Posts Tagged ‘mushrooms’

Thanksgiving – Celery Root and Cilantro Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Beets and Brussels Sprouts, Mushroom Gravy

December 26, 2009

Thanksgiving - Celery Root and Cilantro Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Beets and Brussels Sprouts, Mushroom Gravy

Better late than never, eh?

I’m a few weeks behind with this one (amongst others), but I figured it was time to get it up.

My Thanksgiving tradition involves a few essential pieces: 1) a different flavored mashed potato every year and 2) everything is organic – all the way down to the olive oil used to make roux. It certainly does not make it a cheap meal, but it’s once a year, so I go for broke ($5/pound for organic brussels sprouts!).

After the success of the celery root mashed potatoes a few weeks prior, I knew I’d have to give them a shot in primetime. I added some cilantro to them to give them a nice, fresh flavor – along with some roasted garlic.

For the vegetables, I normally make steamed broccoli (which I made, but is not seen here), but I wanted something a bit more. I had what I thought was a great combination – beets and brussels sprouts. I didn’t expect, however, to see that combination on a dozen other blogs. I tossed mine with maple syrup, dijon mustard (homemade), olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted them on 450 until the brussels were crisp on the outer leaves.

For the gravy, I sauteed baby portabella mushrooms, removed them from the pan and sauteed green peppers and onions until they stuck to the pan. Deglazed with some balsamic vinegar and added whole wheat flour to make my roux. A little vegetable Better Than Bouillon (the No Chicken wasn’t organic, so I went with the vegetable) with water and a quick puree using the good ol’ immersion blender. I then added my reserved mushrooms back to the gravy and began to season. You can find Poultry Seasoning all over the place this time of year and that’s what I used.

And there you have it – Thanksgiving dinner.

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Red Rice, Yellow Squash, Spinach, Mushrooms

November 23, 2009

Red Rice, Yellow Squash, Spinach, Mushrooms

We’ve been on a uncommon grain kick lately. Trying all sort of cool sounding, and looking, grains that are more than just what, rice and pasta. Queue red rice.

We had been browsing over at Sevananda and saw the package and figured “why not?” so we picked up a pack. Well, we’ve since bought several more packs as it’s been that good. A little less chewy than barley but with a lot more texture than even brown rice and a ton of “earthy” flavor.

It paired very nicely with some yellow squash my wife received from a woman at work. Some garlic-sauteed spinach and baby portabella mushrooms and a complete meal was born.

Vegetable Lasagna

August 4, 2009

Vegetable Lasagna

We’ve been trying to eat more locally (much to the chagrin of my wife, who thought I was crazy before). So, we hit up a few of the local farmer’s markets to see what kind of produce we could find. It’s pretty hit-or-miss, but a few weeks ago, we managed to get a good haul:

Roma Tomatoes
Zucchini
Yellow Squash
Eggplant
Vidalia Onions
Bell Peppers
Shiitake Mushrooms
Peaches

We had gone into the shopping day with the intention of making two things: marinara sauce and lasagna with said marinara sauce, so we got exactly what we needed (and a few peaches).

I made my standard marinara sauce with the tomatoes, onions and bell peppers and thinly sliced the the squashes and eggplant, salting them to draw out the water. We did have a difficult time finding whole wheat lasagna noodles. It seems as though when I don’t need them they’re everywhere and when I’m looking specifically for them I can’t find ’em. We settled for some organic noodles with jerusalem artichoke flour, which were pretty good.

To approximate the ricotta cheese, I had an idea that turned out to work extremely well. I took some Teese and put in the food processor, added roasted garlic oil, dried basil and some breadcrumbs until it go to the consistency of ricotta. Perfect. And delicious. My first attempt a few years ago was a disaster. I tried using mashed cannellini beans and vegan parmesan. Not terrible, but not even close to giving the same flavor or texture.

Layer up the lasagna as follows: thin layer of sauce, noodles, Teese, vegetables, repeat. I finished mine with julienned shittakes and sauce, foregoing the traditional final layer of cheese. Bake at 350 degrees until you can easily insert a fork all the way through to the bottom of the pan (about 40 minutes). Lasagna is one of those really easy dishes that pack a lot of “wow” when entertaining.

It’s official – I like mushrooms

June 19, 2009

Baby Portabella Cous Cous, Organic Broccoli

I’ve fought it for a long time, but I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that I like mushrooms. I used to dislike the texture – the flavor was great in something like a broth, but the texture just didn’t sit right. Raw they were fine, but cooked? No way. Now, I didn’t go out of my way to avoid them like some people do. I just ate them and didn’t enjoy them. But something’s changed.

I’m still not sure what, exactly, but it’s like there was a switch that was suddenly flipped on my palette allowing me to enjoy them without fear or hesitation. So, with that in mind I went to test my hypothesis.

I picked up some baby portabella mushrooms at Publix (what’s up with none of the grocery stores allowing you to purchase in bulk, instead forcing you to buy them wrapped in plastic in styrofoam?) and could only think of one thing to do with them – make cous cous. I’ve likely bored you to death with how to prepare Israeli-style cous cous so I won’t reiterate those principles here.

