Monday, November 12, 2012

Childhood Food Memories

I grew up as a vegetarian all the way till about age 12 or so. Being a vegetarian used to be difficult, to find dishes when you went out that didn't have some sort of meat we ate at home most of the time. I remember lots of good foods coming out of our kitchen, but there are a few that really stuck with me and a rice casserole dish is one of them. It's not the greatest looking for food pictures but it tastes SO good...and that's all that really matters right? I've changed this recipe a tad from when my mama made it. She used cauliflower, but I had broccoflower in my fridge and I believe she used cheddar cheese where I used smoked gouda.

Pot with lid
Saute Pan
Cutting board
Casserole (or baking dish)


Rice (I like Basmati)
Olive Oil
Unsalted Butter
Head of Broccoflower, broken down and chopped
Medium Onion, chopped
3 Cloves Garlic, rough chop
lb (or so) of Mushrooms (Cremini or Button are best), sliced
Fresh Lemon Juice
Salt and Pepper
Gouda Cheese
Dried Oregano

Cook your rice according to the directions. *Make sure you rinse the rice first, it will remove some of the starch and prevent sticky rice. Since you aren't making sushi, sticky rice is not wanted here.

In medium saute pan melt butter and olive oil together. Add sliced mushrooms and a pinch of salt, when mushrooms are halfway cooked add your garlic and a squeeze of lemon juice. Remove mixture to a bowl and set aside.

In the same pan you cooked the mushrooms in, add some butter and toss in your broccoflower with some salt, pepper and dried oregano. You can add a little chile powder if you want a little kick to the dish as well. Cook until just about tender. Remove to bowl with mushrooms.

Mix the rice, veggies and cheese together and spread in a casserole or baking dish. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes or so, until the cheese is melted and everything is warmed through and the flavors are mingling.


Friday, November 9, 2012

Chantarelles Are Here!

A friend of mine who goes mushroom picking, dropped by my work the other day and delivered a little bundle of gold...freshly picked Chanterelle Mushrooms! This is going to be one of those recipes that I didn't measure a thing and just tossed things together until it smelled to my liking. I will try my best to lay out some sort of measurement guidelines to follow though.

Pan with a lid
Cutting board

Chicken Thighs (6 boneless skinless)
Olive Oil
Butter (unsalted is best) about 1.5Tbl.
Shallot, roughly chopped
White Wine 3/4-1C
Chicken Broth 1.5C
Flour 2Tbl
Salt and Pepper

Clean off any excess fat on your chicken, pat dry, salt and pepper and set aside.

Heat oil and butter together over medium heat in your pan. Add the chicken and cook about 2-3 minutes on each side. Sprinkle shallots on chicken and poor wine around the chicken. Cover and cook (undisturbed) for 20 minutes.

When chicken is cooked remove from pan and tent with foil to keep it warm.

Whisk flour into chicken broth before you add it to the pan (it will help prevent lumps). Whisk your broth/flour mixture into the wine/butter that's already in the pan. Bring the liquid to a simmer, then lower the heat, add your chopped mushrooms and cook (covered) just until mushrooms are done...overcooked mushrooms are like chewing on rubber. Return your chicken thighs to the pan just to ensure that they are warm all the way through.

Serve Chicken thighs with your sauce poured over top.


Monday, November 5, 2012

Caramel Apple Butter

I'm not real big on pancakes, but when I do eat them I love them slathered in homemade apple butter. I recently got a new cook book called "Edible DIY" and was thrilled to see a recipe for Caramel Apple Butter. This recipe is started in a stock pot, but finished off in a crock pot. To have this wonderful treat stashed in your pantry for up to a year, I suggest following the canning process.

Stock Pot
Immersion Blender

6lbs Apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1" thick chunks
2/3 C. Apple cider, juice or water.
2 C. Brown Sugar
2 tsp. Cinnamon

In a large stop pot cook your apples and water/juice until boiling, turn down heat and simmer for 35-45 minutes (until apples can be mushed with a spoon. Use the immersion blender to blend everything into a smooth consistency.

Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon into the apple pure' and transfer to your crockpot. Cook on low for 8 hours, until the mixture has thickened up.

Transfer canning jars (size is your choice) and boil for 10 minutes, with canning equipment. Remove jars and let cool completely before storing.

This will last (canned) in a cool, dark place for a year. Open in the fridge for about 2 months.