Thursday, September 23, 2010

Porcini Madness

Since the weather has been just right for mushrooms to, well, mushroom (a lot of rain and warm temperatures), I went into the woods behind my house again to see if I would find more chanterelles at the location from last time. I did not, but instead I found porcinis. And not just a few, a whole lot of them. For someone considered quite optimistic bringing this basket last time, today I basically had to give up when the basket was filled to the brim.

After sharing the bounty with some friends, dinner tonight was simple: sauteed porcini in butter and with shallots, sour cream, chopped parsley and simply a slice of rye sourdough bread. Most of them, I will dry for the winter.

Another great recipe idea for wild mushroom: Risotto with mushroom and clams.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Spicy Seafood Risotto

Fall, or a prelude of Fall, came with a bang this year. From searing heat, sunshine and 90F it became cold, rainy, and gray. Not much of an Indian summer so far, but we can always hope, right? Fall weather changes my appetite, and risotto is one of my favorite fall foods. This one tries to preserve the summer heat and spirit by using hot chili peppers and Trader Joes frozen seafood mix. On the good news side of this fall, all of Maine looks forward to the opening of a long-awaited Trader Joes market in Portland, ME, by the end of October 2010. 

1 small white onion, finely diced
1-2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 TB butter
100g/3.5oz arborio rice
a few glucks of dry sherry
1 spicy chili pepper, cut into thin slices
a few strands of saffron 
500ml of shrimp bouillon (dissolve a Knorr shrimp bouillon cube in 500ml boiling water)
cup of frozen Trader Joes seafood mix (fresh shrimp, calamari, scallops)
Parmesan, freshly grated.

Dissolve the butter in a large heavy skillet. Don't brown it, just melt it. Add the onion and garlic, and saute until translucent (not browned!) and add the risotto rice to toast it in the onions, garlic and butter mix for 3-4 min on medium-low heat. Add the sherry, and simmer until the sherry has evaporated. Add a laddle (ca. 1/2 cup) of the shrimp bouillion to the risotto, stir, and let simmer on low until the liquid is evaporated. Then, add another laddle (the bouillon should be hot). Do this until the rice is soft and most of the stock has been used, ca 20-25min. Now, add the seafood, and cook for 2-3 min until shrimp are cooked, have turned pink and into the shape of a 'C' ("C" is for 'cooked', an "O" would be for "overcooked). Grate parmesan cheese into the hot risotto, and serve.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Spicy Thai Coconut Soup

This soup is very versatile -- light, with just a few mushroom and carrots and seafood, or filling with noodles, corn, edamame. It is all in the base. Ever since I found these fabulous spicy chili peppers at the Farmers market at Peacemeal Farm, I am finding new ways to use them. They make all the difference in this soup.

Thai coconut soup base:
2 cups of water
1/2 can of light coconut milk
1 TB red curry paste
1 TB bonito-based soup base
1 large red hot chili pepper (FM), sliced in thin stripes
1 inch ginger, cut in thin strips
1 garlic clove, cut into strips
curry leaves or lemon grass

Heat the water and add all other ingredients. Bring to a boil, and add ingredients from the list below. Simmer for 10-15min. Serve with thinly cut green onions.

Other soup ingredients:
King Oyster mushroom, thinly sliced
shitake mushroom, thinly sliced
tiny corn
sweet corn
carrots, cut in thin stripes

green onions

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Trader Joes coming to Portland, ME

All of Maine is ecstatic! According to rumors, the Trader Joe's store on Marginal Way (former Wild Oats location) in Portland is going to open on November 1 2010. Just in time to be thankful ;-)Post Options