Tag Archives: parsley

Ina Garten’s Wild Mushroom Soup

This recipe is Ina Garten‘s, that sweet wonderful lady who spends her time having cocktail hour in The Hamptons with the gays and putting cream in everything.

Anyway, The Chef suggested I post this earlier today when the world was dark and gray and dreary, but lately Memphis weather has decided to be a rancid, sobbing manic depressive mess, so now it’s freaking beautiful outside. Whatever. We are not to be deterred. Soup was suggested, and soup you shall have.

And if you’re gonna have one, this should be it. This is perfection even if you don’t have a borderline shameful obsession with mushroom. (I literally just googled “disorder: people who marry vegetables” because I thought there might be a hilariously awesome word for crazyfolk who try to do stuff like this somewhere, but alas, I must be the first.) My problems aside, this is creamy, comforting goodness, so go get your Ina on, girl.

5 oz shiitake mushrooms
5 oz portobello mushrooms
5 oz cremini (or porcini) mushrooms
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 pound + 1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup yellow onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 sprig fresh thyme + 1 tsp minced thyme, divided
salt & pepper
2 cups leeks, white and light green parts chopped (2 leeks)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, minced

  1. Clean the mushrooms. Separate the stems, trim off any bad parts, and coarsely chop the stems. Slice the mushroom caps 1/4-inch thick and or cut them into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
  2. Make the stock:
    1. Heat olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large pot. Add the chopped mushroom stems, onion, carrot, sprig of thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
    2. Add 6 cups water, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
    3. Strain, reserving the liquid. (You should have about 4.5 cups of stock. If not, add some water.)
  3. Meanwhile, in another large pot, heat the remaining 1/4 pound of butter and add the leeks. Cook over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, until the leeks begin to brown.
  4. Add the sliced mushroom caps and cook for 10 minutes or until they are browned and tender.
  5. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute. Add the white wine and stir for another minute, scraping the bottom of the pot.
  6. Add the mushroom stock, minced thyme leaves, 1.5 tsp salt, and 1 tsp pepper and bring to a boil.
  7. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  8. Add the half-and-half, cream, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste and heat through (do not boil).

Serve hot.

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Filed under Appetizers, Comfort food, Soups, Veggies

Chicken Picatta

I have been neglecting m’boy Wikipedia for a while now, and that stops here. The ‘pedia tells me that “picatta” just means “to be pounded flat” in Italian. And I like that.

Not only because these little suckers will fry up right nice because they are flat and even all over but also because you get to use that tiny little mallet to work out some of your aggression. That little hammer is somehow adorable and violent all at once, and I always imagine a furious little Leprechaun-lumberjack using it. And that clearly makes me happy.

4 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
2 oz of olive oil
seasoned flour
2 teaspoons shallots, minced
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
4 oz white wine
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 tsp of chopped parsley
2 tbsp capers
1 oz of lemon juice
2 tbsp butter

  1. Lightly pound chicken breast and then dredge in seasoned flour.
  2. Heat the oil in a saute pan. Cook the chicken until golden brown.
  3. Remove from pan, add shallots and garlic and cook until translucent.
  4. De-glaze pan with wine. Add chicken stock, parsley, capers, and lemon juice.
  5. Let it reduce for 2 minutes and then finish the sauce with butter. Salt and pepper it to taste and serve with your favorite pasta.

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Filed under Chicken, Italian food, Main Course

Meatballs in Marinara

There’s nothing better than a good meatball. The problem is most meatballs are passable at best and downright TASTELESS at worst. These are anything but. They have a great flavor on their own and are even better seared off and then dropped into the yummiest of sauces to simmer til they sop up all the tomatoey goodness.

1 1/2 lbs of ground beef
10 oz (one tube) of mild country sausage
5 garlic cloves, minced
half of bunch of Italian parsley, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup of Italian breadcrumbs
2 eggs
sprinkle of nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Make a mini meatball and cook it in a hot saute pan in a little olive oil. Taste for seasoning before making the rest of the meatballs.
    (Tasting and browning are the key steps to this recipe. Most people who suck at cooking suck because they don’t taste at every step. Don’t be one of them. Also, The Chef almost went postal having to make all these balls by himself, so draft someone for help or do them in advance.)
  2. Roll into balls, brown on all sides, and then simmer in tomato sauce for 30-45 minutes, adding parsley when you add the meatballs. Serve over angel hair pasta. De Cecco is the best brand I’ve ever found and it literally takes 2-3 minutes tops to be ready.

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Filed under Beef, Comfort food, Italian food, Main Course, Meat, Pasta, Pork

Dee’s Falafel

Amazing falafel sandwich I had while in Beirut two years ago. Still not as good as Dee's!

I am extremely lucky to have grown up in a household of ethnic food, even luckier that it was Middle Eastern. When I was younger I would try to explain to my mom the importance of mayonnaise and butter (and convince her that she needs to learn how to make Peg’s greenbean casserole), but she was busy whipping up amazing dishes sans butter and mayo such as homemade hummus and baba ganoush, wara’enab (stuffed grape leaves), kebbeh, and kousa (stuffed zucchini) to name a few.

