over a bottle (or two) of white wine that she tended to always order the same thing – the simply dressed green salad and tagliatelle with fresh porcini mushrooms. I loved the town already, but that lunch made me weep with joy at how lucky we were to be there. Continue reading Wild Mushroom Cannelloni with Kale Pesto and Bechamel

Boeuf Bourguignon Crepes

Recipe for the Daring Kitchen
Our May 2012 Daring Cooks’ hostess was Fabi of fabsfood. Fabi challenged us to make Boeuf Bourguignon, a classic French stew originating from the Burgundy region of France.

Like Julia, But Dirtier

Boeuf Bourguignon, particularly Julia Child’s definitive recipe, reads like poetry to me. The ingredients and process seem more a love song to an art form well-worth filing in the category of works that make my heart ache in that oh-so-good kinda way. So when it was announced by our lovely hostess Fabi that this month’s Daring Kitchen was to make Julia’s boeuf, you’d expect me to be swooning. Except I wasn’t, and all because of one little detail. I’m in Phoenix. And it’s already fucking incendiary. Continue reading Boeuf Bourguignon Crepes

Chicken Paprikash

Redder Than Your Cheeks…No, Your Other Cheeks…

This is one of those recipes that I adore on a weeknight when I want to spend a modicum of time in the kitchen, and a maximum amount of time lounging on the couch with the hubs.  The kind of meal that is effortless, filling and won’t have me mucking up a ton of dishes in the process.  Paprikash is like sweet nectar from the gods on evenings where the only other dinner alternative is a bag of LiveSavers Sour Gummies eaten directly in bed with a bottle of water for a side dish.

Paprikash is a nourishing Hungarian stew that leverages sour cream to coax chicken (and often veal) into tenderness.  Finding good paprika is key to this recipe to keep the flavors bright, so toss that old jar that’s been sitting in your pantry for ages and spring for some that’s new and vibrant red.  You’ll thank me when you take your first bite and see the entire evening brighten before your eyes :) Continue reading Chicken Paprikash

Tagliatelle with Porcini Mushrooms

Foodbuzz 24 x 24 | An Ode to Orvieto

This recipe was a part of a special menu for Foodbuzz’s June 2011 food blogger party, 24×24. Showcasing posts from 24 Foodbuzz Featured Publisher bloggers, the monthly Foodbuzz 24 highlights unique meals occurring around the globe during a 24-hour period. Read more about my meal along with all of the other recipes at An Ode to Orvieto.

No hyperbole employed, the first time that I ate this pasta, everything was illuminated.  My good buddy and a beautiful soul through and through, Lauren S., was a huge fan of this itty bitty restaurant in Orvieto called Mezza Luna.  While we all had our favorite lunch spots (mine was Al Pozzo Etrusco and their pappardelle con cinghiale), occasionally we’d branch out and hit up a friend’s spot of choice.  In a true moment of “when in Rome, do as the Romans do” I ordered the same as Lauren – a simple green salad dressed with olive oil and vinegar, a bottle of Orvieto Classico, and a plate of the tagliatelle with porcini mushrooms.  The dish emerged from the kitchen, delicately sauced with butter and wine, brightened by a bit of parsley and just swimming with an abundance of the earthy mushrooms.  It was ridiculously simple home cooking, begging the question as to whether could replicate this lunchtime joy back stateside.  It was destiny that I would at least try.

The beauty if this pasta is that to get it right, you keep your flavors delicate.  True to the region (and diametrically opposed to most recipes for wild mushroom pasta), the mushrooms aren’t overshadowed by garlic or red pepper.  Simply tagliatelle, mushrooms, wine and butter, with a little chicken stock to gloss the strands of pasta into a heavenly state.  The pasta should definitely be fresh, but use whatever cut you’d like.  A fettucine width works well, but if you have fresh linguini or angel hair, they’ll be perfectly fine as stand-ins.  Also, I used dried porcini to keep an earthy flavor and the ability to cook this dish all year round.  However, if you can get your hands on fresh porcini (or even royal trumpets or ivory portobellos), by all means use them.

