Tag Archives: butter

The Fungus Among Us!

In the winter there is nothing better than soup, and this soup is soul-filling! There are many approaches to mushroom soup, and they will all give you satisfying results. This approach however, has a secret ingredient that not only thickens it with added protein, but gives it a rich and wonderful rustic feel. That ingredient is chickpea flour. What? That’s right, chickpea flour. Your are free to omit it, but you will end up with a much brothyer soup.

There are several elements to this soup that are equally important; homemade stock, a variety of fresh mushrooms, and making sure that you brown the mushrooms deeply, not just saute them. Each of these elements build on the other, giving you a opulent result you will feel proud to serve your family or guests.

SAVORY MUSHROOM SOUP

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh mushrooms, (such as cremini, white mushrooms, shitake, oyster or portabellas), chopped
  • 3/4 cup dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in 1 cup boiling water for 30 minutes, then finely chopped, straining steeping water through a fine mesh strainer. Set aside.
  • 4 large shallots, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated on micro planer
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/4 cup chickpea flour
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock (I can’t empathize how important this is)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley, for serving

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Pour 1 cup boiling water over porcini mushrooms and let sit for 30 minutes. Remove mushrooms and chop, set aside. Strain soaking water through a fine mesh strainer, set aside.
  2. Melt 2 tablespoon of the butter and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a heavy soup pot or Dutch oven. Stir in half of the shallots and mushrooms, and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 10-12 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the shallots and mushrooms to a large bowl. Repeat with the remaining butter, olive oil, shallots and mushrooms.
  3. Pour all the mushrooms back into the pot, including the porcini’s, stir in the garlic and tomato paste, and cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Then stir in the thyme, rosemary, 1 teaspoon of salt, coriander, and paprika and cook for 1 minute more.
  4. Stir in the chickpea flour, and cook stirring for 1 minute. Stir in the stock of your choice, the reserved porcini water, and the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt. Let simmer for about 20 minutes. Taste and add additional salt if needed. Garnish with a sprinkling of paprika and chopped herbs.

Serves 4-6

“Nature alone is antique, and the oldest art is a mushroom.” –Thomas Carlyle.

Talking Heads

We absolutely love vegetables. I guess that is one of the reasons that we are vegetable farmers. I have seen multiple recipes for roasting whole heads of cauliflower. In fact I think it’s a ‘thing’. Two years ago I created a Ras el Hanout spice mix that I have used on endless things, from Lamb Ragu, to Moroccan Almonds, to this roasted cauliflower. The mix is savory more than just hot. I feel that you have a party in your mouth when you taste it. You can find this mix in my new cookbook Twisted Basics: Laugh, Cook, Eat! It is also available on this blog by searching for Moroccan Almonds. This would accompany anything on the grill, particularly lamb chops. We ate it with leftovers and were swooning!

WHOLE ROASTED CAULIFLOWER

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 medium to large cauliflower
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Ras el Hanout
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Several grinds of fresh black pepper

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INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a pot large enough to hold the head of cauliflower, fill with cold water and 1 teaspoon of salt. Clean cauliflower by removing outside leaves and cutting core horizontally so it sits level.
  2. Bring water to a boil and place cauliflower head in the pot with the core on top.  The whole head does not have to be submerged. Cover with lid and cook for 6 minutes. Lift with slotted spoon and place in wire mesh strainer for 15 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place head of cauliflower in a casserole dish that gives it several inches around it.
  4. Melt butter, oil, salt, pepper and Ras el Hanout over low heat. Baste with butter and spice mixture. Bake for 20 minutes. Baste again. Bake for an additional 25 minutes. Your cauliflower will take from 45 to 90 minutes depending on its size. Baste every 25 minutes until a metal skewer inserted in center indicates that the cauliflower is soft. Let rest for 10 minutes.
  5. Slices into wedges.

Serves 4-6

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Laughter is the brightest, in the place where the food is.”  –Irish Proverb