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Posts Tagged ‘mushrooms’

Here I am, almost two month since the last food post, groveling and asking that you rejoin me at our table on our deck, surrounded by our garden of vegetables, herbs and flowers, bask in the setting sun and light Hawaiian trade winds, so that we once again can break bread together.

I do feel that I owe a brief explanation to those of you who have faithfully been checking in and those of you who have been commenting despite the silence. In a nutshell, we have had two very busy months. We started a home improvement project that, of course, dragged on far longer than anticipated. The actual labor was done relatively quickly thanks, in part, to our minimal square footage – painting the walls shades of blue (and bright yellow in the bathroom) and replacing the forlorn carpet with laminate wood flooring in a warm shade of oak to create an effect of a beach side cottage (in reality we live on the side of a volcano and are a three minute drive from the ocean). What took so long was the finishing work (baseboards, caulking, transitions, etc) and dragging everything back into the house, unpacking, reorganizing, and so on and so forth. There was also much going on at work. We had family visit for two weeks. We puddle-hopped over to the Big Island for some R&R with the visiting fam.

Additionally, on a more somber note, we’ve had people close to us facing some serious health issues. My instinct, in addition to offering all manner of support that I can, is to feed people when times get tough, stressful, or scary. Food is love, food is health, and food is nourishing both for our bodies and our souls. But when faced with health issues, people should be fed as well as possible – not the cakes, pies, and cookies loaded with sugar that are my initial instinct to whip up. This has led me to critically consider the way I cook and eat and has made me face the hard reality that I use and consume entirely too much sugar and too much white flour. This amount of sugar can undo the work put into carefully choosing produce and focusing on using all fresh ingredients and whole foods. So, as I happily jump back into the world of cooking and baking, expect to see a focus on the same delicious foods but, in the case of my sweet teeth, expect to also see a focus on natural sweeteners, whole grains, and healthier treats.

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”
— Virginia Woolf

It’s good to be back. Let’s eat!

White Bean, Mushroom, and Smoked Sundried Tomato Pasta
Serves 4

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 ½ cups sliced white mushrooms
1 15 oz. can white beans, drained
1/3 cup smoked sundried tomatoes, soaked in boiling water to rehydrate and then cut into small pieces
5 tbs tomato soaking liquid
2 tbsp fresh herbs, chopped (I used rosemary, basil, oregano, and parsley from my garden)
Salt, pepper, and hot red pepper flakes to taste
Olive oil for drizzling

Pasta of your choice (I used whole wheat spaghetti)

1. Put a pot of water on for the pasta, and soak the sundried tomatoes in a bowl of hot or boiling water for about 10 minutes or until soft.

2. Meanwhile, Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat, and sauté the onion for 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic, sauté 1-2 minutes, then add the mushrooms. Saute for about 5 minutes.

3. Add the beans and tomatoes to the pan and add 5 tbsp of the tomato soaking liquid. Add more if the bean mixture begins to stick. Cook for 5-7 minutes.

4. Add salt, pepper, and hot red pepper flakes to taste. Sprinkle on the herbs and drizzle with olive oil. Serve over pasta.

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HHDD: Pizza

I love home made pizza. I love the smell of the dough as I knead it. I love the rising time that the dough affords me to imagine what to top the pizza with. I especially love the endless possibilities that pizzas offer.

Recently while blog surfing (“blog surfing” = perusing a much frequented blog, clicking on a link in their blogroll, perusing this new blog, clicking on a link in their blogroll, so on and so forth, until suddenly you are looking around in wonder at how you got to the blog you are presently enjoying) I came across this post for this blog event called Hay Hay it’s Donna Day, named such in honor of Donna Hay. For this round of HHDD the recipe of choice is pizza. How could I resist? The pizza stone that I received for Christmas has been anxiously awaiting its use. For this particular pizza I decided that I wanted to do something different from my usual tomato sauce base. I decided to make use of what I already had on hand, so I set out to make a caramelized onion and mushroom topping.

