January 28, 2011
January 25, 2011
I can't believe I haven't posted this recipe! I thought it was on here, but alas, I was very much mistaken. For too long I depended on the back of the can of TJ's fried onion pieces, then they changed the recipe to incorporate a new TJ product, and I was SOL. So here I am, finally getting my act together to post one of my favorite, go-to recipes. Each time I make it gets better and better. I recently figured out adding cheese takes this green bean casserole to the next level - imagine melty cheese with crispy fried onion. It may invoke a memory, such as eating cheeseburgers and onion rings with a root beer at the Madison Bear Garden in Chico.
½ C butter or olive oil, more for pan
1 large onion, chopped
1 or 2 lbs mushrooms, stemmed and quartered
4 t coarse salt
1 t pepper
24 oz bag TJ’s frozen French green beans
½ C flour
2 c milk or almond breeze
1 C shredded cheese (I prefer cheddar)
1 can of TJ’s Gourmet Fried Onion pieces
How it's made
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In your largest skillet over medium heat, melt a pat of butter. Add onion and sauté until it softens and caremelizes. Add mushrooms and cook until softened. Season with 2 t salt and ½ t pepper and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, bring a pot with 1-2” of water on the bottom to boil, and place a steamer basket inside. When boiling, add frozen green beans, and steam until cooked, about 7-9 minutes.
Melt ½ C butter in a medium saucepan over medium low heat. Add flour, whisking constantly until mixture begins to turn golden, about two minutes. Pour in milk and continue whisking until mixture has thickened, about three minutes. Stir in remaining salt and pepper. Remove from heat and pour over beans and toss to combine with onion/mushroom mixture.
Butter a 9x13 pan and add spread out casserole mixture. Sprinkle cheese on top.
Bake casserole, covered, until mixture is bubbly and heated through – 10 minutes. Uncover and cook 2 minutes more. Sprinkle Trader Joe’s onion pieces over top and cook for 1-2 minutes more, but keep a close eye because they brown rapidly. Allow to cool then serve.
January 15, 2011
Chocolate...Cake...Stout... It's the best of so many worlds! I am constantly looking for cake recipes that are simple, but have the wow factor (in this case the chocolate and stout combination). Something easy to bake, and delicious for a special event like a birthday. I cut this recipe out of Real Simple magazine's holiday edition, 2010. Today I had the excuse of Lauren's birthday to bake it. Perfect to bring to The Mallard for everyone to have paired with their beverage of choice for the evening. Everyone loved the cake, it was a huge hit. Oh, and it was DELICIOUS!!!!!!
January 1, 2011
And you can tell from looking at the copy I inherited it that it has been lovingly used for the past 35 years. The title page contains page numbers of favorite recipes, there are notes in the margins and--the best indication of a cookbook's worth--stained pages from years of use. If those stains are any indication, the soup section of Katzen's book is the best. In my mother's house at least, they were the most often used. I grew up eating lentil soup and Hungarian mushroom soup. I would ask for the white bean and black olive soup as my special birthday meal.
The Moosewood mushroom barley soup is as simple as it is delicious. It is very savory and it lets the flavor of the mushrooms really come through. Barley is an under-utilized grain. It is inexpensive to buy in bulk, it cooks easily like rice, and adds a distinct flavor and depth.
For how delicious this soup is, the recipe is surprisingly easy and not at all labor intensive. It does take around an hour to cook, but most of the time it is simmering and does not require you to slave over it. The ingredient list is shorter than many (less flavorful) soups and therefore prep-time is minimal.
We had this soup on a cold mid-winter night with a glass of red wine (thank you, Libby!) and hunks of crusty La Brea sourdough bread. It was, in Starbucks speak, "a perfect pairing," and one I would highly recommend. I have a feeling my future kids will be as familiar with the Moosewood Cookbook as I was.
- 1/2 cup raw pearled barley
- 6 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken stock, vegetable stock (or water)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 or 4 tablespoons tamari (a type of soy sauce)
- 3 or 4 tablespoons dry sherry
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- 1 heaping cup chopped onion
- 1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- In a soup pot, bring 1 1/2 cups of stock to a boil. Stir in barley, cover with a lid and reduce heat to low. Simmer until barley is tender, about 35 minutes. (Note: If you soak the barley over night in a cup of water or stock, you can reduce cooking time to around 15 minutes.)
- Add the remaining stock, tamari and sherry.
- Saute the onions and garlic in butter over medium heat. When they soften, add mushrooms and 1/2 teaspoon salt. When all is tender, add to the barley--making sure to include all of the liquid in the pan.
- Generously sprinkle with black pepper and simmer for 20 minutes, covered, over the lowest possible heat. Taste to adjust seasonings. Serve hot.