Posts Tagged ‘mushroom’

Crab Chowder

This recipe is for my Hubby.  He loves crab and mushrooms.  He’s been bugging me to make him mushroom soup again.

I saw a big fat can of crab meat at Costco and instantly knew what I would make with it, and for whom.  It is our anniversary after all.

The best part about this recipe is that he loved it, I’m sure you will too.

Crab Chowder

Serves 4 lunch portions with bread and side salad

  • mirepoix (carrot, celery, spring onion)
  • garlic
  • 8 oz. ( big handful) cremini mushrooms
  • 1 jar (about 8 oz.) clam juice (or use vegetable stock)
  • bay leaf
  • fresh thyme leaves (3 – 4 springs)
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups lump crab meat
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • parsley (garnish)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Clean the crab meat of any trace pieces of shell, keep in the fridge until ready to serve.

Separate the white and light green part of the spring onion from the darker green tops.  Set aside the dark green tops chopped up.

Dice the mirepoix and garlic.  Clean the mushrooms with a damp towel, remove the woody end of the stalk, dice.

Heat a soup pot with a tablespoon each of olive oil and butter.  Sauté the mirepoix until soft.  Add the garlic and mushrooms,  let them brown slightly.  Add the bay leaf and thyme, salt and pepper.  Pour the clam juice in the pot and scrape up any brown bits.  Add another part water (1 cup) or more to cover the vegetables so they are submerged.  Bring to a simmer for about 10 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat to add the cream.  Start with 1/2 cup, you can add more if you like a richer chowder.  Make a slurry of cornstarch and water, add it with the cream.  Return to medium-low heat and stir.

When you are ready to eat, add the crab meat and spring onion tops to the pot and heat through, do not let the soup boil.  Taste for salt and pepper, add more if you wish.

Garnish each serving with chopped parsley.


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Steak Melts

While I was pregnant with Big Brother I craved Philly Cheese Steak sandwiches (and meat in general) from a little deli near my office.  Thursdays’ special is the Philly, most of the time I couldn’t wait for Thursday to roll around!  It’s easy to make a comparable sandwich at home and save yourself some dough.

At the deli, you choose your toppings for the steak.  There’s sweet peppers, hot peppers, mushrooms, and sauce.  My version includes mushrooms, roasted red bell pepper, sweet yellow onion, and roasted Poblano pepper.  Instead of the hoagie bun, I use a focaccia.

Once the steak, onion, and mushrooms are browned, I pile on the roasted pepper slices and cover with cheese.  The bread gets a smear of butter and it goes in the pan to toast as the cheese melts into the layers of sweet, spice and earthy goodness.

Assemble your steak melt and enjoy!

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A surprise breakfast platter, accompanied by a tall iced coffee.  I started out sautéing red onion and chopped cremini mushrooms.  Diced smoked turkey deli meat joined the soft veggies in the pan just moments before whisked eggs are poured in.  I slightly scramble the eggs for two reasons: even distribution of the other goodies, and better texture of the eggs.  Gruyère tops the scramelette and hugs the warm fluffy eggs as it melts.

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Guess you could call this a lazy frittata  It wasn’t finished in the oven under the broiler, I simply put a lid on the pan to melt the cheese and get the eggs to steam to well done (we are serving this to Little Sister after all).  I’m not a huge fan of mushrooms these days, although my mom would tell you otherwise about the younger version of me.  I would devour an entire brown bag before she could put away the groceries.  Mushrooms and canned green beans have fallen out of my go-to ingredient list.  If it weren’t for Hubby, they would both be banned from my kitchen.  But he likes that sort of thing.

For the eggs with ham, mushrooms and cheddar, you will need about an egg and a half per person, diced ham, diced mushrooms and sharp cheddar cheese.  I usually warm up the ham and mushrooms first.  Whisk the eggs in a bowl with a pinch of salt and pepper.  Pour the eggs over the ham and mushrooms, stirring gently, remove from heat.  Top with cheddar (slices or grated) and put a lid on it.  The residual heat should finish cooking the egg and melt the cheese.

This is a part of a wholesome breakfast any day of the week.

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Inspired by Mrs. WheelBarrow’s Mushroom Soup, a winning recipe on Food52.com!

Mushroom Soup

by MrsWheelbarrow, published on Food52.com

For this recipe, I’m simplified and reduced some of the ingredients. The less you have to buy especially for the soup, the better.  I’m not a huge mushroom fan, although if you rewind about 25 years you would have met a mushroom black hole.  As soon as those button mushrooms were home from IGA, the brown paper bag would be empty.  It was a phase.  Nowadays mushrooms are not something I pick up with a gallon of milk and dozen eggs – but hubby loves them.  So I’m working on using mushrooms a little more often than never to appeal to his palate. 

