Wednesday, February 1, 2012

in the kitchen: mushrooms.

Last week a client at Mr. S.'s office brought in mushrooms for anyone who wanted to purchase them. So Monday he brought home a big container of these: 

I looked up the French word, and the best I can tell, they're oyster mushrooms. I'm only mushroom-adept enough to recognize button and portabella... They have a very sponge-y texture. The ridges on the bottom soak up water like none other, so when I washed them before cooking, I set them on paper towels to dry for awhile.

At first I wasn't sure what to make with them. I wanted to do something a bit more complex then sautee or roast them. Then I remembered the extra pie crust and dozen + eggs I had in the fridge. And the shallots. Quiche it was!

Have you ever eaten tripe? If you're about to eat dinner, don't google it. I had it once, at a cozy little barn in the middle of Southern France. It was a family picnic at a winery, and we knew the people hosting. We had a home catered three course meal served to us for free, which made it a bit hard to say non merci when I found out what the main course was.... tripe. Yea, I'll find out a way to say non merci next time. The only reason I'm reminiscing about tripe while satueeing mushrooms, is I found the underside of the mushrooms to look incredibly similar. I had to keep myself from gagging reminding and reassuring myself that it was not tripe in that pan.

Quiche crust ready to go.

Golden brown garlic, shallots, and mushrooms.

Pre-baked crust loaded with goodies. I sprinkled a bit of cheddar at the bottom of the quiche before putting in the mushrooms. The recipe called for gruyère, which would have actually been a lot better. 

Quiche before it was devoured. 

Tonight I was still on a mushroom kick, so decided to use the other half to make soup. I wanted to make soup the first night, but didn't have all the ingredients. After work today I stopped in at a fruiterie two blocks from my apartment, where they sell lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, and tons of fresh herbs. I bought a huge bunch of parsley and some thyme. I doubled the recipe that's below because I wanted leftovers, but if I cook this again, I think I'll keep the original 1 tbsp. of thyme instead of doubling that ingredient. It was good, but a bit distracting at times. Also, I didn't have worcestershire sauce so I substituted soy sauce. There was a note at the bottom of the recipe about adding more flour to thicken it up if desired, which I think I would do. And if I could find something to give it just a little kick, that would make it better. Peppercorns? Cayenne? Can you put that in mushroom soup? A réflechir.

Here's the recipe if you're so inclined. I found it on Pinterest, linked to the blog called Season with Spice. I doubled it and was supposed to have 4 servings, but I find it's more like 2 1/2 or 3. At least in the middle of winter ;)

Homemade Mushroom Soup by Season with Spice
Serves 2

What you’ll need:
300g or 2 cups fresh mushrooms - cleaned and chopped finely (I used a mix of swiss brown and white button)
1 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic - chopped
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 - 2 bay leaf
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1 tbsp flour dissolved in 1 tbsp water
Salt to taste
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
Dash of nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Fresh parsley or thyme for garnish

1. Heat olive oil in a sauce pan. Add butter and lightly sauté garlic on medium heat.
2. Add in mushrooms, thyme, bay leaf and Worcestershire sauce. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until the moisture from the mushrooms disappears.
3. Add in chicken broth. Stir occasionally until broth boils, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
4 Add diluted flour in, and stir constantly (while simmering) until the mixture thickens. Season with salt and nutmeg. Taste and adjust seasoning.
5. Finally, add milk and heavy cream, and bring to a simmer. Turn heat off.
6. Serve hot in your soup bowl. Add freshly ground black pepper. Garnish with fresh parsley or thyme if you have them on hand. And warm up this holiday season!

The quiche recipe I found on the Martha Stewart website. I'm a little intimidated by her pâte brisée recipe. The last time I made pie/quiche crust it was chewy and way too buttery. Next time!

Bon appetit!



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food for thought.

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