Archive for the ‘mushrooms’ Category

Monday, December 5th, 2011

Vegetable Terrine with Goat Cheese Inlay and the Final Challenge

Here it is. My last Charcutepalooza post. The challenge for this, the final month in our year of challenges? Show off a little. Basically, have a party, invite a bunch of friends and feed them until they are ready to burst.

Of course there were a few more guidelines than “just feed people”. A list of items (using at least four) that our meal needed to include: something smoked, cured or brined, something made with pork belly, a pate or terrine,  rillettes or confit and sausage of some kind.

I pulled out all of my trusty charcuterie books. For days I pored over them, considering my menu. A few items easily made the list (my buffalo chicken rillettes and pork belly confit) but some needed more consideration.

Finally, after days of adding something to my list only to replace it with something else two hours later, I settled on the following menu:

To start:
• Scotch Eggs
• Baguettes topped with Bacon Jam and Tomato Confit
• Buffalo Chicken Rillettes
• Baguettes topped with Goat Cheese and Lonzino

• Vegetable Terrine with Goat Cheese Inlay (based loosely on the version found in Charcuterie, recipe follows)
• Brined Pork Loin with Cured Lemons (from Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home)
• Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Maple Syrup and Pecans
• Jim Drohman’s Pork Belly Confit with tender and bitter greens, mustard vinaigrette and sous vide eggs (pork belly recipe from Charcuterie)
• Polenta with Parmesan

And of course there was dessert (I served a nut tart I picked up at Will Bake for Food) and many plentiful cocktails (including a take on a lemon drop that included lavender and rosemary)

Ninety percent of my friends (and my husband) work at a the corporate office of a major corporation that does not allow anyone to take the day after Thanksgiving off work. So, that is the day I settled on for my gathering. Guests started arriving as they got off work and I started feeding them right away. And then I kept feeding them for the next four hours.

It was a glorious night of gluttony. Think about it, how often do you get to eat pork that has been prepared six different ways. The pork belly confit, which was cooked with cinnamon, cloves and allspice than deep fried was my favorite dish of the night, though the still-pink and meltingly tender pork loin was a close second. But then again, those brussels sprouts were pretty good too. Oh, and the veggie terrine…

I’m sad that my year of Charcutepalooza challenges has come to a close though I’m grateful for the new skills I’ve gained and the community of meat-enthusiasts that I have found. I plan to continue my learning and experimentation. Making my own bacon, grinding and stuffing my own sausage, whipping up a rillettes, just because. And now that I’ve got my curing chamber up and running, cured muscles and sausages are again within my grasp.

Vegetable Terrine with Goat Cheese Inlay
Recipe type: Appetizer
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
This vegetable terrine was a welcome addition to a very meat-centric meal. Add or subtract other vegetables as you see fit, just be sure to think about color transitions as you layer them in you terrine. Make sure to season each vegetable as you prepare it.
  • 1 eggplant
  • 2 zucchini
  • 2 yellow squash
  • 4 red pepper
  • 2 portobello mushrooms
  • 1 handful green beans
Goat Cheese Inlay
  • 3 roma tomatoes
  • 6 ounce Goat cheese, softened
  • 2 Tablespoon fresh soft herbs (parsley, basil, etc)
  • salt and pepper
Gelatin Vinaigrette
  • 2 teaspoon powdered gelatin
  • 3 Tablespoon Water
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 Clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup sherry vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Slice the tomatoes into ¼ inch slices. Shake of as much liquid as you can. Spread the slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Place in oven for 2-3 hours or until the tomatoes are dehydrated. Once cool, cut into ¼ inch pieces. (This step can be done 1-2 days in advance)
  2. Heat the grill or preheat the broiler.
  3. Slice the eggplant, zucchini and squash into ⅛ inch slices. Toss the slices with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and grill or broil, turning once until tender. Set aside to cool. Repeat the process with the mushrooms and green beans. Roast, peel and deseed the red peppers, leaving the pepper pieces as large as possible.
  4. Stir together the diced tomatoes, herbs and goat cheese. Season with salt and pepper then spoon the goat cheese onto a piece of plastic wrap and use it to form the goat cheese into a log shape the same length as the mold you plan to use.
  5. Heat the water in a small saucepan. Sprinkle the gelatin over it and allow it to bloom. Heat the bloomed gelatin over low heat until dissolved. Meanwhile, whisk together the remaining vinaigrette ingredients. Add the bloomed gelatin to the vinaigrette and set aside in a warm place.
  6. Line a terrine mold with plastic wrap leaving enough overhang on the two long sides to cover the terrine. Lay the eggplant slices over in the mold so that the ends hang over the sides. Brush them with the gelatin vinaigrette. Repeat the process with the zucchini. In the bottom of the terrine add a layer of green beans, followed by mushrooms, and red pepper, brushing each layer with vinaigrette. Spoon the goat cheese in a line down the middle of the terrine. Layer green beans and squash along the sides of the goat cheese. Add a layer of red pepper. Fold the zucchini flaps over, brush with vinaigrette and then finally fold over the eggplant flaps, brush with any remaining vinaigrette. Fold the plastic wrap over and refrigerate overnight.
  7. Remove the terrine from the refrigerator. Open the top flaps of plastic and turn the terrine onto a cutting board. Remove plastic and cut into ¾ inch slices.


