Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Hungarian Mushroom Soup

I'm really excited for tonight because I get to go to the season opener game for the Blazers!!!  I just love watching basketball, I appreciate how fast of a game it is and all the excitement with the loud announcers, music, and fans.  In other news Halloween is almost here and I can't wait, my boyfriend and I are going to a movie character themed party and we are dressing up as Jessica and Roger Rabbit.  Speaking of this weekend it sure is going to be a busy one, Saturday morning we are getting up and driving to Eugene, OR for the Ducks vs. Stanford game which will be a major game (I sure hope we win).  Now let's talk food, my friend Rebecca came over last night and we actually made something together that didn't involve pimento cheese, instead it involved lots of mushrooms which we both love.  We adapted this Moosewood recipe and ate the soup while watching Halloween II (one of my favorites).  Enjoy!

Serves 4

The Ingredients

12  ounces mushrooms, sliced  

2  cups onions, chopped  

3  tablespoons butter  

3  tablespoons flour  

1 cup milk (whole)                                                                                                                                                                                      
2  teaspoons dill weed, fresh                                                                                                                                                                        
1  tablespoon Hungarian paprika  

1  tablespoon tamari soy sauce  

1  teaspoon salt  

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cups vegetable stock
2  teaspoons lemon juice, fresh

1/4 cup parsley, chopped

Black pepper to taste

1 cup sour cream

The Process

Saute onions in 1 Tbsp olive oil and 2 Tbsp stock, salt lightly.

2.  A few minutes later, add mushrooms, 1 tsp dill, 1/2 cup stock or water, soy sauce, and paprika.

3.  Cover and simmer 15 minutes.

4.  Melt butter in large saucepan.

5.  Whisk in flour and cook, whisking, a few minutes.

6.  Add milk and cook, stirring frequently, over low heat about 10 minutes - until thick.

7.  Stir in mushroom mixture and remaining stock.

8.  Cover and simmer 10-15 minutes.

9.  Just before serving, add salt, pepper, lemon juice, sour cream, and, if desired, extra dill (1 tsp).

10.  Serve garnished with parsley


Monday, October 27, 2014

Shepard's Pie

It's been pretty stormy here in PDX, Saturday late afternoon about 140,000 people lost their power.  In fact my parents still don't have power...that's going on 45 hours now and they have a power line across their road (PGE is not making any friends that's for sure).  I can say I was very happy our power didn't go out because I was in the process of making this lovely Shepard's pie!  For the first time we had power and no one else did; our neighborhood is old with most of our power lines are above ground so our power goes out often.  This weekend we also finally made it out to the pumpkin patch, we went to Kruger Farm on Sauvie's Island and it was a blast!  I tried Captured by Porches pumpkin cider which is a mix of hard cider and pumpkin ale, it was delicious.  Onto the food, after reviewing multiple recipes for Shepard's Pie (or Cottage Pie) I came up with this awesome recipe.  Enjoy!

Serves 5

The Ingredients
3 medium to large golden potatoes, quartered
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups vegetables—diced carrots, corn, peas
1 1/2 lbs ground round beef
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 skim coconut milk (or any other type of milk)
2 tablespoons plain yogurt (I used whole fat)
2 tablespoons creamy horseradish
Salt and pepper to taste

The Process

1.  Place the quartered potatoes in medium sized pot. Cover with at least an inch of cold water. Add a teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until tender (about 20 minutes).

2.  While the potatoes are cooking, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a large sauté pan on medium heat. Add the chopped onions. garlic, and carrots.  Cook until tender, about 6 to 10 minutes.

3.  Add ground beef, peas, and corn to the pan with the onions. Cook until no longer pink. Season with salt and pepper. Add the Worcestershire sauce and vegetable broth. Bring the mixture to a simmer and reduce heat to low. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes, adding more broth if necessary to keep the meat from drying out.

4.  When the potatoes are done cooking (a fork can easily pierce), remove them from the pot and place them in a bowl with the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter, creamy horseradish, coconut milk, and yogurt.  Mash with a fork or potato masher, and season with salt and pepper to taste.  The potatoes should be nice a creamy at this point.

5.  Preheat oven to 400°F. Spread the beef, onions, and vegetables (if using) in an even layer in a large deep casserole dish (if there is a lot of extra liquid make sure to drain it out).  Spread the mashed potatoes over the top of the ground beef. Rough up the surface of the mashed potatoes with a fork so there are peaks that will get well browned.

