Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Mushrooms with Noodles

I love to eat on vacation.  Most trips are planned around what we can get on our plate, from onion soup in Paris to lobster rolls in Maine to Guinness in Dublin.  Yes that is considered food on that green island.  I've heard it's better than the mutton, so I'll stick with a pint of the black stuff.  Is it true what they say about Guinness tasting better in Ireland?  That's a scientific fact, its not just the surroundings influencing your palate.  I highly encourage you to find out for yerself.  

A trip out West was not complete without a double cheese animal style from In-n-Out, fish tacos on the beach, and a pizza pie from Pizzeria Bianco, considered to be the best pizza place in America.  A dog from the ballpark was of course a must, sans ketchup.  Happy hour ocean fare with a sunset view at World Famous.  Lamb pitas that were almost as good as mine at this kebab joint.  To celebrate St. Patrick's Day I snacked on a smoked corned beef sandwich that was so delicious, I've already found a recipe for that backyard smoker I keep threatening the wife about.  Throw in plenty of yummy Stone IPA direct from the brewery,  a few old fashioneds from Restaurant Quality's bar, beef sammiches and slow-cooked pulled pork, and it's time to eat light for a week or two.  But that doesn't mean it can't taste good, and don't even think about taking away my carbohydrates.

Spring so far has really sucked at being spring.  That leaves plenty of time for more cold-weather pasta dishes like this.  A variety of shrooms will yield a nice depth of flavor...I used baby bella and cremini, some oysters would be good as well.  If you like mushrooms and you like pasta, this is a quick and tasty dish- a simple roux with some added umami flavor to complement the fungi.  And it's not complete without a healthy shaving of good parm reg. 

Mushrooms with Noodles
4 servings

1 lb cremini mushrooms (baby bella)
1/2 lb shiitake mushrooms
1 medium onion, diced
Freshly cracked black pepper and kosher salt
1/2 dry white wine
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 C low-sodium beef broth
1 lb extra-wide egg noodles
3 TB unsalted butter, divided
3 TB AP flour
1 ts Worcestershire sauce
1 ts dijon mustard
3/4 C freshly grated parmigiano reggiano
2 TB fresh parsley, roughly chopped

Wipe the shrooms with wet paper towel to remove any dirt and trim the stems.  Slice them a bit less than 1/4", so they are not super thin and saute into oblivion.  

Place the stock in a small sauce pot and warm over low heat.  

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 2 TB of the butter. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 4-5 minutes, stirring often.  Add the garlic and stir for a minute.  Add the shrooms next with a pinch of S&P.  Cook until nicely golden brown, about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the wine to the skillet and scrape up any yummy bits with a spatula.  Let that reduce for 2-3 minutes.

Fire up some lightly salted water for cooking the noodles.  

Add the remaining 1 TB of butter and after that melts, sprinkle in the 3 TB flour.  Stir up that roux with a whisk for 3 minutes, then slowly introduce the stock, whisking.  Next to the party is the Worcestershire sauce and dijon mustard, get that mixed in.  Reduce the heat to low and let simmer while the mixture thickens, 3-5 minutes.  You can keep this warm and stir every now and then while you cook the noodles. Taste and adjust the seasoning with S&P if needed. 

When the noodles are done, add those to the skillet and mix it all together.  As always when cooking pasta, reserve a 1/2 C or so of cooking liquid, if your sauce is too tight you can always add some.  Serve in a bowl and top with a generous amount of parmigiano reggiano and a touch of parsley.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Spring Break

bacon lettuce tomato is on spring break....

even though I've returned from vacation...but there's no food in the house to make any new recipes to post...so here's one from last March that is deeelishus.

In the meantime...a picture of a rhino peeing.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Greek Orzo Salad

Damn I love orzo.  Such a cute little shape.  It's the go-to pasta for a side dish, no matter the time of year.  A great accompaniment to this recent post.  Perfect for making large quantities for a crowd.  The varieties are endless, another delicious version is right here.  How about one with more protein?  That one will be sofa king in a few months when the warmer weather finally makes its midwestern appearance.  Not that we're hating winter.  We LOVE playing in the snow, but we're pumped to be hittin the west coast in a couple days where we can leave this snowsuit behind for some sun, sand, and quality time with some Gardners.  If I don't get back to you by St. Patrick's Day, then let me repost this beauty....Slainte!

 Greek Orzo Salad
8-10 servings as side

1 lb orzo
1 small red onion, diced
20 or so kalamata olives, pitted, small ones halved, large ones quartered
14 oz jar artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
1/4 C fresh parsley, chopped
1/3 C EVOO, the good stuff for sure
1 large lemon, juiced
1/2 ts kosher salt
1/4 ts freshly cracked black pepper, none of that pre-ground sheeite
4 oz feta, diced

Cook the orzo in lightly salted water according to directions.  Drain and add a few TB of olive oil to prevent sticking.  Place into a large serving bowl.  Once cooled a bit, add the rest of the ingredients and stir well to combine. Serve warm or at room temp.