Saturday, March 31, 2012

Creamy Soup of Field Mushrooms

I'm still a little obsessed with my immersion blender.  Soup is so easy to make now! I've tried a few recipes for cream of mushroom soup but this one is the best I've made so far.  It showcases the flavor of the mushrooms without a lot of other ingredients to get in the way.  This recipe calls for a ton of portobello mushrooms.  It's relatively easy too.  I think it would freeze well for use in cream cheese chicken. This soup made a nice light meal.  I served it with some bruschetta. A small salad would work too. To use porcini mushrooms as a garnish, soak them in warm water until they're soft, about 20 minutes.

The bruschetta is from Wegman's.  Shhh, don't tell!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

One Year Later: Green Enchiladas

I've been making these green enchiladas for years.  I wrote a post about them about a year ago. They were one of the first dishes I started making regularly while learning how to cook, and the first from-scratch enchiladas I ever made. Back in the day, I used canned enchilada sauce and I thought I was a cooking wizard because I could bake enchiladas in the oven that came out still resembling their ingredients instead of gooey charcoal.  Bonus points for being tasty! I think that in the past year, I've perfected them and wanted to post my updated recipe. 

These green enchiladas aren't terribly pretty, but they are awesome. They're creamy, cheesy, tangy, and if you add chili powder, just a little bit spicy.  I've changed the recipe a bit over the years. The original recipe is from Cooking Light, but I don't think these are very healthy.  But that's probably because I changed the recipe to include a ton of cheddar cheese, because I have to choose between healthy and cheddar cheese, the cheese will always win. If you use Herdez or Goya brand salsa verde, the sauce is mild and safe for the spicy-adverse. But I add extra chili powder.  I also season the chicken with some adobo seasoning and add some extra garnishes.  I make the full batch of sauce and then slightly less filling and tortillas to serve 2 people (3 enchiladas each).  The "proper" portion for this is two enchiladas per person.  If you decide to scale this up to serve more people, increase the amount of sauce!  The enchiladas should be completely covered with sauce when you bake them. I also omit the step of cooking the tortillas in chicken broth.  I've tried this a few times and it did nothing for me.  It seemed unnecessary and increased my enchilada assembling time.  If you want to make your tortillas more pliable, steam them.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Tuna with Tomatoes and Capers with Spinach, Beans, and Prunes

This tuna dish is simple and quick. It doesn't have many ingredients and if you like your tuna rare like me, there isn't a lot of cooking time. If you heave nice piece of fish, the sauce is tangy and flavorful but won't mask the taste of the meat.  I served it with a healthy side dish of spinach, kidney beans, and prunes.

I made the spinach dish because I wanted to use the rest of my prunes left over from my Cornish game hen meal.  I'd never used them before and I didn't want them to languish in my pantry until they fossilized.  My husband and I disagreed about how good the spinach dish was.   I loved it.  I would make it again. I love spinach!  I thought the sweet prunes were interesting and I thought they were a good addition to the earthiness of the spinach and beans.  My husband really hates fruit as part of dinner, so he was not a fan of the prunes at all. If you don't like sweetness in your veggies (or hate fruit in general), skip the prunes.  The side dish is vegetarian and I think that it's hearty enough for a main dish if you make extra. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

I imitated Komi, and was mildly successful

Komi has been on of DC's best restaurants for the last few years.  Situated on top of a dry cleaner's off Dupont Circle, it's easy to overlook if you're just walking by.  For years, I thought it was a sushi place.  The chef, Johnny Monis, has no formal training, which is shocking when you see his food. Last month, I put myself on their wait list and finally got to go last weekend.  One of small hot bites that was served before our main dish was a plate of roasted dates stuffed with mascarpone cheese and topped with fleur de sel. These were amazing.  The dates were soft but not mushy.  The cheese was slightly tart and somehow remained solid inside the dates, and the salt added a depth to the dish.  It was strange how just a sprinkling of salt could make a dish amazing.  I had to try to make these!  Although my dates did not taste exactly like Komi's, they were definitely similar.  There are lots of things I could do better, but this is a great stepping off point!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Wild Boar Meatballs!

I've had wild boar a few times on vacation, but this was my first time cooking it.  I figured meatballs were a good safe way to start.  My plan was to buy some ground wild boar, but the store only had wild boar mini-roasts. But, I was determined to make meatballs.  In addition this being my first attempt at cooking wild boar, it was also my first time grinding my own meat.  So much for a meal that didn't involve a lot of work! These meatballs freeze very well.  I made the entire recipe and froze most of them after I baked them in the oven.  The sauce freezes well too! To reheat, I put the frozen sauce in a pot over medium-low heat until it was liquid again and then added the frozen meatballs and cooked them in the sauce until they were heated through.  About 30 minutes.  The sauce is simple and very flavorful. I don't think it would be as good with tomatoes other than San Marzanos.

I made a few slight changes to the recipe. The original recipe only used the cheese for a topping, I went ahead and put it in the meatball mix. To make the sauce less watery, I squeezed the juice out of each tomato and crushed them a little by hand.  I also removed the white stringy bit from the center of each.  An entire recipe of meatballs made three meals for two people.  I used bucatini in this picture, but used regular spaghetti for the other two meals.  The bucatini was interesting, but I don't see the point in buying it unless it's something you use regularly. I used panko instead of breadcrumbs.  I used a little extra butter because this tomato sauce recipe inspired me to always add extra butter. :P I used two tablespoons.


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