Recipe for

Tagliatelle with Porcini Mushrooms

Ingredients
1.5 oz. of dried porcini mushrooms
2 1/2 c. of stock (chicken or vegetable)

2 lb. of fresh tagliatelle
1 tbs. of olive oil
1/4 c. of fresh parsley, chopped
1 c. of stock (chicken or vegetable)
1 c. of white wine
4 cloves of garlic
2 fresh bay leaves
1/4 c. of the porcini liquid
4 tbs. of butter

Begin by adding the mushrooms to the 2 1/2 cups of stock.  Bring to a boil and then turn off the heat.  Cover and let sit for 30 minutes.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  In a skillet, warm the olive oil over high heat.  Drain the mushrooms, reserving the soaking liquid, and add them to the olive oil, along with the whole garlic cloves and bay leaves.  Add the wine and allow to reduce by half.  Add the 1 c. of stock and reduce by half.  Add the porcini soaking liquid and allow to simmer on medium-low.  Cook your pasta until al dente (about 3 minutes) and drain.  Add pasta to the mushroom sauce and plunk in the butter, tossing the pasta to form a glossy sauce.  If the pasta is a bit dry, add some more of the porcini soaking liquid.  Top with the parsley and serve with grated locatelli.

Simple Summer Barbecue

I actively eschew the cold – if anyone was born to relish in the blissful summer, it was me.  Sunkissed skin and bare toes.  A swing or two in the hammock or a walk along the sandy shore.  And dad firing up the grill next to the side porch, with the lot of us sitting on the steps (dogs included), sipping a cold beer waiting for the meat to finish up.  I live for those days.

This menu is not only a celebration of those lazy summer evenings when we’d tuck into thick steaks seared on the grill, but also an ode to the perfect produce of the summer.  Farmer’s market tomatoes, string beans, potatoes and greens all have a home in bright and glorious side dishes.  Rosemary works as both a flavoring and a utensil. And the skill required to prepare this meal is minimal – feed a few or a dozen with little to no effort other than chopping a veg or two and flipping on the grill. And that’s not even including any delegation – get some mark to shuck your corn or snap your string beans and you’re living easy. Which is entirely what summer is all about.

 

Post-Thanksgiving Stuffed Mushrooms

Thanksgiving leftovers go from absolute wonder to total boredom as the days pass after turkey day.  By day three, you’re still hiding under mounds of potatoes and gravy, but so over the leftover sandwich.  You don’t want to waste, but you’d like a taste profile different from the original meal.  While mashed potatoes are easy to repurpose (shepard’s pie, pierogies, croquettes), stuffing gets old.  But yet, with a little bit of ingenuity, you can make a glorious appetizer out of the remnants of the holiday.

These mushrooms are stuffed with a combination of ground beef, spinach and cheese to make a mini-meatball as a baked, one-bite delicacy.  Feel free to chuck in leftover vegetables (roasted red peppers or caramelized onions work well) or different greens (kale or swiss chard) to make the same deliciousness with whatever solid ingredients you have on hand.  You’ll be most pleased with the increased fridge space and the dying of the rumble in your tummy, not to mention the end of turkey malaise.

Recipe for

Post-Thanksgiving Stuffed Mushrooms

Ingredients
1/2 lb. of ground beef
1 c. of leftover stuffing
1/4 c. of spinach leaves, defrosted and squeezed of liquid
1 lb. of mushrooms, cleaned and stems removed.
1/2 c. of parmasean
1 tsp. of fennel seeds
1 c. of mozzarella cheese

Wipe the mushrooms clean and remove the stems.  If you’d like, chop the stems and add to the filling that you’ll mix in a bit.  Line a cookie sheet with foil and grease with olive oil or melted butter.  Place the mushroom caps on the cookie sheet and preheat the oven to 375°.

In a standing mixer (or with your hands in a mixing bowl), blend the ground beef, stuffing, mushroom stems, spinach, parmasean and fennel.  Fill the mushrooms with a few tablespoons of filling, using a spoon to smooth the mounds into round balls.  Sprinkle with parmasean cheese and bake in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes, until the mushrooms are golden on top and cooked through.  Serve with toothpicks.

Crab Stuffed Mushrooms

Like a true daughter of the Eastern shore, I love me some blue crab.  I once read an article that broke me into a fury as strong as the east coast-west coast hip hop beef.  Apparently Tupac thinks dungeoness crab is far better than Biggie’s favorite blue crabs, and that those little hard-shelled beauties from the Chesapeake Bay (and increasingly from the Gulf and around Texas) are too hard to crack and overrated.  To which I say, Tupac, that’s bollocks.  Come over for these crab-stuffed mushrooms anytime and I will change your mind.  And yes, I just offered the deceased crab stuffed mushrooms.

