Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Stuffed Mushrooms

The best kept secret since no-knead bread would be the fact that it is A-ok to wash mushrooms. Forget about brushing or wiping with damp paper towel to clean the mushrooms. Not only does it take longer but look closely and you will find dirt in the crevices. So take your simple button mushrooms give it a wash under cold water and let's get to stuffing them.

Stuffed mushrooms- the recipe is from epicurious.com. I tweaked just a wee bit.

18-20 mushrooms
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped shallots/ onions
3 garlic cloves
7-8 oz shrimp
2/3 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup Pecorino Romano
1/4 cup mayo
1/4 cup chopped basil
 pinch of pepper flakes

The hubby brought home fresh button mushrooms the other day and I had this 'urge' or dare I say 'need' to stuff them.

Being fresh the stems popped right out. I saved about half the stems to add to the stuffing mixture. If yours does not come right out run a knife along the edge of the stems to get it to come out.

Grate yourself some fresh Pecorino Romano or Permigiano Reggiano. Believe you me, fresh cheese does make a world of difference.

Gather minced shallots, garlic and fresh basil leaves. I picked mine from the herb garden in my patio which is growing beautifully. p.s. expect fresh basil in many more of my summer recipes.

Saute shallots, garlic for a minute or so in olive oil and add the chopped up stems from half the mushrooms.

Cool the mixture and add the rest of the ingredients. Stuff the mushroom really well and quite high and bake on a well oiled baking sheet for 35 minutes at 350 F.Serve warm with julienned basil on top.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Braised Greens for a Meatless Monday

First year of Dental school being done. I'm back to my kitchen again. :)

Not that I wasn't in the kitchen last year, mind you, just not enough to blog about it. But now I'm utterly, completely enjoying the two months I have off before heading back to Philadelphia and back to Dentistry.

Before this vacation's over I promise to post a bunch of new dishes that I've been dying to photograph. Let's start with the simplest one first. Braised mustard greens.

I hate when my green don't retain that deep, bright green hue after being cooked. So I blanch it first and then braise it. You don't have to stick to mustard greens as collards or broccoli rabes taste equally good.

Braised Mustard Greens
1 lb of mustard greens
3 cloves of garlic (minced)
1-2 dry red chilies
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Good to know -- A pound might seem like a lot but once cooked you will end up with less than a third of what you started with.

First blanch the greens in a large pot of boiling water that has been salted. To know if you've salted water perfectly, taste it before adding veggies. It should taste like sea water. Be careful to blanch only for a minute or two and then drain the greens in a colander.

Now that you've taken the greens out you can use the same pot for the next steps. On medium heat, saute minced garlic and chilies in olive oil for less than a minute, making sure the garlic doesn't burn. You can choose to take the seeds out of the chilies if you do not like your food spicy, but I usually leave it in.

Add in greens, stir to coat with the lovely oil, garlic, chili concoction. Salt to taste, about 1/4 teaspoon is how I like it. And after a minute add 1/3 cup of water, cook until tender and water has mostly evaporated, approximately 5 minutes.