Monday, March 26, 2012

Home Grown Shiitake and Nettle Pasta

  Hasn't the weather been incredible?!? I know it's scary from an environmental standpoint, but I am enjoying it anyway! This weekend while mowing - seriously - mowing in March - I came across the year's first patch of nettles. Young and green. Yum! We were already planning to have pasta with a mushroom sauce made with our home grown shiitakes (a gift project from Ansel), so nettles would go perfectly!

  Chris made the supper free style, so this is more an overview than a recipe. First he caramelized some onions in fake butter. Then he added garlic. Then sauteed about a dozen chopped shiitake heads. They produced quit a bit of liquid. When it reduced he added a splash of whipping cream and salt and pepper.

In another pan he sauteed the nettle (leaves only!) with garlic.

He also cooked up a big pot of fettuccine.

Combine everything, serve with a little vegan parmesan. Delicious!!!!!!!

It was so beautiful, we ate outside!

We ended the evening with an Equinox bonfire, Mad Farmer style.

  Happy Spring everyone!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Ostara Soufflé

  Happy Ostara!

Inspired by the book The Boy Who Ate Around, our Ostara supper was the Giant Cheese Soufflé from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone with a side of asparagus. It was a big hit, and all of the ingredients are available at Aldi.

  This grand looking soufflé is baked in a round casserole- 13 - 14  inches across and at least two inches high. I used a dutch oven and a soufflé dish. Serves 6 - 8 (My family ate a double recipe)

5 + Tbsp Butter
2 Tbsp parmesan
6 Tbsp flour
2 cups warm milk
6 egg yolks
1 3/4 cup grated cheddar
1 tsp paprika
10 egg whites

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter your large dish and dust the sides with parmesan.

Melt the butter in a saucepan, whisk in the flour, and cook over low heat for several minutes. Whisk in the milk all at once, lower the heat, and cook for one minute, stirring. Remove from heat and beat in the yolks two at a time. Stir in the cheese. Season with 3/4 tsp. salt and the paprika.

Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they hold firm peaks. Fold them into the yolk mixture, then pour into the casserole. Put in the center of the oven and lower the heat to 375. Bake until the soufflé has risen and is golden brown all over the top, about 30 minutes. A slight quivering in the middle and firmness around the edges mean that the center will be loose enough to provide a creamy sauce. If you prefer a firmer center, bake 5 minutes longer. In either case, serve as soon as it's ready.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Basic Green Soup

 This has become a new favorite at Many Hands House....

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 50 min
Total time: 1 hour
Yield: 8 servings

To make ahead: Prepare through Step 4 (omitting the lemon), cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Season with lemon just before serving.
This kale and spinach soup gets complex flavor from slowly cooked onions and lemon juice, while a sprinkle of rice gives it body and a velvety texture. Serve with a swirl of fruity, fragrant extra-virgin olive oil for richness.
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
  • 2 large yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 2 tablespoons plus 3 cups water, divided
  • 1/4 cup brown rice
  • 1 bunch kale (about 1 pound)
  • 14 cups gently packed spinach (about 12 ounces), any tough stems trimmed
  • 4 cups vegetable broth, store-bought or homemade
  • Big pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, or more to taste

1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add onions and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring frequently, until the onions begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add 2 tablespoons water and cover. Cook, stirring frequently until the pan cools down, and then occasionally, always covering the pan again, until the onions are greatly reduced and have a deep caramel color, 25 to 30 minutes. 
2. Meanwhile, combine the remaining 3 cups water and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a soup pot or Dutch oven; add rice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Trim the white ribs out of the chard (save for another use, such as to add to a stir-fry or other soup). Coarsely chop the kale and spinach. 

3. When the rice has cooked for 15 minutes, stir in the kale. Return to a simmer; cover and cook for 10 minutes. When the onions are caramelized, stir a little of the simmering liquid into them; add them to the rice along with the spinach, broth and cayenne. Return to a simmer, cover and cook, stirring once, until the spinach is tender but still bright green, about 5 minutes more.

4. Puree the soup in the pot with an immersion blender until perfectly smooth or in a regular blender in batches (return it to the pot). Stir in 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Taste and add more lemon juice, if desired. Garnish each bowl of soup with a drizzle of olive oil.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Broccoli and Gorgonzola Pie

 Tonight we made Broccoli and Gorgonzola Pie from our new cookbook "Plenty" by Yotam Ottolenghi.

Because I do not type, here is a picture of the recipe (or you can look here):

  The recipe was pretty involved, but turned out delicious. We made two versions. One with mozzarella and one with gorgonzola. If you make this, be sure you really love gorgonzola! You could substitute goat cheese, smoked cheddar, or Daiya as well.

Rolling puff pastry

Garbanzo beans in place of baker's beads


Because she wants to be in the blog EVERY POST!

We plan on cooking quite a few more of these recipes, and we'll let you know what we think. In the meantime, please follow my good friend and moral compass' blog The Year of Plenty.

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