This recipe is incredibly simple, but can be pricey if you are making it outside the Chesapeake Bay area.  I lessen the blow by substituting half of the lump crab with claw meat – this briny, dark colored meat is far cheaper and works well as a mushroom filling.  If that’s still too expensive, employ a blend of a half pound of diced raw shrimp and roasted red peppers sautéed with an extra cup of panko, a few tablespoons of butter and enough chicken stock to moisten the stuffing.  Regardless of the seafood, the mixture is lightened by lemon zest and parsley, and has a dose of cayenne for kick.  Make a batch of these for loved ones, and I am sure that your street cred will go through the roof.  Homie? Homie.

Crab Stuffed Mushrooms

1 shallot, minced
4 tbs. of butter
8 oz. lump crab meat
8 oz. of crab claw meat
1 egg
1/2 tbs. of dijon mustard
2 tbs. of mayo
pinch of cayenne
1/4 tsp. of white pepper
1 tbs. of fresh thyme
2 tbs. of fresh chopped parsley
1 tsp of old bay, plus more for sprinkling
1 lemon
1/2 c. of panko, plus more for sprinkling
1 lb. of cremini or white button mushrooms

Wipe the mushrooms clean and remove the stems.  If you’d like, chop the stems and sauté with the shallots in the next step or save for another use (like a marinara sauce or a mushroom risotto).  Line a cookie sheet with foil and grease with olive oil or butter.  Place the mushroom caps on the cookie sheet and preheat the oven to 375°.

Sauté the shallots in a small skillet with the butter until translucent.  Let cool to room temperature and then pour into a mixing bowl.  Blend carefully with the egg, mustard, mayo, cayenne, white pepper, thyme, parsley, old bay and the zest of 1 lemon.  Pick over the crab for any extra shells and gently fold into the stuffing mixture.  Fold in the panko.  Fill each mushroom with a few tablespoons of filling.  Sprinkle with panko and old bay on top.  Bake in the oven for 15 minutes until golden.  Cut the lemon into wedges and squeeze over the mushrooms before serving.  Eat and then bust a rhyme.

Feast of the Seven Fishes

Holidays are about traditions – both making them and breaking them.  Given my wide splay of ethnic background, it tends to be the case that I manage to do both of these things each and every year with a slightly different celebration that meets one of our many traditions.  I feel like this is the way it is with most of us – over time we build up a collection of various customs that are an amalgamation of all of our traditions put together.

This year, we decided to give a shout out to Sicily (both my husband and I are of Sicilian decent) with the Feast of the Seven Fishes.  A custom with origins in Southern Italy, a series of fish dishes (and no meat) are prepared for Christmas Eve.  The number of dishes varies – some say it’s seven for the seven sacraments, or 10 for the commandments.  It’s at the point now where people come up with a number of dishes between 7 and 15 and assign a biblical association for that number.  At the heart of the celebration is a gathering of family and friends for a delicious meal and (hopefully) fine company.

One of the must-haves for the Feast of the Seven Fishes is baccalà or salt cod.  In another cultural twist, our Feast of the Seven Fishes contained two preparations of baccalà in the traditional Brazilian manner (called bacalhau), fried into small balls and baked with garlic, onions, potatoes and hard boiled eggs.  There’s something about the blended traditions that truly makes it a holiday for me.

If you’d like to get on a little fish action yourself and create a new family tradition of your own, here is the road map for our Feast of the Seven Fishes.  Have fun with it, add as many or as few fish as you’d like, and chow down Sicilian style.

Antipasto

Cold Seafood Salad

One of my husbands early memories was of his father making a special seafood salad at Christmastime.  He did a little research and found a close version online, that we adapted to make it like the one he knew as a child. I’m lazy and I don’t like to spend my entire life cleaning seafood, so we purchased the squid pre-cleaned and the octopus pre-cleaned and cooked at Whole Foods (the octopus was in the Seafood Salad area of the store).  The rest of the goodies are poached in a flavorful liquid of herbs and vegetables and then tossed with a light vinaigrette and crisp veggies.  Despite the sheer number of ingredients, this is one of the most beautiful things you can put on your table.

