Tag Archives: shallots

Food Matters Project #31: Polenta with Mushroooms

It’s another Food Matters Project post!  This weeks recipe was chosen by Sandra, of Meadows Cooks.  From Mark Bittman’s Food Matters Cookbook, she had chosen the recipe for Polenta Cakes with Garlicky Mushrooms.  Check out what other Food Matters Project participants made here.  For the original recipe, check out Sandra’s post.

Sam and I have been trying to clean out (and by that I mean eat everything) from our pantry, freezer and fridge.  It’s a good way to start 2013- with some organization!  So when I read the recipe and didn’t have all of the ingredients, I decided to use what I did have.  Fortunately, Mark Bittman’s recipes are flexible and forgiving!  The only problem is, the recipe might just not turn out like you had thought.

As you check out everyone else’s posts, you’ll see that everyone has polenta cakes.  Unfortunately, ours did not settle and harden.  So we were left with just polenta- but that did not stop us from eating it.  So this version is slightly different than the original recipe, but I think it’s equally delicious and worth a try!

Polenta with Mushrooms

Polenta with Mushrooms
Inspired from: The Food Matters Cookbook & Honest Fare

Polenta:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup mushrooms, finely diced
2 shallots, minced
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup corn meal
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Mushroom Topping:
1/2 tbsp olive oil
2-3 bacon strips
1/4 red onion, chopped
10-15 mushrooms, sliced
1 jalapeño, chopped (optional)

Heat the olive oil in a skillet, then add the mushrooms and shallots.  Sauté for about 5 minutes, next add in the garlic and cook for another minute.  Then remove from heat, and set aside.

In a medium pot, heat 4 cups of water until it is boiling.  Lower the heat and add the corn meal, while stirring so no clumps form.  Continue to stir the corn meal until it creamy and begins to thicken, about 5 minutes.  Then add in the salt, pepper and mozzarella cheese.  Continue to cook and stir for another 10 minutes, then remove from heat.  Add in the mushroom mixture, stir well to combine all of the ingredients.

In a skillet, heat the olive oil, then add in the bacon strips.  Allow them to cook until they are crisp.  Remove them from heat, and set aside.  Once cooled, chop the bacon into smaller pieces

In the olive oil and bacon grease, heat the onions, mushrooms and jalapeño for about 5 minutes.  Once cooked, remove from heat and toss in the chopped bacon.

Pour the cooked polenta (corn meal) into a bowl, top with the mushroom topping, and serve.

Hurricane Irene Frittata

Hurricane Irene’s rains are creeping into DC, so today is gloomy and dreary.  The kind of morning that makes you want to stay in bed and read a good book (or browse food blogs for new recipes!).

We braved the grocery store yesterday (against Sam’s better judgement) after work since we had nothing in our fridge.  I know, it sounds crazy, but I didn’t want to live the weekend eating plain rice.  So as many people were picking up toilet paper and batteries, we got eggs, veggies and Corona’s.  Clearly, we didn’t have the same priorities.  (But don’t worry, we do have flashlights, toilet paper, water, etc just in case.)  Safeway was packed, and the lines were long (about 30 minutes) but we came out alive.

This morning we decide to make a frittata with some mushrooms, shallots and Gruyère.  If you’ve never tried a frittata, you should give it a chance.  It’s the lighter, fluffier version of a quiche.  And it’s very simple.  So if you’re stuck at home due to the hurricane, and your power isn’t out, enjoy a new breakfast dish.

Mushroom Shallot Frittata
Serves: 4-6 portions

8 eggs
2 shallots, diced
1 cup crimini (baby portabella) mushrooms, sliced
1 cup Gruyère cheese, shredded (goat cheese would also be delicious!)
¼ cup half-and-half
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)

Sauté mushrooms and shallots in butter on medium heat until soft.

Once those are cooked, add all of ingredients to a large mixing bowl and mix until everything is well incorporated.

Coat a 9-inch, stainless steel pan (do not use a nonstick pan!) in butter or cooking spray, then pour in the mixture.

Add the pan to a preheated, 375° oven for 30 minutes, until the frittata has risen and has taken on a nice golden color.

Green Pea & Pancetta Linguine

We had a busy and exciting weekend.  My friend B* from Boston came to visit, and there were also friends from different places which were visiting D.C.  Some of the girls and I ran the Susan B. Komen 5K race.  It’s a great cause to support, although this isn’t my favorite running race.  I enjoy the company and support the cause.  In a running race aspect- it’s a bit crowded, so you just have to relax and enjoy the sights.

