Tag Archives: mushrooms

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

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.

Food Matters Project #15: Bruschetta

With summer just around the corner, I try to find recipes which are easy to make and can be enjoyed outside with friends.  Our condo porch is rather small, but we do like to have friends over on the roof of our building.  It’s nice to enjoy many evenings with a bottle of wine, some finger foods and great conversations.

This weeks Food Matters Project definitely gave me some more ideas!  Laura, from Chef Laura at Home chose this weeks recipe from Mark Bittman’s The Food Matters Cookbook.  She chose Bruschetta, Rethought- Mark Bittman provided some new ideas for bruschetta.  This definitely allows us to be a little creative!  Laura made a Simple Bruschetta, if you’d like to check out other ideas look at the comments here.

Many of us imagine a tomato salad on a piece of bread when we think of bruschetta (which is on the menu of every Italian restaurant in the US).  Although that is one form of bruschetta, there is more to it than tomatoes.  It is an Italian antipasto with a variety of toppings, such as: red pepper, tomato, vegetables, beans, cheese, cured meats or tomatoes.  One of these tops a piece of bread which was rubbed with garlic and olive oil.

On Saturday, Sam and I played tennis in the early afternoon and sat on our roof snacking and enjoying Pimm’s.  It was a wonderful afternoon- so relaxing!  We did not grill our bread since it was fresh out of the oven (recipe will follow later this week!).  This is a great meal to improvise to what you have on hand, or what you’re in the mood to make.

Green Bruschetta
Inspired from: The Food Matters Cookbook (pg 175)

I could not find fava beans in the grocery story, but had some lima beans in our freezer.  Edamame or peas would also work.

1 cup lima beans
3 tbsp pecorino cheese
1/2 cup lima bean cooking liquid
1 bunch of asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

In a small saucepan, cook lima beans until they are well done.  Save some of the liquid while draining, and put them into a food processor.  Add the pecorino cheese and liquid, puree.

Bring a small pot of water to a boil, then add the asparagus.  Cook for about 2-3 minutes, then drain and cool with cold water.

Mix the pureed lima beans, asparagus and lemon juice.  Add salt and pepper, stir well to combine all of the ingredients together.  Serve with some bread or crackers.

Mushroomy Bruschetta
Inspired by: A Couple Cooks

There is nothing tastier in life than onions, mushrooms and butter.  This was delicious.  I think we’ll try to remake this as a pasta sauce! 

2 tbsp butter
1/4 large onion, chopped finely
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp thyme, finely chopped
1 tbsp oregano, finely chopped
4 oz herbed goat cheese (ex: Vermont Creamery Herb Chèvre)
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt

Allow 1 tbsp of butter to melt in a saucepan.  Then add the onions, allow them to cook until translucent and slightly creamy.  Then add the garlic, cook for about 3 minutes.  Then add the mushrooms, 1 tbsp of butter, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper.  Cook them until they are soft, about 5 minutes.  Then add in the goat cheese, stir until the cheese is part of the sauce.

Feel free to dip some bread into the sauce, and top your bread piece with the mushrooms.

Eat Write Retreat Recap & a Giveaway!

This past weekend I attended the Eat Write Retreat 2012 Conference, which was held at The Madison Hotel in Washington D.C.  This was my first food blogger conference, and I was a little nervous- but I was also excited about meeting some new friends!

I decided to participate in Eat Write Retreat 2012 because I’d like to grow this blog, I’d like to meet other bloggers and hopefully learn new things about the blogging and food community.

The first thing you need to know about food blogger conferences is the swag!  Check out what I brought home:

Most of these things fit into this bag (perfect for grocery shopping!):

I did get a couple more things which did not make it into this picture: an OXO cutting board, a Calphalon Convection Oven and a watermelon!  It’s clear to say that this was like Christmas for my kitchen!

I started this blog as a hobby, and I enjoy trying out new recipes and sharing them with all of you.  It’s inspiring to hear about how many people have a blog as a business, and how much they love what they do!