Here are the modified ingredients:

  • 8oz mushrooms, any kind you like to eat
  • 8oz cremini mushrooms
  • 1 good sized shallot
  • 1/2 tsp thyme, ground
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary, ground
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 (maybe 2 1/2) cups homemade stock
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp fresh chives

You will need two pots: a small one to warm the stock and a pot large enough to hold the soup once you bring it together.

Start warming the stock in the first pot.  Clean the mushrooms and remove the stems, chuck the stems into the stock pot as you go.  Dice the mushrooms into equal size pieces.  Mince the shallot fairly fine.

In the larger pot, assuming you are using two different sizes, normally home cooks have one good set of pots; each a larger or deeper size than the last, warm the butter and oil.  Add the shallots first for just a minute along with the thyme and rosemary, liberal pinch of sea salt and some finely ground fresh black pepper.  Next, toss the mushroom caps in with the shallots. 

As another blogger who recalled the line from Julie & Julia, “Don’t crowd the mushrooms in the pan!” or something close to that will probably say “eeeek!  That’s too many mushrooms”.  Well, if you’re going to freak out about this, then by all means use a larger sauté pan or brown half at a time.  In my kitchen, I don’t have the luxury of time for dinner.  There are two little hungry beaks looking for their next worm at all times.  Not to mention the mate snooping around the nest.  Do what you like, and get those mushrooms looking like this:

See all those golden brown bits of mushroom?  Exactly.  Now strain the stock which had the stems steeping while all this was going on.  The stems or stocks are woody as you will hear about over and again, this just means they are more fibrous and denser than the caps, which are more porous.  Pores, unlike the ones on my face now, are a good thing.  Why?  The pores can absorb liquid, and what would be better than a flavourful liquid like stock.   When those mushrooms are ready, slowly add some of the stock to deglaze the pan.  Use your wooden spoon to pick up any extra brown bits stuck to the pan, I should have warned you that the shallot will tend to stick before the mushrooms will.  I added a little more olive oil to keep everybody lubricated.

Pour the remaining stock into the mushrooms and shallots.  Bring this to a gentle simmer while you prepare the final two additions to this soup. 

The original recipe calls for the cream to be whipped and dollop into the serving bowls, then topped with chives.  To cut a corner here, I just poured the cream into the pot and stirred.  Make sure you don’t boil the cream, just incorporate it and kill the heat. 

Chives are sneaky.  I tried growing chives in the kitchen window.  Three, perhaps as many as five shoots appeared after taking care of the seeds for so long.  Then they all shriveled up.  Two years ago, in the front flower bed, I added chive seeds with the same intent of looking after them.  Then, Little Sister came along and I couldn’t bare the heat outside for more than a minute.  Amazingly enough, this spring brought life to those little chive seeds.  I was thrilled to have fresh chives, oh the possibilities!  One day I was making  something which I wanted some chives for – only to find the plants weed-whacked down to the ground.  MY CHIVES!!!  Can’t you just go buy some? That’s not the point I returned.  Lucky for us, they grew back twice as full as before and no one is going to weed-whack them.

Enjoy 🙂

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Stuffing a turkey or chicken with stuffing has never been my favorite holiday tradition.  I absolutely love stuffing, don’t get me wrong here.  I would rather leave the stuffing unstuffed.  Bake it as a casserole and be creative with additions.  Last year I threw together an unstuffed stuffing to serve with turkey.  Like all my best dishes, it was literally thrown together with things I had in the fridge at the time.  Little Sister was barely a month old, I hadn’t slept (obviously), and the house was beyond a mess.  I should have one of those ‘Lord Bless this Mess‘ signs in the foyer for such occasions.

This is what I can recall from the awesome unstuffed stuffing.

  • 2 cups cremini mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
  • 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved if large in size
  • 1 each, red and yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 6 cups of cubed bread (baguette, rye, pumpernickel, sourdough or whatever)
  • fresh sage, rosemary, coriander, salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 caramelized onion
  • About 1-2 cups homemade vegetable/chicken stock, enough to moisten the bread

Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF.

Grease the pan well because last time I made this stuffing it stuck to the pan, even though it was glass!

My suggestion is to sauté the mushrooms in olive oil with the garlic.  Toss everything but the stock into the greased casserole dish.  Pour over the stock, preferably warmed first, cover and bake for 30 minutes. 

After 30 minutes, check on it.  If you like it a bit wet add more stock.  If it’s too wet, leave the cover off and return to the oven to dry out and crisp up.  Whatever you do – don’t stir.

Enjoy this unstuffing with gravy, cranberry sauce, or naked.

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