Winter

Midwinter Midweek Mahogany Mushrooms

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by Susie Middleton

mahoganymushroomsExcept for an ill-fated attempt to grow mushrooms in a box last winter and the occasional mini-fungi that pop up in the garden mulch, we do not grow mushrooms here on the farm. I guess that’s one of the reasons I’ve neglected writing much about this most meaty of vegetables.

But yesterday I was paging through Fast, Fresh & Green, looking for appropriate recipes for two classes I’ll be teaching at Stonewall Kitchens in Maine in May, and I stumbled upon these Mahogany Mushrooms. Oh, I’d forgotten how much I love cooking mushrooms like this. Chunky, fast, hot, browned, glazed–yum. Wan, undercooked, undercolored mushrooms are not my thing. If you follow this technique, that fate will not befall you.

Just to check, I made a batch this morning and Farmer and I ate them for lunch with some scrambled eggs. He gave the mushrooms ten licks (his rating system—it has to do with how much he licks his chops after sampling a dish).

Cheesy-Buffalo Roasted Cauliflower-Potato Soup

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by Cathy Pollak

cheesy-buffalo-roasted-cauliflower-potato-soupYes, the title is a mouthful, but let me just say, every component plays an integral part in this AMAZING soup.

And straight from the mouth of my cauliflower-hating husband..."Hunna (he calls me hunna) when you have guests over, THIS soup has to be on the menu. It has to be "the soup", as in our house soup. One that never-ever goes away." Yep, that's how good it is. This comes from the man that hates cauliflower. He won't let me steam it in the house because it smells so bad. Roasting on the other hand doesn't release those stinky smells and makes the cauliflower taste wonderful.

There is something about this soup that gives it the perfect mouthfeel. The buffalo sauce just adds some awesome highlights and spice.

I highly suggest making a big pot for Super Bowl, it will disappear. And if you happen to serve it with my Easy Artisan Bacon-Cheese Bread, you might hear angels sing. I'm just sayin...

Italian Wedding Soup

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by Kathleen Alluise

weddingsoupPop Quiz: What makes two people's three dinners, two lunches, and fills a whole leftover Martha Stewart BPA-free glassware? The answer, my friends, is Italian Wedding Soup. You didn't hear it from me, but this stuff fulfills all the food groups, ensures your fill of kale for a day, and pumps you up full of vitamins. And, it's delicious.

After my mother mentioned the other night that she was making this delightfully cultural (I mean it has the word Italian in the title), I decided to embark on the journey that is soup making myself. I was prepared for an arduous trip, full of blending, food processing, slicing, and dicing. But I was wrong.

Approximately 40 minutes later, I had a delicious meal and used only 2 pots and one mixing bowl. Since we live in a pretty adorable retro house (I'm talking 1920's), there isn't a ton of counter space, though it is more than enough for me. So, it is a testament as to how simple this soup can be. My husband didn't even blink when he walked into the kitchen. Now that's a good sign.

Warm Up with Enlightened Winter Soup

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by Sue Doeden

dijon vegetable chowderWhen you live in the Midwest, northern Minnesota to be more exact, where below-zero temperatures are no big deal, but just part of winter life, a hot bowl of hearty homemade soup is highly appreciated.

A few weeks ago I received a copy of "Enlightened Soups," by Camilla V. Saulsbury. As I was in the midst of holiday preparations, I didn’t have much time to look through the cookbook. But as the New Year rang in, I was ready to get back to a more healthful eating routine. And, during the first week of the new year, a few of Camilla’s Enlightened Soups have been a part of my lower fat, lower calorie eating plan.

As I paged through the cookbook filled with more than 135 light and healthful soup recipes, I soon noticed the recipes used ingredients that can be found in most supermarkets and that the soups did not take long to make. All can be prepared in an hour or less, some in just 20 minutes. Each recipe has a small illustration that shows how long it takes to prepare the soup. As I soon discovered, enlightened soups don’t need to cook for hours to deliver wonderful flavor.

Another feature of "Enlightened Soups" is the nutritional information included with each recipe. I first tried Red Lentil Mulligatawny. It was rich with flavor and took 45 minutes to prepare from start to finish.

Crispy Millet Kale Cakes

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by Susan Salzman

milletcakesWithout being super conscious about it, I have been making more and more vegetarian meals. Millet, lentils, quinoa, black beans, and lots of green vegetables are consumed weekly while less meat and chicken grace our dinner table. Don’t get me wrong, I like my animal protein. As long as it is pastured and raised in an environment that you and I would want to be raised in.

Last winter, when we switched over to a gluten free diet, I cleaned out the pantry. I was amazed at how much food I had on hand and I realized that I could feed my family for a month based on the existing inventory.

