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Mushroom Stroganoff

If you are a lover of mushrooms then Mushroom Stroganoff is a great recipe for you. I think it works best with mixed mushrooms; whatever happens to be in season. A splash of brandy adds real depth of flavour. Smoked paprika gives a wonderful smokey intensity.

This makes a fine dinner party or special occasion dish. I like to serve it with French Pilau Rice, Petits Pois Frais à la Française and Courgettes and Tomato.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 500g mixed mushrooms (such as chestnut, portobello, button, oyster, shitake, chanterelles
  • 15g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 25g butter
  • splash of olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • pinch of thyme
  • pinch of caraway seeds
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp brandy
  • 2 tbsp dry sheer or dry white wine
  • 100ml vegetable or mushroom stock
  • 100ml cream
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley

Method:

  1. Soak the dried porcini mushrooms in hot water until soft. squeeze out excess water, and retain the soaking liquid. Roughly chop.
  2. Chop the onion, finely chop the garlic.
  3. Wipe the mushrooms and cut into 1/2cm slices.
  4. Heat the butter in a large frying pan with a splash of olive oil.
  5. Fry the onions gently for about 5 minutes until soft.
  6. Add the garlic, sliced mushrooms, chopped porcini, thyme and caraway seeds. Turn the head up
  7. slightly and fry the for a further 5 minutes or so until the mushrooms start to brown.
  8. Add the smoked paprika and fry for a further 30 seconds.
  9. Add the brandy and sherry and flame to burn off the alcohol.
  10. Add the cream, stock and porcini soaking liquid, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes until the sauce has thickened.
  11. Serve scattered with freshly chopped parsley and a really good grind of black pepper.
  12. Mushroom Stroganoff

Mushroom Stroganoff

If you are a lover of mushrooms then Mushroom Stroganoff is a great recipe for you. I think it works best with mixed mushrooms; whatever happens to be in season. A splash of brandy adds real depth of flavour. Smoked paprika gives a wonderful smokey intensity.

This makes a fine dinner party or special occasion dish. I like to serve it with French Pilau Rice, Petits Pois Frais à la Française and Courgettes and Tomato.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 500g mixed mushrooms (such as chestnut, portobello, button, oyster, shitake, chanterelles
  • 15g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 25g butter
  • splash of olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • pinch of thyme
  • pinch of caraway seeds
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp brandy
  • 2 tbsp dry sheer or dry white wine
  • 100ml vegetable or mushroom stock
  • 100ml cream
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley

Method:

  1. Soak the dried porcini mushrooms in hot water until soft. squeeze out excess water, and retain the soaking liquid. Roughly chop.
  2. Chop the onion, finely chop the garlic.
  3. Wipe the mushrooms and cut into 1/2cm slices.
  4. Heat the butter in a large frying pan with a splash of olive oil.
  5. Fry the onions gently for about 5 minutes until soft.
  6. Add the garlic, sliced mushrooms, chopped porcini, thyme and caraway seeds. Turn the head up
  7. slightly and fry the for a further 5 minutes or so until the mushrooms start to brown.
  8. Add the smoked paprika and fry for a further 30 seconds.
  9. Add the brandy and sherry and flame to burn off the alcohol.
  10. Add the cream, stock and porcini soaking liquid, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes until the sauce has thickened.
  11. Serve scattered with freshly chopped parsley and a really good grind of black pepper.
  12. Mushroom Stroganoff

Arancini di Riso

Arancini di Riso are actually Sicilian in origin: stuffed saffron rice balls, usually filled with meat, mozzarella and peas. As my daughter is a great mushroom lover, I decided to create my own version in her honour. And in all modesty I am mighty pleased with the result.

The name means ‘little oranges’ in Italian, and refers to their shape and colour after cooking. They are quite exacting and time-consuming to make, but the result is heavenly.

Serves 4
Time: 120 minutes
Difficulty: ****
Origin: Italy
Good with: piquant tomato sauce.

Arancini di Riso

My daughter recently returned from holiday in Milan, raving about the Arancini di Riso.

Arancini di Riso are actually Sicilian in origin: stuffed saffron rice balls, usually filled with meat, mozzarella and peas. As my daughter is a great mushroom lover, I decided to create my own version in her honour. And in all modesty I am mighty pleased with the result.

The name means ‘little oranges’ in Italian, and refers to their shape and colour after cooking. They are quite exacting and time-consuming to make, but the result is heavenly.

I like to serve them with a piquant tomato sauce.