They also had some really nice looking organic broccoli so I picked it up as well. I like to leave a good bit of the stalk on my broccoli for that extra crunch and it worked well here with the creaminess of the cous cous. Yet another fantastic fifteen-minute meal.

Veggie Burgers

June 15, 2009

Built

Sometimes you just can’t phone it in. So I didn’t.

I knew I wanted veggie burgers – I had been craving them for a while. What I didn’t know was what they would become after our trip to Publix. While there the ideas just kept coming. Spinach? Yes, please. Caramelized onions? Of coures. Mushrooms? Uh, ok (I don’t like mushrooms, but made them anyway. Check that, I didn’t like mushrooms).

I still had some Klaussen pickles leftover from somethingorother as well as some delicious roasted tomatoes we picked up at Harry’s (same as these). They’re expensive, but oh so worth it.

The veggie burger mix we use is no longer in production (previously manufactured by Archer’s Midland Harvest, this was the exact mix that Cafe Sunflower uses for their “World’s Best Soy Burger”). It seems as though another company bought the formulation rights and plans to distribute it, just not yet (Ed. I spoke too soon! and will be placing my order just as soon as I finish this post).

So, I got all of my mise en place cut, sauteed and seasoned while the burgers were “marinating”. They take 15 minutes after you mix with water. A quick sautee on each side and the burgers were ready for assembly.

Mise en Place

The buns were something new for us. made by Arnold they are called Sandwich Thins and are great when you don’t want a lot of bread (a rarity for me, but with so many delicious ingredients I didn’t want anything that was going to overpower).

Piled High

Anyway, I layered up the veggie burgers with all of my garnishes and was off to the races. My mouth is watering just thinking about them. Mmm….veggie burgers….

Pan-Grilled Vegetable Sandwich

March 14, 2009

Sandwich

Now, I’ve got a grill. But it’s outside. And it’s not worth the extra time to get the charcoal out, get it to a good temperature and squat over it while I hope to not have anything fall the cracks or off the side. So I improvise.
A really hot pan gives you the same caramelized flavor with a lot less effort.

I had baked some Whole Wheat Bread resembling a Ciabatta Loaf in anticipation of the sandwich. While it came out a little heavier than traditional Ciabatta (being whole wheat and all), it was really good.

The sandwich itself? I’m pretty famous in my immediate family for making Veggie Sandwiches that are fresh vegetable-based with vinaigrette-soaked bread. But, “this could replace Veggie Sandwiches” came out of my wife’s mouth only a few bites into her half. I was hesitant to buy into the hype even hours later. But a day later? I’ll make it without qualm. It was out of this world. Really.

So, how did I do it? Easy. Good food always boils down to quality ingredients and the right seasonings. Every time. I was recently asked if I had any good recipes for Venison. I don’t, but my response was: Olive Oil, Garlic, Salt and Black Pepper works for almost everything.

To get things started, I wrapped up my Ciabatta-esque bread in aluminum foil and put it in a 300 degree oven while everything else got ready.

I got everything else started by caramelizing a Yellow Onion. I started with some Roasted Garlic Oil in an already-hot pan (the key to having a stainless steel pan not stick is to have the pan already hot before adding anything else). Once the oil started to smoke I added my Onions and began stirring.

Balsamic Caramelized Onions

As those got nice and hot (and coated by Garlic Oil), I finished cutting the rest of my vegetables. In this case that meant: Zucchini, Yellow Squash and Portobello Mushroom (side note: I do not like Mushrooms as a rule, but I really want to like them, so I’m going to start sneaking them in now and again).

As my Onions were getting to that nice golden brown color, I added a few teaspoons of Balsamic Vinegar to the pan. This does a couple of thing:
If your onions or anything else is sticking to the pan, this gets it unstuck.
Once it cooks down, the Balsamic will get very sweet, adding to the flavor of the onions.

I cooked the onions until they started to stick again and put them aside. I splashed the pan with a little water to deglaze it again and got it very hot again. A little more Garlic Oil and it was time to start searing my vegetables. A single layer in the pan, sprinkle a little Salt and Black Pepper and heat until desired level of caramelization. Flip and repeat. After I finished searing all my vegetables it was time to assemble.

Pan-Grilled Vegetables

Pulling the soft bread from the oven, I worked quickly to ensure everything would stay warm, if not hot. The bread smelled heavenly as I sliced into it and could have been eaten on its own – but this loaf was meant for something more. Quickly, I slathered Sabra Roasted Pine Nut Hummus on each side. This is by far the creamiest Hummus I’ve ever had and it was perfect in this application. The base complete it was time to start layering. Zucchini, Squash, Mushroom, Zucchini, Squash, Caramelized Onions and topped the whole thing with the last of the Organic Baby Romaine Lettuce.

The Final Product

I wish words could describe just how good this was – just thinking about it now makes me want to go back downstairs and make another one. Or two.