In that inventory, there was an unopened bag of millet. I have always liked millet but pretty much forgot about it. Instead, I was making a lot of farro, quinoa, and barley. Quinoa is one of the few grains that we continued to eat and I decided to open that bag of millet and start experimenting.

Zingy Slow Cooker Hamburger Soup

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by Cathy Pollak

macaronibeefI really wanted to call this "hamburglar soup". Remember him? Is there anyone younger than forty who remembers the hamburglar? I have no idea how long his legend lived on....ha-ha.

Anyway, soup weather has returned to the Pacific Northwest. It's like mother nature turned on a faucet and the rains have started again. We had one of the driest summer on record...it was quite incredible. I had almost forgotten about the rain here. But it's back. Dense fog, cool temps, rain, rain, rain. It hasn't stopped. And I love it. It's Oregon and it is one of the reasons it's so beautifully green here.

So, in honor of the cold, damp weather, I had to make soup. In my awesome slow-cooker. Something hearty and warm. We have been working for weeks straight bringing in the wine grape harvest, light and delicate soups have no place here (at the moment). Hard-working bodies need protein and carbs and flavor!!

Fig-and-Almond Bread Stuffing with Fennel

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by Cathy Pollak

figstuffingI know, I know, it's the day after Thanksgiving and who needs stuffing. It's like the Christmas cookie recipe the day after Christmas. Useless. However, since I use my own food blog as a recipe book (I don't have a little binder with secret/favorite recipes), I have a couple stuffing recipes I have to catalog for next year. This is one of them.

Food & Wine Magazine touted this as the quintessential stuffing to pair with Pinot Noir so of course I had to make it. It was very well received and requested again next year.

It definitely deviates from traditional stuffing but I believe every Thanksgiving table should have old stand-bys and new fangled recipes. I also believe there should be at least two kinds of stuffing.

This recipe was excellent. I loved the use of fresh fennel as well as fennel seeds and the dried figs. Slightly sweet and fragrant from the herbs, this was a definite treat to have at the table.

Since a lot of folks also serve turkey for Christmas, maybe this stuffing will grace your holiday table.

Roasted Sweet and Spicy Butternut Squash

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by Lisa McRee

roastedsquashAnother workhorse of a vegetable, Butternut Squash is always on my shopping list and in my inventory  during the fall and winter months.

Sometimes it’s tucked into a curry, sometimes it’s a soup or pureed but, most of the time, it’s simply roasted with cayenne, cinnamon and salt and then drizzled with sugar free maple syrup (which has just 20 calories instead of 200!)

It’s not only a delicious side dish with dinner, it’s a satisfying snack to take on the run, or a great way to top a spinach, walnut and cranberry salad the next day.  Believe it or not, I even have it for breakfast sometimes because its cinnamon-y and syrupy warmth reminds me of hot cinnamon rolls!

And this is also another one of those one oven/one time dishes which makes it easy to build your inventory!

 

A Mushroom Soup That's Perfect for Chilly Days

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by David Latt

mushroomshiitakesoupIn general, shiitakes come in two forms: the slender stemmed variety and the ones which are fatter, with thicker stems and caps. Mitsuwa and SF Supermarket sell the fatter variety, which have a meater flavor.

With so many on hand, they can be used liberally in pastas and soups, grilled, and sautéed with garlic and shallots.

But how to store the ones not eaten those first couple of days?

Everyone knows that mushrooms should only be stored in the refrigerator in paper bags because kept in plastic they quickly go bad. Use a brown paper bag--not a white one, which is coated with wax so the moisture stays inside the bag--in combination with paper towels. The moisture that normally accumulates on the outside of the mushroom is absorbed by the layers of paper.

Kept in the refrigerator another week or two, the brown paper bag-paper towel combination acts as a dehydrator pefectly drying the mushrooms. This technique only works successfully with shiitakes.

If by chance any of the dried shiitakes develop mold, discard and keep the good ones. In my experience, more than 95% will dehydrate without harm.

In Honor of Julia Child’s Birthday!

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by James Moore

Traditional Boeuf BourguignonJames Moore's Traditional Boeuf Bourguignon (Beef Burgundy)

Happy Birthday Julia!

Some friends challenged me to make Boeuf Bourguignon after seeing the film Julia & Julie. I started by studying Julia Child’s recipe, which is very close to the version I’m posting here. I then consulted one of my favorite French cookbooks, Country Cooking of France by Anne Willan to read her technique. Anne says Boeuf Bourguignon is the “king of stews, the benchmark against which all other are judged, even in France.” Finally I studied the method for Beef Burgundy published by Cook’s Illustrated and decided I was ready for the challenge. I spent 3 days making this dish, but the results were well worth the effort. I realized that I had to make my own beef stock – canned broth just isn’t the same, so the first day was spent making beef broth, the second day I braised the meat, and finally made the onion/mushroom garnish on the third day. 

 

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