Monday, February 13, 2012

Mushroom Soup

I was cruising the internet for a mushroom soup recipe the other night, and came across this one based on a recipe from Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles cookbook. Normally I wouldn't think a fancy French soup recipe would fit the bill for an easy weeknight meal, but the poster said Bourdain said this was "the easiest recipe in the book", so I decided to give it a go. And I must say, it is nothing if not easy. Very few ingredients, hardly any prep, and a delicious soup at the end. I'd say it's a keeper!

Mushroom Soup

1 - 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 -3 Tbsp Butter, or More Olive Oil, or Earth Balance
1 Onion, thinly sliced
12 oz. Mushrooms, white, crimini, or a combination, halved
4 Cups Broth, Veggie or Chicken
1 Sprig Parsley
2 oz. Dry Sherry
Salt and Pepper to Taste (I ended up not using any, and the soup was delicious!)

Heat 2 tsp each olive oil and butter, or 4 tsp olive oil, in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the sliced onion and cook until soft but not brown, 6 minutes or so. Add another tablespoon (or more) of butter, oil, or a combination, then add the mushrooms. Cook until they have released their liquid and it is starting to cook off, about 8 minutes.

Add in the broth and parsley. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and simmer for one hour. Blend with an immersion blender (or in a regular blender) until smooth. Stir in the dry sherry and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve and enjoy!

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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Veggie Burgers

This is a recipe that I printed many years ago from Kathleen Daelemans. I have been in somewhat of a lunch rut recently, so dusted off this recipe. The patties are not super-cohesive, and thus a bit difficult to turn, but they are very, very tasty. Oh, and did I mention that they are good for you, too? Very little fat, high fiber and lots of protein. A winner all the way around!

1 Onion, Diced
2 Cups Veggie Broth (or Chicken)
1 Cup Bulgur
4 oz. Frozen Peas
1 - 15 oz. Can Garbanzo Beans, Drained and Rinsed
Salt and Pepper to Taste
1/4 Cup Shredded Cheese (optional)

Put the diced onion and broth in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add the bulgur, frozen peas and garbanzo beans. Cover the pot and turn off the heat. Let sit until the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. If there is still liquid left in the pot, return to low heat for a few more minutes until it is gone.

Use a potato masher or large fork to mash up the mixture. The idea is to make sure all of the garbanzo beans are smashed. Add salt and pepper and cheese (if using) and give it a good stir. Just about any cheese would work. This time I used parmesan, but I have also used cheddar and mozzarella, both with excellent results. Of course, if you are looking for a vegan meal, just leave the cheese out altogether.

Form into patties and cook in a nonstick skillet with a little bit of olive oil until nicely browned on one side, 3 or 4 minutes. Turn carefully with a spatula, and cook on the second side for another 3 or 4 minutes. (My patty is square so it would fit on the bread I was using, but you can shape yours any way you like.) Serve like a sandwich or hamburger with your favorite fixings.

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Monday, January 30, 2012

White Beans with Linguica

My sweetie has discovered this great butcher/charcuterie shop in town and shops there frequently. He recently came home with some linguica without a plan. Since it is still winter and cold (even though it hasn't been raining), a nice bean dish seemed in order.

This is what I came up with, and it turned out really great! We had it with a green salad and dinner rolls. Yummy!

White Beans with Linguica

1/2 lb. Dry White Beans, such as Navy
8 Cups Water
2 Slices Bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 Large Onion, Diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
3 Cloves Garlic, Minced or Pressed
1/2 lb. Linguica sausage, 2 links
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp Dry Oregano
1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika (or regular, if you don't have smoked)
Fresh Chopped Parsley, for Garnish

Soak the beans in water to cover by 2 inches 8 hours or overnight.

Drain and rinse the beans and place in a soup pot or dutch oven with 8 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer.

Cook the bacon in a frying pan over medium heat until brown but not crisp, about 7 minutes, add to the beans.

Cook the diced onion in the bacon grease until just starting to brown, 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for one minute longer. Add to the beans.

Cut the linguica in half lengthwise, then slice into quarter-inch half-moons. Cook over medium heat in the frying pan until browned, about 10 minutes. Add to the beans.

Cover the beans and maintain a low simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 1/2 hours. Add the salt and pepper, cumin, oregano, and smoked paprika. Cook for an additional 30 minutes, uncovered, until the flavors have melded and most of the liquid is cooked off.

Spoon into bowls and garnish with fresh chopped parsley.

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