Thursday, November 29, 2012


Matt's been in town this week for the Thanksgiving holiday and we've been enjoying many of his favorite dishes...seafood stew, pork chops, lamb chops....and some fried calamari which is totally a family favorite.  No real recipe for this...just pick up some cleaned squid, slice the tubes into rings and place them in a plastic bag along with flour, salt and pepper and shake, shake, shake.  Heat up some vegetable oil in a large frying pan and fry the rings quickly in batches if necessary.  Season with salt and lemon juice and serve with your favorite cocktail sauce.  Enjoy!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!


                            Wishing you all a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Pudding (with Bakon?!?!)

Last week Food52 linked to an article entitled "Mushrooms Turn Bacon: A Vegan's Delight" and I was fascinated.  Mushrooms that taste like bacon?...That can't be!  I did some research and found a video that used Shitake mushrooms in place of the hard to find Trumpets that the article referred to.  I made them and found them pretty satisfying and so added them to this bread pudding.

Serves 6 to 8

For the Bakon?!?! 

8 ounces Shitake mushrooms
3 Tbl extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt
Remove the stems from the mushrooms and discard or reserve for stock
Slice the caps in about 1/3 inch slices
Place the mushroom slices in a bowl, add the oil and salt and toss thoroughly.  Place on a baking sheet and roast in a 350F oven for 30 to 40 minutes, turning every 10 minutes.  Set aside to cool.

For the pudding:

6 cups cubed bread cut from a stale baguette (approximately 18" long)
1 large sweet onion, peeled, halved and then thinly sliced
5 Tbl butter, divided
8 ounces sliced mixed mushrooms (I used Baby Bella, Shitake and Oyster)
1 clove minced garlic
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
4 eggs
2 cups half and half
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
The previously made Bakon?!?! pieces torn up a little
2 cups shredded Fontina cheese (about 6 ounces) divided
A very well buttered 9x13 inch baking dish

In a large saute pan, melt 2 Tbl of the butter, add the sliced onions and cook over medium heat until lightly caramelized.  This will take about 15 minutes.  Place in a small bowl to cool.
In the same pan, melt the remaining 3 Tbl butter, add the sliced mushrooms, garlic and thyme and over high heat saute until the mushrooms brown up.
Whisk the eggs, half and half and black pepper together and add to the bread cubes. Stir in the onions, mushrooms, 1 cup of the fontina and the Bakon?!?!.
Pour the mixture into the well buttered baking dish, top with the remaining Fontina and cover and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours.
Bake the pudding in a pre heated 350F oven for 40 to 45 minutes.  Let rest for about 10 minutes before cutting.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Oyster and Spinach Chowder

This is a riff on a spinach and oyster soup that my dad used to make for himself on Friday night after a 12 hour day at our market.  He'd always bring in any leftovers for my brother and I to share the next day.  I added potatoes to make it a little heartier and swapped baby spinach leaves for the regular spinach he would use.

Makes 4 servings
2  1/2 dozen freshly shucked oysters and their liquor
1  1/2 cups clam juice
1/2 cup water
1 Tbl butter
1 Tbl extra virgin olive oil
1 cup diced onion or 1 medium leek, whit and light green part only, thinly sliced
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 cups diced potatoes (small dice)  I used Yukon Gold
1  1/2 cups heavy cream
6 ounces baby spinach leaves, thick stems discarded
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine the oyster liquor, clam juice and water and set aside.
In a medium soup pot over medium heat, saute the onion or leek in the butter and olive oil until soft.  Add the garlic and saute about 30 seconds more.
Add the reserved broth and potatoes to the pot.  Bring up to a boil and then simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.
Add the cream, bring back up to a simmer and stir in the spinach.  Cook the spinach until it barely wilts and then add the oysters and any accumulated juices. Bring back up to the simmer and simmer for about 3 or 4 minutes until the oysters are just done.  season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Fall Harvest Tomato Galettes

I'd been looking at a bowl of semi-ripe, almost ripe and green tomatoes sitting on the table on my deck for the past couple of days wondering what to do with them.  I knew I;d use some of the green ones to replace zucchini in bread and some could go in a paper bag and sit in the garage until ripe.  But I wanted to try to use a mix in a pie or tart or some such thing.  I also have a great love of  hardlikearmour's (from Food52) pasty crust from her Collards and Cheese Pasties recipe and came upon the idea of flavoring that crust for the base of these galettes.  These are reminiscent of little pizzas and make for a nice lunch or snack. And again, thanks HLA for a great pasty crust!

Makes 2 galettes

For the crust:
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter
1  1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp granulated garlic

In a small sauce pan bring the water to a boil and add the butter in pieces to melt.
While waiting on the butter to melt, whisk the remaining ingredients together in a small bowl.
Stir the dry ingredients into the wet and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

For the galettes:

1 cup thinly sliced shallots
1 Tbl butter
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup plus 2 tsp finely grated parmesan
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
3 or 4 small tomatoes at various stages of ripeness (I used green, orange and a pink)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
The previously made crust

In a small saute pan, melt the butter and then saute the shallots, garlic, oregano and salt gently until the shallots soften.  Cool completely and then stir in the 1/4 cup parmesan and the panko.  Set aside.
Slice the tomatoes about 1/4 inch thick, set in a colander to drain for about 30 minutes and then pat dry with paper toweling.
Pull the dough out of the fridge and knead it a bit to incorporate ant lumps of butter that may have formed.  Divide the dough in half and then roll each half into a 10 inch round and place on a parchments lined baking sheet(s).
Spread half of the shallot mixture on each round leaving a one inch border.  Place the sliced tomatoes over.
Now you have two options: 1( You can place half of the mozzarella and a teaspoon of parmesan over the tomatoes now if you want a "crusty" cheese topping or 2) You can wait about 20 minutes into the baking time to add the cheese if you want a "gooier" topping.
Fold the edges up to form a border around the galettes whether with the cheese or without.  Bake 40 to 45 minutes at 375F.  Serve slightly warm.