Whenever a group of us gets to spend time together, it reminds me to all of our fun days in undergrad.  It’s wonderful to know that the strength of the bonds we have made many years ago is still there.  It’s interesting to think that we spend only a few years getting to know each other.  And then everyone scatters all over- really all over.  It’s wonderful to know that great friendships can sustain the long distance!

But onto food!  We made this last weekend actually, when we didn’t have visitors.  Although I really do say this about many recipes, this one is easy and can be made under 30 minutes.  Talk about a time saver with a delicious meal waiting for you.

Green Pea & Pancetta Linguine
Adapted from: Cooking Light (April 2011)

Servings: 4
Time: 30 minutes

3 tbsp olive oil
3 oz pancetta, chopped
3 shallots, finely chopped
2 lbs frozen green peas
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 lb linguine pasta
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup Parmesan-Reggiano cheese, grated

Heat skillet over medium heat, add 1 tbsp olive oil.  Add the chopped pancetta and cook for about 10 minutes or until browned and crispy, stirring occasionally.  Remove pancetta from the pan, and put in a bowl on the side.  Leave the drippings, and add the shallots into the heated pan.  Cook for about 4-5 minutes, until they are tender, also stirring occasionally.  Then add the peas and garlic, cook for 1 minute.  Next, add wine and thyme.  Increase the heat to medium and bring liquids to a boil.  Cook until the liquid reduced (about 5 minutes).  Then remove from heat.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta per package directions.  Drain the pasta.

Finally, add the pasta, 2 tbsp of olive oil, salt, black pepper and pancetta to the pea mixture.  Toss well.  Divide the pasta into 4 servings.  Sprinkle cheese onto each serving.

Bok Choy and Mushroom Bulgur

Sometimes I’m in a cooking groove, and cannot wait to get home and make some yummy dinner.  Usually by Thursday, when I’m tired and exhausted, that cooking groove diminishes a bit.  As many of you know, cooking can take time and planning. 
 
Although living in the city does have its perks, the downside is that we don’t have a grocery store nearby where we can just pop in and pick up ingredients for dinner.  The closest grocery store is 1 mile away, although it’s not that far and may be fun to go once in a while, the long lines and the idea of pushing and pulling the granny cart does not necessarily make this our ideal choice.  We sometimes pick up ingredients from different stores.  For example, Trader Joe’s has an excellent variety of cheeses.  And since the Farmer’s Market started, we’ve bought bacon, milk, eggs and butter. 

 

Due to the these “location restrictions”, we meal plan.  We order the majority of our food on Peapod, and list out different meals which we want to eat.  By seeing what we eat over a number of days, we make sure to have a variety of meals (pastas, grains, Mexican or Indian, etc).  I’ve noticed that I have become more aware of the ingredients I put into our food, and into my body.

Which leads me to the dish pictured below.  It was on the cover of Vegetarian Times, and I coud not wait to make it.  And it tasted just as delicious as it looks.  The flavors blended so well, and the broth kept the bulgur moist.  (In the case you don’t have mushroom bouillon, feel free to use vegetable or chicken stock) Between the mushrooms, and the steamed bok choy, this dish had a very earthy, natural taste to it.  It’s great for a warm dinner, or leftovers for lunch.

 

Bok Choy & Mushroom Bulgur
Adapted from: Vegetarian Times

 4 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
8 oz crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
3 shallots, finely chopped
1 cup uncooked bulgur
1 1/2 cup water
2 mushroom bouillons
1 tsp fresh thyme, minced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
4 small bok choy, halved

Heat 2 tbsp of oil over medium heat, then add half of the garlic.  Add the mushrooms, and cook for 5 minutes, or until browned.  Transfer the mushrooms to a bowl.  Add tomatoes to the skillet and saute for 2 minutes, or until browned.  Transfer into the bowl that has mushrooms. 

Add the remaining oil and garlic into the skillet.  Stir in shallots and saute for 2-3 minutes.  Stir in the bulgur until the grains are coated with oil.  Add the water, bouillons and thyme.  Season with the salt and pepper.  Cover, and reduce heat to medium-low, simmer for 5 minutes.

Arrange the bok choy halves on top of the bulgur.  Sprinkle the mushroom and tomatoes between the bok choy.  Simmer for 5 minutes, while covered.  Remove from heat, and let it rest for 10 minutes.