Ingredients (makes 8 arancini di riso):

15g butter

45ml olive oil
1 onion, chopped
250g risotto rice
1 pinch of saffron
100ml Pinot Grigio (or other Italian dry white wine)
1l vegetable stock
35g parmesan cheese
1 tsp lemon juice
25g carrot, finely chopped
25g celery, finely chopped
150g mixed mushrooms
10g dried porcini mushrooms
15g parsley
50g frozen pea
400g tinned tomatoes
75g buffalo mozzarella
25g plain flour
2 eggs
50g breadcrumbs
sunflower oil fro frying

Method:

  • Melt the butter in a frying pan and add the 15ml of oil. Add half the chopped onion and sweat for 5 minutes or so until the onion is soft but not browned.
  • Increase the heat to medium and add the rice. Sauté for about 5 minutes stirring constantly. Add the saffron and stir again.
  • Add the wine and stir occasionally until it is absorbed.
  • Add the stock, a ladle at a time and stir it into the rice. Allow it to become absorbed before adding the next ladle. The rice is cooked when it is slightly al dente, but NOT chalky. This will probably take about 30 minutes, and might not require all the stock.
  • Stir in the parmesan cheese and lemon juice and allow the rice to cool.
  • While the rice is cooling, soak the porcini in a little hot water. Chop the mixed mushrooms small (duxelles sized), place in the centre of a clean tea towel, gather the corners of the tea towel together, and twist to expel as much liquid from the mushrooms as possible, collecting the liquid in a bowl.
  • Heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan, and add the onion, celery and carrot and sauté gently for about 5 minutes. Scrape the mushrooms from the tea towel into the frying pan. Increase the heat, and sauté for a further 10 minutes or so until the mushrooms start to brown.
  • Drain and chop the porcini, reserving the soaking liquid. Add to the frying pan along with the soaking liquid, and add the liquid squeezed out of the mushrooms.
  • Now add the tomatoes (chop them small if they are whole), peas and half the parsley. Adjust the seasoning, and simmer for about 15 minutes, adding any remaining vegetable stock or water as necessary to prevent the mixture from becoming too dry.
  • Add the remaining parsley and allow to cool.
  • To assemble the arancini, divide the rice into 8 equal portions and shape into balls . Divide the mushroom mixture into 8 equal portions.
  • Take a rice ball and make a hollow in the centre with your index finger. Fill the hollow with the mushroom mixture, and add about 1/8 of the mozzarella. Seal the rice around the mushroom mixture.
  • Dust the ball with flour, and make the remaining 7 arancini the same way.
  • Beat the eggs and add to a bowl. Add the breadcrumbs to a separate bowl. Dip each arancini in beaten egg and roll in breadcrumbs.
  • Heat a generous quantity of sunflower oil in a deep pan. Deep fry the arancini, a few at a time until golden (about minutes). Drain any surplus oil on kitchen paper.

 

Black and White Soup

I really enjoy a bowl  of soup, especially in winter. But sometimes, no matter how delicious, it is not quite substantial enough. Take this recipe for Black and White Soup. The ‘black & white’ refers to the beans used to prepare it. It is actually two soups, added carefully to the serving bowl (either individually of a tureen) to form two separate puddles.

To make it more substantial, I serve it with a tortilla filled with shredded salad vegetables, grated cheese and sour cream.

Or you could serve Black and White Soup as an elegant starter, in which case omit the tortilla.

Serves 2
Time: 60 minutes
Difficulty: ****
Origin: International/Mexico
Good with: Salad Tortilla

Falafel Kebab

I love Middle Eastern food. So I present you my menu for Falafel Kebab: fried falafels, wrapped in a roti (or tortilla) with shredded lettuce, grated carrot, sliced red pepper, sliced red onion, sliced tomato, and griddled. The kebab is served with warm Tabbouleh (a sort of couscous salad), HummusGarlic Yogurt Sauce, with Harissa to spice things up.

Serves 2
Time: 30 minutes
Difficulty: ***
Origin: Middle East
Good with: Tabbouleh, Hummus, Garlic Yogurt Sauce.

Corn Chowder

Again, Corn Chowder is a recipe where humble ingredients combine wonderfully, lifted by fresh dill and  chipotle chilli powder. It is quick and easy to prepare, and while this soup is not the healthiest, it is and hearty and comforting.  You could also add about 100g of diced smoked salmon if you wished. Serve with good bread to mop up the soup.

Serves 2
Time: 45 minutes
Difficulty: **
Origin: USA
Good with: fresh bread