Archive for November, 2015

FARRO-MUSHROOM SOUP

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I know “mushroomy” isn’t a word but this soup is MUSHROOMY! It is REALLY delicious and perfect for this time of year! A huge hit in my house!

ingredients

3/4 cup whole hulled farro, such as Hayden Flour Mills Farro Berries (see note below*)

2 cups boiling water

½ ounce dry porcini mushrooms (¼ cup)

3 ½ cups low-­sodium chicken broth

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 large onion, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 ¼ pounds mixed wild mushrooms, such as hen of the woods, royal trumpet, oyster, and chanterelle, wiped clean and sliced

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

¼ cup dry sherry

1 teaspoon white-­wine vinegar

Chopped fresh dill, for serving

directions

  1. Soak farro overnight in water to cover; drain.
  2. In a small bowl, pour boiling water over porcini; let stand 5 minutes. Drain, reserving liquid. Chop porcini.
  3. In a medium saucepan, combine farro, broth, and porcini liquid. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until almost tender, about 45 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet over high. Add onion, garlic, and porcini mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent, about 4 minutes. Add wild mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally,until mushrooms have released liquid and begun to brown, 6 to 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in sherry; cook until evaporated, about 1 minute.
  1. Stir mushroom mixture into soup; cook, partially covered, until farro is tender, about 15 minutes. Season with vinegar, salt, and pepper. Serve, sprinkled with dill.

*NOTE: I used a quicker cooking farro. There was no need to soak the farro and I simply simmered it for 15 minutes instead of 45 minutes (step 3).

(Adapted Martha Stewart’s recipe found on http://www.marthastewart.com)

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SAUSAGE RAGU’

My husband LOVES pasta so every now and then, we indulge. He found this recipe in the New York Times and begged me to give it a try. This ragu’ is TO DIE FOR. It’s a simple sauce but cooks for a VERY long time. Have patience, because it’s well worth the wait!

ingredientsrecipe-lab-ragout-facebookJumbo

1 pound sweet Italian sausage or bulk sausage (*see note below)

Extra-virgin olive oil

1 onion, minced

1 carrot, minced

1 celery stalk, minced

¼ cup minced flat-leaf parsley, plus extra for garnish

1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, preferably San Marzano, with its juice

1 large sprig fresh thyme

1 large sprig fresh rosemary

3 tablespoons tomato paste

Salt

Ground black pepper

1 pound tubular dried pasta such as mezzi rigatoni, paccheri or penne

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish, optional

directions

With the tip of a small, sharp knife, slit open the sausage casings. Crumble the meat into a wide, heavy skillet or Dutch oven and set over medium-low heat. If the meat is not rendering enough fat to coat the bottom of the pan as it begins to cook, add olive oil one tablespoon at a time until the meat is frying gently, not steaming. Sauté, breaking up any large chunks, until all the meat has turned opaque (do not let it brown), about 5 minutes.

Add onion, carrot, celery and parsley and stir. Drizzle in more oil if the pan seems dry. Cook over very low heat, stirring often, until the vegetables have melted in the fat and are beginning to caramelize, and the meat is toasty brown. This may take as long as 40 minutes, but be patient: It is essential to the final flavors.

Add tomatoes and their juice, breaking up the tomatoes with your hands or with the side of a spoon. Bring to a simmer, then add thyme and rosemary and let simmer, uncovered, until thickened and pan is almost dry, 20 to 25 minutes.

Mix tomato paste with 1 cup hot water. Add to pan, reduce heat to very low, and continue cooking until the ragù is velvety and dark red, and the top glistens with oil, about 10 minutes more. Remove herb sprigs. Sprinkle black pepper over, stir and taste.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil pasta until just tender. Scoop out 2 cups cooking water, drain pasta and return to pot over low heat. Quickly add a ladleful of ragù, a splash of cooking water, stir well and let cook 1 minute. Taste for doneness. Repeat, adding more cooking water or ragù, or both, until pasta is cooked through and seasoned to your liking.

Pour hot pasta water into a large serving bowl to heat it. Pour out the water and pour in the pasta. Top with remaining ragù, sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately. Pass grated cheese at the table, if desired.

*NOTE: I used ½ lb of organic, grass-fed beef and ½ lb of high quality Italian sausage and loved this combination!

(Adapted Julia Moskin’s recipe found in The New York Times, Oct 6, 2015)

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THE BEST TIRAMISU

Most of you have heard of TIRAMISU……the delicious Italian dessert made with chocolate, 2401039199_3509e6ec5c_oespresso and a load of sugar and fat. What you might not know is that tiramisu in Italian means “pick me up”.

Tira = to pull

mi = me

su = up

Often, I see clients using either food or caffeinated beverages to give them a “lift” when they’re feeling tired or want more energy. Ironically, no food or beverage can create energy better than exercise. All you need to do is get up and move. It might seem counterproductive, when you’re feeling tired, to go for a walk, or to dance around the house, or to go up and down the stairs a few times. However, exercise delivers nutrients and oxygen to all of your tissues. It helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently and with this comes more energy. Therefore, moving your body is a full proof way to feel better with ZERO calories!

So really, the best TIRAMISU is simply MOVING. Give it a try!

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SAUTÉED BASS WITH SHIITAKE MUSHROOM SAUCE

Here is something different to do with bass. Great flavors and super easy!

ingredients sauteed-bass-ck-1734278-x

2 teaspoons olive oil

salt and freshly ground pepper

4 (6-ounce) skinned bass fillets

2 cups sliced shiitake mushroom caps

1 teaspoon dark sesame oil

2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup chopped green onions

¼ cup water

¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon lemon juice

directions

Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season fish with salt and pepper. Add fish to pan; cook 2 ½ minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Remove fish from pan; cover and keep warm.

Add mushrooms and sesame oil to pan; sauté 2 minutes. Add ginger and garlic to pan; sauté 1 minute. Add the green onions and remaining ingredients to pan; sauté 2 minutes. Serve with fish.

(Adapted from a recipe found on http://www.cookinglight.com)

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