Of course this conference would not have been as much of a success if it wasn’t for the sponsors!  They were: OXO, Calphalon, National Watermelon Promotion Board, Jarlsberg Cheese, Harvard Common Press, Fresh Mushrooms, Dogfish Head Brewery, Qualia Coffee, Honest Tea, Endives, Lindsay Olives, Barboursville Vineyards, GooGood Clusters, Feastie, Chix DC, and DRY Soda.

Some of the sessions included:

None of this could have possible without the organization and hard work done by Casey Benedict and Robyn Webb.  Thank you!

Check out the list of bloggers who participated in this conference here!

Now it’s time for the GIVEAWAY!!!

Since I came home with a number of goodies, some of which won’t fit into our tiny fifth floor kitchen, I’d like to give some things away.

The first ever giveaway at Fifth Floor Kitchen!  One winner will have a chance to win an OXO Mini Chopper and Goo Goo Clusters Supreme (3 clusters in one box).  *These are items I’ve received at the Eat Write Retreat 2012 Conference, and this giveaway is not affiliated with OXO or Goo Goo.

The winner will be chosen at random, and will be notified by email (please make sure your email is correct)- they will have 3 days to respond to me with their address, otherwise I’ll choose another winner.  (Note: you must have a US address to be eligible to win)

This giveaway is open until Friday (05/11/2012) 11:59:59 EST.

***This giveaway is now closed***

Food Matters Project #8: Vegetable Coq au Vin

Another Food Matters Project post, but this recipe was chosen by us- and I was so excited! We chose this recipe since we liked how Mark Bittman took a different take on it. He suggested swapping out some of the chicken for vegetables, such as eggplant and green beans. And just like every recipe from The Food Matters Cookbook, it is delicious!  Check out everyone dishes here.

For a supper club last winter we had made coq au vin (it’s French for “rooster with wine”). It’s a rustic French recipe which calls for braising chicken with wine, mushrooms and some pork fat. The recipe which we tried was from Barefoot Contessa, and everyone cleaned their plates!

So when I was browsing The Food Matters Cookbook, I couldn’t help and notice that Mark Bittman suggested a healthier version of this dish, with the addition of more vegetables. I didn’t need to look any further, and reserved this recipe for us.

Vegetable Coq au Vin
Adapted from: The Food Matters Cookbook (page 466)

When making this dish, I added even more eggplant and green beans than the recipe called for, while decreasing the amount of chicken. The eggplant melts into the sauce, so serve this dish with a baguette! I also didn’t use as much salt or pepper, but feel free to adjust it to your taste buds. Another addition that I’d make in the future, is to add carrots- about 3-4 chopped in pieces- and add it in at the same time as the other vegetables. By making this one day in advance, the flavors mature and sink in. You can also serve it over noodles or potatoes.

2 medium eggplants
3 tbsp salt
4-6 strips of bacon, chopped
5 chicken drumsticks, bone-in & with skin
3 tbsp olive oil
4 large shallots, chopped
3/4 lb shiitake mushrooms, roughly chopped
10 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups chicken stock (preferable homemade)
2 cups fruity red wine (I used pinot noir)
3 bay leaves
1 lb green beans, ends trimmed
1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 tbsp salted butter
1 tsp pepper

Cut the eggplant into disks, and sprinkle each disk, on each side, with salt. Allow the eggplant to rest for 20 minutes on a cutting board covered with paper towels. Then cut the eggplant disks into smaller pieces (into quarters or eighths).

In a Dutch oven or large pot, add in the bacon and cook it over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally until the bacon gives up its fat and becomes crisp. This should take about 5 to 10 minutes. Then remove the bacon from the pot, and set it aside. With the pot over the burners, add the chicken. Allow it to cook, turning and rotating as necessary. Once all sides are browned, then remove the chicken from the pan.

Add in some olive oil, shallots, eggplant and mushrooms. Cook the vegetables, stirring occasionally, until they being to turn brown (about 15 minutes). After about 5 minutes, stir in the garlic.