6.  Place in a 400°F oven and cook until browned and bubbling, about 30 minutes. If necessary, broil for the last few minutes to help the surface of the mashed potatoes brown.
Also here we are at the pumpkin patch, the sun came out just for us!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Italian Celery and Mushroom Salad

I'm so happy it is Friday, it has been a long week filled with a lot of emotions.  Tuesday was my grandpa's funeral and it was such a beautiful service.  It really helped being surrounded by lots of family and we all got through it together.  The funeral was in Hood River, OR and I ended up staying the night with family which was a really good decision.  Not only did I get to cook for everyone but my mother is learning how to do Bowen technique which is an alternative type of bodywork (like acupuncture) that focuses on muscles, tendons, and fascia.  Since she is still training and learning she has to have documented practice hours so she did a bunch of work on me and the next day my body felt amazing.  Speaking of taking care of my body tonight I am going to my first yoga (Vinyasa) class in years, back in college I did yoga almost everyday and I sure do miss it.  Onto the food I made this salad last night for a lovely friend potluck, we were entertained by games and a brand new kitten.  I also forgot to take a picture of the salad so the picture below is from the original recipe (linked above) and the photo credit goes to James Ransom.

Serves 4-6

The Ingredients

7 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
1 pound mushrooms, delicate varieties such as cremini, oyster, or shiitake are best, wiped clean as sliced as thin as possible
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (I ended up adding more because I love citrus)
8 ribs celery, shaved paper thin (use a mandolin if you have one)
1 cup shaved parmigiano reggiano cheese
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4cup chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
The Process
1.  Saute the mushrooms: In a skillet, heat 3 Tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the sliced mushrooms and saute until golden brown, 5-6 minutes. Season with a little salt and pepper and then set aside to cool.

2.  Toss the salad: In a large serving bowl, whisk the remaining 4 Tbsp olive oil with the lemon juice. Add a little salt and pepper and then taste. Add more oil or lemon juice as you like. Add the celery, cooled mushrooms, cheese, and parsley to the bowl and toss until combined. Season with sea salt and pepper and serve.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Moroccan Meatball and Egg Tagine

After a stormy night here in PDX I woke up to no power this morning and was forced to get ready by candlelight...not very easy.  And as I am looking at updates for the power outage it says it wont be fixed until 3pm, not good news for our fridge and freezer full of food.  On a more positive note tonight is scary movie night at my boyfriend's sister's house, she does one every Wednesday for the month of October and I love love love scary movies!  Tonight our feature presentation will be either Funny Games or House on Haunted Hill.  In other news cooking is such a comfort right now considering the loss of my Grandpa, and he always loved when I cooked for him.  This recipe will warm you right up, enjoy!  The picture below is not mine, it comes from the original recipe that I have linked above, the photo credit goes to Mark's daily apple.  As you will notice my photos are at the bottom of this post and a lot less appetizing.

Serves 4

The Ingredients

4 Eggs

Tomato Sauce:
2 tablespoons olive oil or butter (30 ml)

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or pressed

1 teaspoon sweet paprika (5 ml)

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (2.5 ml)

1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric (a pinch)

1/2 teaspoon salt (2.5 ml)

1/4 teaspoon black pepper (a pinch)

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes or cayenne (a pinch)

28-ounces (790 g) of whole canned/boxed tomatoes in their juice (broken up with your hands or a food processor) or 28-ounces canned/boxed diced tomatoes in juice or 2 lbs. (about 1 kg) fresh, ripe tomatoes, chopped

1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled into 1/4 cup (60 ml) hot water

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley (60 ml)

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro (60 ml)

1 pound ground beef or lamb (or a combination of the two) (450 g)

2 tablespoons grated or very finely chopped red onion

1 teaspoon sweet paprika (5 ml)

1 teaspoon ground cumin (5 ml)

1 teaspoon ground coriander (5 ml)

1 teaspoon salt (5 ml)

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (2.5 ml)

1/4 teaspoon pepper (a pinch)

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes or cayenne (a pinch)

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley (30 ml)

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro (30 ml

The Process

1In a wide (11 or 12 inch/30 cm) saucepan or dutch oven with a lid, heat the olive oil/ butter for the tomato sauce. Add the garlic and sauté a few minutes. Add the spices and mix well then add the tomatoes. Bring to a gentle simmer for 15 minutes, covered.

2.  While the sauce is simmering, use your hands to combine all of the meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Shape the mixture into small meatballs about 1- inch in diameter.  Add the meatballs to the tomato sauce along with the 1/4-cup of saffron water. Cover and gently simmer for 30 minutes.

