Sunday, June 29, 2014

Pasta with Mushrooms and Artichokes

The night before Thanksgiving I knew I had to make a pasta dish for carbo loading purposes. While we weren't with the whole family at the Cincinnati Thanksgiving 10k, we did run the 5k in Boise (plus I added another 3.1 around the block to get the true T-day 10k feeling). It was my first time pushing Violet in the jogging stroller during a race and we had so much fun together. The Boise race was dog friendly so she was entertained as we ran past them and they ran past us.

While I'm a marinara lover through and through, I didn't want something so acidic before the race. I found this pasta dish from Giada DeLaurentiis that included mushrooms, artichokes AND marsala, three of my absolute favorites. The only changes I made were reducing the cream/using half and half and I used marinated grilled artichokes for a bit more flavor in the sauce. If you haven't tried these artichokes, I highly recommend you do, they were amazing!

Pasta with Mushrooms and Artichokes
slightly adapted from Giada DeLaurentiis

3 tbsp.. olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 lb. mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
Kosher salt
1 c. dry Marsala wine
1 lb. short cut pasta
1 jar of grilled artichokes in marinade
3/4 c. grated parmesan
1/2 c. half and half
chopped flat leaf parsley
1 tsp. fresh black pepper
Crushed red pepper flakes, if desired

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add salt and drop in pasta, cook to al dente, drain and set aside.
Heat olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat.
Add onion and cook for a minute, add mushrooms and saute' until water has evaporated and mushrooms have cooked down, about 10 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper, add Marsala and continue cooking until half the wine has evaporated.
Add pasta, artichokes, half of the parmesan and half and half to the skillet, toss with the mushrooms to mix and heat through.
Top with remaining parmesan, parsley and crushed red pepper flakes.

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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Mushroom Stout Pie with Potato Biscuits

We've had a few dreary, rainy days this week in Boise so I jumped at what is probably my last chance to make a warm and hearty stew before summer really sets in. I have truly embraced the potato while living out here, so potato biscuits were right up my alley. The filling was hearty and filling but very healthy. The recipe is written for either kidney beans or tofu, so I decided on kidney beans as I always have them in the pantry but rarely find much use for them outside of Minestrone and Veggie Burgers.

Mushroom Stout Pie with Sweet Potato Biscuits
adapted from  Post Punk Kitchen 

3 c. vegetable stock
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
8 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp. dried rosemary
2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 lb carrots, peeled and sliced
10 oz. stout beer 
2 tbsp. tomato paste
Fresh black pepper
1/2 c. AP flour
3 c cooked kidney beans

for the biscuits
1 1/2 c. AP flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 c. mashed sweet potato (baked off the previous night, fork mashed)
3 tbsp. olive oil
3/4 c. nonfat buttermilk

Preheat a Dutch oven over medium heat, saute' onions in olive oil until translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add a pinch of salt and garlic, cook for one minute and stir to ensure garlic doesn't burn.
Add mushrooms, celery, thyme, rosemary and saute' for an additional 5-7 minutes, until mushrooms begin to brown and release liquid.
Add carrots, stout, tomato paste, pepper and salt, bring to a simmer and reduce liquid by half, add vegetable stock and cover. Simmer for five minutes.
Mix flour into one cup of cold water with a fork, be sure there are no lumps. Slowly add to pot, whisking with a fork. Add the kidney beans and stir well, turn heat off and keep covered. 
Preheat oven to 425*
Make biscuits - sift flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. 
In another bowl, use a fork to mix potatoes, olive oil and buttermilk. 
Make a well in the flour bowl and add potato mixture, mix gently with a fork until dough forms, knead a few times but be careful to not overmix. 
Drop heaping spoonfulls of dough onto stew around the pot.
Bake for 25 minutes, until biscuits are puffy and stew is bubbly.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Vegetarian Buffalo "Chicken" and Spiced Brown Sugar Waffles

Well I can't believe it's been 4 months since I blogged last! Where has the time gone? Due to a new job, no daylight for photographing food, writing two novels, editing said novels and just overall being burnt out, this blog obviously took a hiatus. Oh, and Trader Joe's opened so I fell victim to the ease of delicious prepared food. However, I am taking a break from their Spelt Risotto and Sweet Potato Gnocci to start cooking a bit more from scratch. If you're still with me, thank you :) I appreciate your readership!

I probably first heard of chicken and waffles when I moved to North Carolina for college, and it seemed so weird to me. We rarely had fried chicken growing up, and our waffles were always at breakfast smothered in syrup and fruit. However, I saw them recently in a magazine and decided the sweet and savory combo sounded fantastic. I try to limit our fake meat consumption to once a week, and Trader Joe's chickenless fingers are my husbands favorite fake meat. We love any and all Buffalo chicken combinations, so I figured using a sweeter waffle then dousing these with buffalo sauce would taste great.

I used this recipe for Spiced Brown Sugar Waffles from Williams-Sonoma for the waffle portion of this meal as it turned up in a search for sweeter waffles. These waffles were delicious, just sweet enough with a hint of spice. They take a few extra steps, but it's worth it for a crisp outside and fluffy inside. If you decide to go with a traditional waffle, you may want to drizzle some maple syrup along with buffalo sauce, or skip the buffalo sauce all together (but....don't). My husband liked to make his waffle and chicken into a sort of taco, but these were delicious any way you make them. I served these with a bacon-less wedge salad on the side.

Vegetarian Buffalo "Chicken" and Spiced Brown Sugar Waffles

1 package chickenless chicken nuggets or tenders
1/2 c. buffalo sauce
4 waffles, recipe below

3 eggs, separated
1 3/4 c. buttermilk
1 stick butter, melted (or canola oil, I used 50/50)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 c. unbleached all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 c. firmly packed brown sugar

Cook chickenless tenders according to package directions. 
While chicken cooks, prepare waffles.
Preheat waffle iron to medium-high heat.
Whisk together egg yolks, buttermilk, butter and vanilla.
Sift flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and sugar together, stir into wet mixture .
In another bowl, beat egg whites until peaks form, fold into other mixture until just incorporated.
Grease waffle iron, spoon batter onto iron (about 1/3-1/2 c. depending on iron) and cook until golden, about 5-6 minutes.
Keep warm on a plate covered with foil until serving. 
Serve with chickenless tenders, a drizzle of buffalo sauce and maple syrup, if desired.