Once the onions had caramelized, the mushrooms were ready, and the mixture was pureed in the food processor, I was faced with the decision of what else would go on the pizza. Knowing that the onion-mushroom puree would be a thick and rich topping, I wanted to keep whatever else I put on the pizza light. Suddenly I got an idea that seemed so delicious to me that I couldn’t fathom putting anything else on this pizza. Still …. it seemed unorthodox enough that I was a little nervous that perhaps it wouldn’t be as delicious as I thought it would be. Also, I needed to be sure that Dan would want to eat it. I explained to him the onion and mushroom puree that was ready for the pizza and he was enthusiastic. Then … I laid on him what I wanted to round the pizza out with. My decision was .. are you ready for this? … apples. I was met with a brief moment of silence, a solemn nod of the head, and the declaration that it could, indeed, be delicious. That was all I needed. I thinly sliced an apple on the mandolin, placed a ring of them around the pizza on top of the onion-mushroom puree, and popped it into the oven. In the end, there was no need to fret … the apples were a perfect compliment to this pizza, which did a quick disappearing act at dinner.

Caramelized Onion, Mushroom, and Apple Pizza

1 recipe pizza dough (recipe below)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp soy butter (Earth Balance Buttery Spread)
3 small onions, thinly sliced
1 pinch of salt
4 cups of chopped mushrooms
1 tsp Herbes de Provence
Salt and pepper to taste
1 apple, thinly sliced

1. Heat the oil and soy butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and the pinch of salt, and lower the heat to medium-low. Sauté the onions for about an hour, stirring every so often, until the onions are golden brown.

2. Prepare the dough. (Recipe below)

3. Add the mushrooms and the Herbes de Provence to the caramelized onions and sauté for an additional 15 minutes. In the meantime, pre-heat the oven to 425F.

4. Remove the onions and mushrooms from the heat and add salt and pepper to taste. Let the mixture cool for about 10 minutes and then puree the mixture in a food processor until smooth.

5. Use a rolling pin and roll out the dough on a floured surface. Sprinkle some cornmeal on your pizza stone or baking sheet and place the flattened dough on top.

6. Spread the caramelized onion and mushroom mixture onto the dough. Place the apple slices on top and bake for 20-25 minutes, until crust is golden brown.

Pizza Dough
(from Modern Classics I by Donna Hay, page 186)

1 teaspoon active dry yeast
Pinch sugar
2/3 cup (5 fl oz) warm water
2 cups plain (all-purpose) flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon olive oil

1. Place the yeast, sugar, and water in a bowl. Set aside until bubbles form.

2. Add the four, salt, and oil, and mix to form a smooth dough. Knead for 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic.

3. Place in a clean, oiled bowl, cover, and allow to stand in a warm place until it has doubled in (I made my dough right after I started my onions and let it rest until I was ready to put the pizza into the oven, about and hour and a half). Makes one pizza.

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This morning I pulled my bread machine off of the shelf, where it has been gathering dust since the last time I used it, which was … so long ago that I can’t even remember. Home made bread is so good and the bread machine is so low maintenance to use that it really makes no sense that I don’t make home baked loaves more often. I wanted to make a whole grain loaf today, however, I found that I was running low on the grains so instead I made a traditional farmhouse loaf – a nice, chewy type of white bread. As it was cooling on the wire rack around noon, I instantly wanted a slice for lunch. I was happily sauteing onions and mushrooms to pile on a slice of the bread when I looked at the pan and asked myself, “Where’s the protein?” That’s were the tofu came in. I usually prefer baked tofu on a sandwich but as I was already underway when I thought to add the ‘fu, I did a quick marinating session (about 15 minutes) and then cooked the tofu on the stove top (about 7-8 minutes per side over medium heat). I enjoyed my sandwich open-faced but Dan had his with the traditional two slices, both slices smeared with a touch of Earth Balance buttery spread. These sandwiches were exactly what I was after when I set out to whip up a rustic style lunch that utilized my home baked bread.

 

Rustic Mushroom and Tofu Sandwiches

1/2 block of firm tofu (slice into triangles and marinate in 3 parts teriyaki and 1 part maple syrup)
1/2 tbsp Earth Balance butter
1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 1/2 cups cremini mushrooms, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
Good quality bread, thickly sliced

    1. Heat the EB in a pan over medium-low heat and add the onions. Saute the onions for about 10-12 minutes, until they start to turn golden brown. Add the mushrooms and saute for another 10-15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

    2. Lightly spray a second pan with non-stick oil and cook up the marinated tofu (7-8 minutes per side, until browned).

    3. Pile a slice of bread with the onions and mushrooms, top with slices of tofu, serve as open-face or as a traditional sandwich. Enjoy!

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