3.  Crack the eggs into the sauce. Cover and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes, until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Tomato Basil and Beef Soup

In my last post I was talking about the health of my grandpa, I'm sad to say that we lost Melvin Anthony Cordie at 12:30am early Friday morning.  He went peacefully and had people he loved surrounding him.  It has been really hard for all of us to process as we just lost the patriarch of the family.  After spending the whole day in Hood River, OR looking at photos and reminiscing about his life I was lucky enough to get away to the coast for the weekend for some much needed reflection.  Today is my first day back at work since the event and it is definitely proving to be difficult so I am blogging to try and distract myself from reality.  I adapted this recipe a while ago but it is a great soup if you need a soul healing meal.   As we are heading full force into fall just remember that every season brings a lot of change and try and appreciate everyone and everything you have.

Serves 4

The Ingredients

30 ounces diced tomatoes

1 cup coconut milk, canned (full fat)

1 Tablespoon coconut oil

1 cup onion, diced

1 pound ground beef

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup chicken broth

1/8 cup pesto

The Process
1.  Add diced tomatoes and coconut milk to a blender and blend until smooth.

2.  Heat a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add coconut oil and saute onions until translucent. Add ground beef and cook until brown. Drain fat.

3.  Stir in minced garlic and salt. Pour in tomato/coconut milk mixture, chicken broth, pesto. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer 10-15 minutes. Serve and enjoy.

I love you Gramps!
This is a very old and wonderful picture of the two of us.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Onion and Parsley Salad

Life has been a whirlwind lately...last weekend my plans to go apple picking got canceled because my poor grandpa is not doing well.  Not sure if any of my readers have lost someone very dear to them but at this age I assume you have.  My grandpa at the ripe age of 91 is now on hospice.  About only two weeks ago he actually told me to my face that he was ready to go, while it was hard for me to hear, it was also comforting to know that he is prepared and welcoming the next step.  With that said I have been working on being positive and celebrating his amazing and long lived (still living) life.  Last time I saw him he was barely able to talk but managed to playfully make fun of my dad... my grandpa will forever be a jokester.  This weekend I am headed to Cannon Beach, OR with 5 of my very close friends so hopefully I can find some peace in our trip.  It will be full of funny dogs playing in sand and delicious meals.  Speaking of delicious meals last night I created a great one, I paired this amazing Lebanese salad with bacon wrapped chicken.  Enjoy!

Serves 3

The Ingredients
1 medium onion, thinly sliced

1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, minced

1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (or 3/4 teaspoon sumac)

salt & black pepper, to taste

2 cups fresh parsley leaves, roughly chopped

generous pinch cumin

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

The Process
1. In  a large bowl, toss onion with mint leaves, red wine vinegar (or sumac), salt, and black pepper. Allow to rest for 10 minutes, ’til the onions soften slightly.

2. In a small bowl, mix the parsley, cumin, and lemon juice with a fork. Stir with the fork and slowly add the olive oil, stirring while you drizzle so the dressing emulsifies a bit. Pour the dressing over the onions and toss gently with a wooden spoon to combine.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Swiss Chard and Parsley Chicken Salad Sandwich

Even though it is now fall time and officially October 1st by garden is still producing a fair amount of vegetables which of course makes me very happy.  Luckily I have my garden vegetables because our cabinets are practically bare at this point, it is definitely time to restock.  With one can of garbanzo beans, a little leftover roast chicken, garden veggies, and some basic condiments from my cupboard I was able to create a fabulous chicken salad sandwich (oh and I purchased the French rolls for a total of 50 cents each).  In addition to the season change I usually get pretty bad allergies, but today I woke up realizing that I think I have contracted my first cold of the season...not so fun.  But what that means for my blog is that I will be making a bunch more soups to help flush out my system, so watch for them in the next couple posts.  In other fall news it looks like this weekend is shaping up to be a fantastic one, there might be some apple picking and fall picnicking up the Columbia Gorge!  I hope you enjoy my lovely and very filling sandwich.

Serves 2

The Ingredients

1 cup cooked chicken, shredded

1 cup Swiss chard, chopped

1 cup Italian parsley, chopped

1 roma tomato, diced

1 (15oz) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

3/4 cup onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, pressed

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons lemon juice

2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons rice vinegar

1 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise (optional)

2 French rolls (warmed up)

The Process

1.  In a medium bowl mix together chicken, Swiss chard, Italian parsley, tomato, garbanzo beans, and onion.  Mix well.

2.  In a small bowl make the dressing by mixing garlic, salt, olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, rice vinegar, pepper, and mayonnaise.  Add the dressing to the chicken mixture, stir well and put in the fridge and let sit for 15 minutes so the flavors can marry.

3.  Heat up your rolls, slice in half (not all the way) and fill each one with chicken salad.  Eat!