Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Delicious made with creminis, also known as baby portobellos.

Cream of Mushroom Soup
Serves 4

5 cups sliced fresh mushrooms or about 1 pound
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots or about 1 very large
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme or 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth or a 14-ounce can
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup half-and-half
1 tablespoon sherry

1. In a 4-quart heavy saucepan, cook mushrooms, shallots and thyme in chicken or vegetable broth.

2. Using an immersible blender, regular blender, or food processor, purée the mixture, leaving some chunks in it. Set aside.

3. In the saucepan, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour until smooth.

4. Add salt, pepper, half-and-half, and mushroom purée.

5. Stirring constantly, bring soup to a boil and cook until thickened.

6. Add sherry and then adjust seasoning to taste.

NOTE: If using an immersible blender, then leave mushroom purée in pan and do Step 3 in a different, smaller pan. Then do Step 4 without adding mushroom purée. Then add white sauce to mushroom purée and continue with recipe.

Creminis, also known as baby portobellos, are delicious in this soup.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Indian Style Chicken and Lentils

My assignment for the Secret Recipe Club this month was:

Danielle has lots of delicious recipes, but I was craving something quick and filling.  Her Indian Style Chicken and Lentils fit the bill!  It ended up taking longer because of my darn lentils, but it was still delicious

Here's the recipe.

Indian Style Chicken and Lentils
recipe adapted from Mostly Food & Crafts

8 chicken thighs
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
3 garlic cloves
minced 1 jalapeno, de-seeded and chopped
2 teaspoons garam masala
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 1/2 cups lentils
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into chunks
2 cups chicken broth

Season chicken with salt and pepper. In Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat and brown chicken, 4 to 5 minutes per side.  Remove and set aside.

Chop together onions, garlic and jalapeno and set aside.

Heat remaining oil in pan; saute salt, garam masala and cumin, about 1 minute.  Stir in onion mixture and cook, stirring, until browned, about 6 minutes. Add the lentils and carrots, stirring to coat. Stir in chicken broth and 1 cup of water.  Add chicken back to pot and bring to a boil.

At this point Danielle says to reduce heat to medium; cook, stirring occasionally, until lentils are tender, about 25 minutes.  I guess my lentils (that I just bought at the store the other day) were older or something, because they took forever to cook.  after about an hour I finally just served up dinner with somewhat crunchy lentils because we couldn't wait any longer!  Such is life.  Just cook until lentils are done I suppose!

Secret Recipe Club

Friday, January 11, 2013

Pecan Shortbread

Recently received 20 pounds of unshelled pecans. This was my first use of them after shelling enough only for this recipe. Delicious and easy—if you don't count the effort to shell the pecans!

Makes 6 dozen

1 pound unsalted butter at room temperature

1 1/3 granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/ 2 teaspoon almond extract, optional

4 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups finely chopped pecans

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter.

2. Slowly add sugar while mixing at low speed just until combined.

3. Add the salt, vanilla extract, and, if desired, almond extract.

4. Slowly add flour while mixing at low speed.

5. Add pecans and mix until the dough comes together.

6. Shape dough into three logs and wrap in plastic wrap. Or, shape into two flat disks and wrap in plastic. Chill for at least 30 minutes.

7. If using rolls of dough, unwrap and make ½-inch slices. If using disks, unwrap and roll ½-inch thick. Cut into 2 ½-inch squares using a plain or fluted cutter or cut into any shape you like. Place cookies on ungreased baking sheet.

8. Bake in 350°F oven for about 20 minutes or until the edges begin to brown.

9. Cool to room temperature before serving. Store airtight.

NOTE: Can try 1/3 brown sugar and 1 cup granulated sugar instead of all granulated sugar. Modification of a Barefoot Contessa recipe.
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