Thursday, July 8th, 2010

Frisee (and more) Salad

So for days, months even, people in Seattle have been whining about the weather. Granted, June was wetter and colder than normal but we did have a few sunny days in there (heck, we even had some gorgeous weather in April and May that everyone seems to have forgotten about). The thing is, the husband and I used to live in Phoenix. We’ve done the heat. We are over the heat. I mean, I like a sunny day and all, but does it really need to be 90 degrees.

Now I feel I need to take a break in my weather rant here to say this: I did not once complain about the weather during the so-called “sucky” weather. That is why I feel that I can complain about the heat. Those of you who complained about the rain can just shut it now. You asked for this weather, you don’t get to complain about it now that you got what you wanted. Okay, side-rant over.

So, now it’s 90 degrees, and I am miserable (and cranky). But, I still need to eat. Which means, I still need to cook. I had already started thinking about making this salad before the weather turned (I knew on Friday what I would be receiving in the box this week) so even though it was a cool salad on a hot day, it did require a bit of cooking (but it was totally worth the sweat).

Here’s the ingredients:

I started by peeling, blanching and peeling the fava beans. Yeah, that’s right, you have to peel them twice (a little labor intensive, I’ll admit). First you peel off the outer pod. Then toss the beans in boiling water for about 3 minutes.

Run them under cold water for a few seconds, peel off the waxy coating around each bean, then set the beans aside.

Whilst the beans were blanching I rendered the bacon. Slab bacon, cut into cubes would have been great here. But I didn’t have that in my fridge. So, I just cut my bacon into large pieces and threw them into my saute pan.

And cooked it until it was nice and crispy.

Then I took the bacon out of the pan and threw the mushrooms in.

And cooked them until they were golden brown and delicious. Then I threw in the garlic scapes, fava beans and snap peas (because healthy vegetables are made better by cooking them in bacon fat).

I let the veggies saute just a couple of minutes and then turned the pan off. I didn’t want the veggies too hot when they hit the salad.

Whilst I was cooking the bacon, I washed and dried the frisee and put together a simple dressing with the vinegar, olive oil, a couple pinches of sugar and salt and pepper.

Whilst I was prepping the lettuce, I put some water on to simmer and poached some eggs.

If it seems like I was doing three (or four) things at once, well I was. I could have used a couple more hands.

While the eggs poached I plated the salad. I tossed the frisee in the dressing and split it between the plates.

Then topped the lettuce with the sauteed veggies.

Then the bacon and eggs (with some chopped chives and chive blossoms to garnish).



I. Loved. This. Salad.

Each bite was a little different. Some bitter from the greens, some spicy from the scapes, some salty from the bacon, some creamy with egg or fava. This would be a great salad to riff on too. Different veggies, lemon instead of vinegar, maybe some croutons… Yum.


F R I S E E   ( A N D   M O R E )   S A L A D
serves two

a handful of frisee
a bunch of fava beans
a few mushrooms
some snap peas
3 or 4 garlic scapes, snipped into 1-inch pieces
6 (or more) slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon good olive oil
a couple pinches of sugar
salt and pepper
4 poached eggs*
chopped chives and blossoms

Prepare the fava beans and set aside. Cook the bacon until crisp, then remove it from the pan. Add the mushrooms and cook until brown, stirring occasionally. Add the fava beans, scapes and snap peas. Saute for a minute of two then turn off heat.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, sugar and salt and pepper. Set aside. Wash and dry the frisee. Toss the frisee in the dressing and divide it between the plates. Top the frisee with the sauteed veggies, bacon, poached eggs, and chives.


*If you don’t know how to poach an egg, there are many, many web pages devoted to teaching you. Just google “how to poach an egg” for better instructions than I could give here.

Friday, July 10th, 2009

Potato Cake with Truffled Green Beans and Sauteed Mushrooms

The last few days, I have had no desire to eat at all. Which is really, really weird for me. Last night however, I finally got my appetite back, so I decided it was time to cook.

I took a look in the refrigerator and found some items that looked like they would make great side dishes, but no main dish candidates. The husband saw me staring into the fridge and made a suggestion, potatoes.

I found a few Yukon golds lurking in the back of the crisper drawer and decided to use them to make my main dish, a potato cake kind of similar to Pommes Anna.

Here’s the ingredients:
4 Yukon gold potatoes
2 Tablespoons butter
3 or so cloves garlic

I started by melting the butter over very low heat along with the garlic.

While it melted I used a mandolin to slice the potatoes (very carefully because that thing is wicked sharp).

I sliced the potatoes about 1/8″ thick (traditional Pommes Anna would cut the potatoes to about 1/16″ thick).