Then add the stock, wine, bay leaves, green beans and herbs. At this time, return the chicken and bacon into the pot. Bring the liquid to a boil, then lower the temperature and allow it to cook for about 20 minutes. The chicken should be cooked through at this point, if not, cook for another 5-10 minutes.

Next, remove the chicken from the pan and add butter to the liquid. Allow it to cook until it is reduced by half, and becomes saucy and thick. Sprinkle in pepper, or any additional salt.

If you’re making this dish ahead, refrigerate it at this point. If you’ll be eating it soon (or when you’re reheating), then add the chicken back into the pot and allow to warm up for about 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaves. When serving, garnish the dish with parsley.

Food Matters Project #5: Seared Bean Sprouts with Mushrooms

Yes, it’s another post for the Food Matters Project.  This weeks recipe was chosen by Dominica of Wine Food Love.  She chose Seared Bean Sprouts with Beef and Sesame Orange Sauce, it can be found on page 479 in The Food Matters Cookbook.

As with almost every recipe which can be found in this book, Mark Bittman gives some ideas on different variations for this recipe.  He suggests tossing the ingredients (bean sprouts, beef, scallions and sesame seeds) with soba noodles, rice or quinoa.

From first glance I knew I didn’t want to use beef for this recipe, this past week we’ve had more meat than usual, and I wanted more veggies.  When I gave the choice of mushrooms or tofu to Sam, he went with the mushrooms.  Then he mentioned he’s not a fan of orange sauce.   So I was thinking about soy-based sauces that include sesame seeds, garlic and ginger.  Lastly, we’ve a number of noodle dishes in the last weeks for the Food Matters Project, so I decided to not include any noodles and make this a very vegetarian dish.

It took me less than 30 minutes to make this, so it’s perfect for a weeknight meal.  Tofu, chicken, beef or tempeh can be used as a substitute for the mushrooms.  If you have a favorite asian sauce, feel free to swap that here.  If you’d like more of a crunch, feel free to add some chopped peanuts or cashews.  Lastly, different vegetables can be added: broccoli, snap peas, or even edamame are just a start.  On a last note, I found that this dish tastes great cold- so no need for reheating.

Seared Bean Sprouts with Mushrooms
Inspired by: The Food Matters Cookbook (page 479)
Servings: 2-3 portions

2 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp butter
1 small onion, diced
4 mushrooms caps, cut into long strips
6 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp ginger, grated
3 tbsp sesame oil
16 oz bean sprouts
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp sriracha (optional)
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp hoisin sauce
1 tbsp honey
5 green onions, chopped

Heat up a skillet, once the bottom is slightly warm, add the sesame seeds.  Allow them to toast, while shaking the pan often.  Don’t allow them to burn, once they are brown (3-5 minutes) them remove them from the pan and put them aside.

Heat up the skillet once again, when it’s warm add the butter and allow it to melt.  As it’s melting, add the onion, mushrooms, 4 garlic cloves and 1 tbsp ginger.  Allow this mixture to sauté until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms are browned.  Once they are cooked, remove the ingredients from the pan and leave them in a separate bowl.

Next, add 2 tbsp of sesame oil into the same skillet.  Allow the oil to heat up a bit and then toss in the bean sprouts.  Sprinkle in salt and pepper.  Allow the bean sprouts to sear, and every couple of minutes move them around and flip some over.  I continued to cook the bean sprouts until the ends started to brown, and the sprouts had a crunchy texture to them (I tasted them every so often).  It took about 10 minutes on medium-high heat.  Once they are crisp to your liking, then place them on a napkin, so some of the oil will soak out.

In a bowl, or dressing container, mix together: 2 garlic cloves, 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds, sriracha, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, 2 tbsp ginger, honey and 1 tbsp sesame oil.  Shake or whisk together all of the ingredients.

Divide the bean sprouts among plates.  Then sprinkle the rest of the sesame seeds on top.  Next, spread out the mushroom mixture on top of the dish.  Then drizzle some of the dressing onto the plate- the amount depends on what you prefer; I think I used about 2-3 tbsp.  Lastly, sprinkle the top with the green onions.