Look out for more of her recipes to be posted soon. One of my favorites was her falafel. Dee fries these patties wearing loud prints, gold jeew-ry, full make up and heels. One thing she taught me, frying while looking fabulous somehow makes it healthier and better. –ts

1 cup dry fava bean
1/3 cup Chick peas (dry)
2 garlic cloves
3 medium size red onions
½ bunch parsley- chopped very fine
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp flour
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp coriander
1/3 tsp red pepper
1/3 tsp cumin
1/3 tsp cinnamon
1/3 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
3 cups Mazola oil

Recipe makes 35 pieces:

  1. Soak fava bean and chickpeas over night in warm water. Drain and let dry in the morning.
  2. Peel onions & garlic and add all ingredients (except the oil) in food processor. Mix well and let the mixture sit for one hour.
  3. In a deep fryer add oil, and let it heat up on high. Once oil is ready take a spoon full of the mixture and make it into a small ball in your hands. Fry it till it’s slightly red (don’t overcook!). You probably need only about 1 minute per side when frying.
  4. Place on paper towel to soak up excess oil. Feel free to add these to pita bread with shepherd salad, tzatziki and/or tahini sauce.

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Filed under Fried food, Main Course, Middle Eastern

Mushroom Ragout over Creamy Polenta

I have never tasted this one, but I love mushrooms and The Chef billed this recipe as “insane.” I’m assuming he means “insanely good” rather than Charlie Sheen insane, however I would totally enjoy it either way.

BTdubs, “ragout” just means “main dish stew.” The French always manage to make things sound so complicated.

1 cup shallots, halved and thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 tbsp olive oil
2 8 oz pkgs sliced baby portabello mushrooms (you can use button also if you prefer)
2 3.5 oz pkgs fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
1 ⁄2 cup port wine
1 cup chicken broth
1 ⁄4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
4 tbsp butter
11⁄2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
3 ⁄4 tsp salt
1 ⁄2 tsp pepper
freshly shaved Parmesan cheese
fresh thyme sprigs for garnish
Creamy Polenta

  1. Sauté shallots and garlic in hot oil in a large skillet over medium heat for 2 minutes.
  2. Increase heat to medium-high, add mushrooms, and cook, stirring constantly, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in wine; cook 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in broth and next 5 ingredients. Reduce heat to low, and simmer 5 minutes or until slightly thickened.
  4. Serve over Creamy Polenta with shaved Parmesan cheese. Garnish with thyme sprigs if desired.


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Filed under French food, Main Course, Soups, Veggies

Tabbouleh Salad

After vacation comes starvation!  Sorry, that was real nerdy.  However, it is needed.  After a week of major boozing and eating, I could use some health.  Last night I was craving greens and lots of it.  This is a standard recipe for tabbouleh, and it is incredibly easy.  The longer everything has to soak in the sauce the better, but it is fine to make and eat right away. Everything is to taste.  I prefer loads of parsley and little bulgar wheat (the authentic Lebanese way) and very lemon-y.  Feel free to use more or less of all ingredients. -ts

¼ cup bulgar cracked wheat (fine)- you may want more
2 roma tomatoes chopped
2 bunches flat leaf parsley chopped
Pinch of chopped fresh mint
Bunch of scallions chopped
Lemon juice (1-2 lemons)
Olive oil (about ¼ cup)
Salt & pepper
iceberg or romaine lettuce leaves separated and cleaned

  1. Prepare bulgar wheat as instructed on package and set aside.  Here is a common way to prepare it: Place the bulgur in a bowl, and cover with water by 1/2 inch. Soak for 20 minutes, until slightly softened. Drain through a cheesecloth-lined strainer or sieve, and press the bulgur against the strainer to squeeze out excess water.
  2. Transfer bulgar to a large bowl, and toss with the lemon juice, parsley, mint, tomatoes, scallions and salt. Leave at room temperature or in the refrigerator for two to three hours (optional I eat it right away!) so that the bulgur can continue to absorb liquid.
  3. Add the olive oil, toss together, taste and adjust seasonings. Serve with lettuce leaves; eat like a lettuce wrap.

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Filed under Middle Eastern, Salad, Side dishes, Veggies

Blue Cheese & Herb Butter

We used this buttah on our steaks during Snomaggedon 2K11, and it was certifiably nummy. I know some of you out there are skeered to go full fat, but sometimes it just has to be done. See below The Chef’s other variations if you want to get mixy. Some even have fruit in them, so that’s like healthy and stuff, right?

2 sticks of unsalted butter
handful of blue cheese crumbles
2 tablespoons  of chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons of chopped sage

  1. Take butter out of fridge to soften.  Once it becomes soft, add herbs and blue cheese.
  2. Mix very well. You can do this in a food processor or  a mixer if you don’t have enough elbow grease (incidentally, that is a totally gross saying)
  3. Once mixed, reform it into the butter shape and wrap in plastic wrap.  Place in fridge and chill until it is firm enough for slicing.

Variations:
Add lime zest, lime juice, and chili powder – Great for grilled corn on the cob
Add fresh dill and lemon zest – Perfect for fish
Add grated Parmesan cheese, roasted garlic, and parsley – Awesome for garlic bread

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Filed under Meat, Sauces