Bolihnos de Bacalhau

These croquettes of salt cod are crispy and light on the outside, and tender and moist on the inside.  Soaking the cod for a goodly while gets rid of the fishiness and elevates the taste of this festive, bite-sized treat.

Crab Stuffed Mushrooms

Growing up so close to the Chesapeake Bay, blue crab is more of a right than a privilege for me, and what seafood feast would be complete without it.  These dainty suckers leverage lump crab for sweetness and claw meat for cost efficiency.  The seasoning is traditional, eastern shore, crab cake style, as yet another shout out to the land of my ancestors.
Recipe for Crab Stuffed Mushrooms

Primo

Fettucine al Langostra

Who doesn’t love lobster?  Strangely, my sister doesn’t.  But this incredibly simple and delicious preparation of fettucine with tender lobster meat was gobbled down by her and won her praises.  If that’s not a Christmas miracle, then I don’t know what is. Use good egg fettucine for the pasta and fresh basil to brighten things up.  To save time during the feast (since you are cooking most everything at once), I used a jar of Rao’s Arrabiata sauce, which is delicious, but way too expensive at $9 a jar.  I found a bottle of White Linen Gourmet Marinara at Costco for $4 that actually tasted BETTER than the Rao’s – no joke.  If you go that route, just make sure to add a heavy dose of crushed red pepper for kick.

Linguine alle Vongole

Linguine with white clam sauce, for me, is comfort food at its best – it doesn’t take a hell of a long time to prepare, it’s got a healthy dose of garlic and red pepper for kick, and at the end of the day, who doesn’t want to tuck into a mound of tender pasta. I use my Poorman’s Linguine with Clam Sauce for this one, but add fresh clams to the mix.  Simply heat some olive oil and garlic in a saute pan and when hot, pour in a cup of white wine.  Add a pound of small clams (I use manila clams) and pop a lid on the pan.  Let steam in the wine garlic mix for a short 5 minutes and then scoop out the open clams and put them on top of the pasta.  Discard any clams that haven’t opened after cooking.
Recipe for Linguine alle Vongole

Secondo

Bacalhau Gomes de Sá

Though this dish is Portuguese in origin (Porto to be exact), it’s a favorite among Brazilians as well.  The dish was supposedly created by a wealthy cod distributor’s son, who after being disowned, was forced to work in a restaurant.  His legacy was this dish, a delicious combination of cod, tender potatoes, sautéed garlic and onions, and topped with hard boiled eggs, olives and parsley. This recipe reminds me of whenever my great grandmother would come into town with heaps of bacalhau ready for the cooking.  Upon her arrival, it was a sure thing that Gomes de Sá was going to be prepared shortly thereafter.

Tuna (or Swordfish) with Gremolata

Nothing says majesty like fresh fish with a lovely topping of lemon, garlic and herbs.  Simplicity is the focus, so the freshest of fish is necessary in this one – get sushi grade (or Grade #1) tuna, or the brightest, firmest fillets of whatever you’d like.  While you can spread the fish with the gremolata and then broil them, with the tuna I like to sear them in a pan to control the doneness (I like the steaks rare) and then slather the hot fish with the lemon mixture so that it melts into the fish. Gremolata is traditionally a combination of lemon, parsley and garlic, but here, I add rosemary instead of the parsley as it is hardier and holds up to the many other bold flavors at this feast.
Recipe for Swordfish with Gremolata

Contorno

Sauteed Cavolo Nero

Called black kale or dinosaur kale, this leafy green is a fabulous taste sensation for anyone that loves bitter greens.  Plus, it matches up with the sweetness of the seafood and sauces with outstanding strength.  This recipe comes straight from one of my favorite foodie websites, Chow.com, and utilizes orange juice, garlic and onion to create the most perfectly rounded flavors in this dish.  A major keeper, I didn’t even have to tweak this recipe one bit, which absolutely NEVER happens when I’m in the kitchen. If you have any leftovers, you can fold them into a delicious soup, like a Caldo Verde (Portuguese Sausage and Kale Soup) or a Ribollita (Italian Kale and White Bean Soup with Croutons).
Recipe for Cavolo Nero at Chow.com