Sunday, January 27, 2013

Especially for my Aunt Barbara--Lentil Mushroom Soup

I've been tossing around this recipe in my head for a while. I was going for hearty without being too heavy, so no cream in this one. A dollop of sour cream, on the other hand, may work for your palate (it did for mine, though not for Nexx).

First, the fungus:

4 oz dried crepe mushrooms
1 cup sliced crimini mushrooms
.5 cup chopped shitake mushroom stems (I'm using the caps in lettuce wraps)

A little aromatic:

3 cloves of garlic minced
1 cup of onion finally chopped

A bit of legume:

one cup dried brown lentils

Some fat:

2 T butter

This and that:

6 cups boiling water
2 cups beef broth 
1 T dried thyme
Worcestershire sauce
salt to taste

Stir the dried mushrooms into the boiling water, turn off the heat and let sit for about an hour. While they are sitting, melt 1/2 the butter in a small pan and sautee the shitake stems with a little Worcestershire sauce. Remove from pan, add the other T of butter and the onions, stir on low heat until the onions turn golden and add the garlic. Continue stirring until onions are dark brown and carmelized.

After your hour has passed, add the onions & garlic, crimini shrooms, the lentils, thyme and salt, still well and put the heat up to medium high. Stir in beef broth and bring to a low boil. Turn heat down to low and let it simmer for about an hour or until lentils are soft.

This was served alongside some leftover roast pork. I will be doing this again, this time adding parsley, a touch of lemon and some cayenne. There may also be beer involved, as soon as I figure out which one. 

So now this week's mission is to drink several different kinds of beer. Challenge Accepted!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

once again, hold the sugar

I forget how I found tonight's recipe, but I knew the minute I read it that I was going to have to make it. I love sesame and ginger together, and the opportunity to try a new pepper? I'm not going to pass that up.

I did make a few adjustments of my own, starting with the sauce.

¼ cup + 3 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons Korean red pepper powder (gochugaru)
3 large garlic cloves, pressed
1 ½ tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons finely grated fresh peeled ginger, juice and pulp
1 tablespoon lightly toasted sesame seeds

I followed the above with the exception of the sugar, which I cut down to a teaspoon. I also made it a day ahead to give the flavors some time to meld.

This afternoon on my lunch hour, I threw five chicken thighs in a sauté pan with about a cup of low-sodium chicken broth, two tablespoons of garlic and about a teaspoon of dried cilantro. I stewed the chicken for about an hour. From there it went into a deep rectangular plastic tub for shredding. I use two forks to shred it, then stirred in the sauce and put the whole thing in the fridge until dinnertime.

The dressing for the slaw, I also made the night before:

2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon palm sugar or dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh peeled ginger

I dropped the sugar to half a teaspoon. I also didn't mix it in a bowl. For dressings, I prefer to use a jar, just screwing on the lid and shaking well. If you like the ArgoTea in bottles, those bottles are the perfect size for a dressing.

I shredded the cabbage and tossed it with the dressing on the rest of my lunch hour.

For dinner, I just heated up the meat and piled it on plates. Instead of potato rolls, I added some rice crackers on the side. Nexx didn't even bother with the crackers.