Next I got out a 9″ nonstick cake pan, brushed it with the garlic butter then added a layer of sliced potatoes.

Then I brushed this with more garlic butter,

and sprinkled it with a tiny bit of salt. I repeated this process a total of three times. I would have preferred it be a little thicker (more layers), but I really needed a 6″ or 7″ pan to accomplish this, and the only pan I have that is that size was not deep enough.

I put this into a 400 degree oven and let it bake for 45 minutes.

While the potatoes were in the oven, I started on the side dishes. Here’s the ingredients.

1 handful green beans trimmed and cut into 1″ pieces
truffle oil
3 slice bacon, chopped (optional)
6 mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup white wine
2 teaspoon fresh tarragon

I tossed the green beans with some truffle oil and a little truffle salt. I considered sauteing the beans, but since the oven was on, I decided to roast them alongside the potatoes. I put them in the oven when there was 20 minutes left on the timer.

Once I put the green beans in the oven I cooked the bacon in a saute pan until it was nice and crispy, then I removed it from the pan and put it on a paper towel to drain. I left a little bit of the bacon fat in the pan and added the mushrooms to the pan to saute. If you don’t want to use the bacon, saute the mushrooms in olive oil instead.

When they were cooked through, I added the white wine and let it simmer until all the wine was gone.

At this point I added the fresh tarragon and the bacon.

When the potatoes were done cooking I removed the pan from the oven.

Then I turned the potato cake out onto a cutting board.

To plate, I cut the potato cake into quarters, put two on each plate and then spooned on some of the green beans and mushrooms to each plate. Alongside I served a salad made with red and purple radishes, cucumber, fresh mint, feta cheese and a splash of sherry vinegar.

At first I tried each thing individually. The potatoes were creamy and sweet on the inside, but the outside was so crispy and delicious (like yummy french fries). The truffle oil was a perfect accompaniment to the greens beans and the tarragon was delicious with the wine-infused mushrooms. Next I started mixing and matching flavors, a little mushroom with a little potato, a little mushroom with a little green bean, etc. It was all good and it was all good together. The husband liked everything too (especially the potatoes) which is good, because the whole thing started as his idea.

Friday, June 12th, 2009

Asian-Grilled Chicken with Stir-Fried Vegetables

It has been a very busy week for me and I’ll admit, I’ve been a bit of a lazy chef this week. Today was my at-home paperwork day (and triathlon training rest day) so I had more energy for cooking tonight.

After a quick perusal of the crisper drawer I was rewarded with shitake mushrooms, a whole bunch of green veggies (including a zucchini that had seen better days that went in the bin rather then the meal) and in the meat drawer some chicken. I decided to put a quick marinade on the chicken and stir-fry some veggies.

Here’s the ingredients for the chicken:

1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 oyster sauce
1 Tablespoon honey
a healthy squeeze of sriracha
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 chicken breasts

I combined all the marinade ingredients in a ziploc bag. Then I trimmed my chicken and cut each breast in half horizontally so that they were thinner and would cook faster. I set this aside which I worked on the veggies.

After about 15 minutes I removed the chicken from the marinade (reserving it for later), dried them well with paper towels then tossed them on my hot grill. When it was done I set it aside to rest covered with foil while I cooked the veggies.

Here’s the ingredients for the veggies:

On the left are the veggies to top the chicken on the right are the veggies for under the chicken (that will make more sense later).

8 or so shitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
4 green onion, chopped
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 cup dry sherry

1 shallot, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
12 sprigs asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 bunch spinach

In a small saucepan I warmed the sesame oil and then added the mushrooms and green onions to saute.

When they were just about cooked through I added the sherry and then put it back on the heat and let it cook until the pan was almost dry.

While this was cooking I added just a little more sesame oil to a large saute pan then tossed in the shallots, green onions and asparagus. When the veggies were cooked almost through I added the reserved marinade (making sure that it boiled for at least a minute since it had raw chicken in it) and then the spinach.

Now I was ready to plate. I made a little bed of rice, then topped that with the stir-fried asparagus combo, then topped that with grilled chicken, then topped that with the shitake mushrooms.

How was it? Well I think I would give this dish a solid “B”. It could have used more garlic, especially in the mushrooms, a little soy sauce wouldn’t have hurt anything (but their was none in the pantry) and I could have been a little more heavy handed with the sriracha. For the most part the husband enjoyed it too, but I did get a “was there spinach in this” when we were done. I can’t get anything past him.

About Me

I'm a personal chef living happily with her picky-eater (but willing to try anything) husband, neurotic black lab and a red heeler puppy.

I watch way too much TV and enjoy hip-hop more than any reasonable grown-up should.

I'm an avid swimmer and sometime triathlete (whenever I'm not nursing an injury).

Find out more about me here.

About This Blog

I started this blog at a time when my personal chef business was quite slow and I needed to keep my mind busy and my skills sharp. But now, business is booming so I've had to put the blog on the back burner. So, no new recipes for now, but please enjoy my archives.

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