Vegetarian Mushroom Stew

A few weeks ago while watching Food Network I saw a chef create a delicious looking mushroom stew.  I decided I wanted to try my own stew and found a recipe that was open to interpretation.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 pounds of mushrooms, chopped.  I used portobello and cremini.
  • ½ pound shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 can of pinto or kidney beans
  •  2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large Spanish onion, diced
  •  Salt and pepper
  • teaspoons chopped thyme
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • splash of lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons of soy sauce
  •  Pinch red pepper flakes or cayenne
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  •  3 cups of vegetable broth
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped italian parsley
  • 1 tablespoon 18% table cream

Directions:

  1. Clean mushrooms, chop into bite sized pieces.
  2. In a french oven or large saucepan, warm 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion, garlic, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until onion has softened and browned, about 10 minutes.
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  3. Add portobello and cremini mushrooms, season lightly and stir-fry until nicely colored, about 3 minutes. Lower heat to medium. Add thyme, rosemary, pepper flakes and tomato paste. Stir well, and cook for 1 minute.  Add pinto beans, lemon juice and soy sauce. Season again with salt and pepper.
  4. Add 1 cup vegetable broth and stir until thickened, about 1 minute. Gradually add 1 more cup broth and cook for 2-3 minutes on medium. Sauce should have gravy-like consistency.  Turn to low and let simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally
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  5. 15 minutes before serving, bring back up to medium heat, add shiitake mushrooms, parsley and table cream.  Stir well.
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  6. Serve with a side of your choosing (we had mashed potatoes)

Mushrooms… is there anything they can’t do?

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Modified from the original recipe I found in the New York Times

Apple-Rhubarb slow cooker crisp

It’s January.  There’s a slight chill in the air.  And by slight chill, I mean it’s snowing and I’m cold. giphy-1

But cold Sunday afternoons call for baking something warm and hearty.  Cue the Apple Rhubarb crisp.

While doing groceries yesterday I noticed that honeycrisp apples were available. Honeycrisps are my favourite apple for baking, as they are just the right amount of tart and sweet.  I also had some rhubarb in the freezer from when it was in season in the summer, so I decided to experiment with slow cooker baking.  This was a first for me. I’ve been making apple crisp for years and am generally pretty good with my measurements, so here’s what I tried:

Ingredients:

  • 5 Honeycrisp apples (diced)
  • 2 cups of diced rhubarb
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tbsp of granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 cups of large flake oats
  • 1/4 cup apple juice

Topping:

  • 3/4 cup of flour
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp butter, cold
  • 1 cup of oats
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Instructions:

Place diced apples and rhubarb into slow cooker.  Mix dry ingredients (spices, sugar, and oats) in a small bowl.  Pour apple juice and lemon juice over the fruit.  Add dry ingredients and toss fruit in the mixture until fully coated.
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Mix topping ingredients in a medium bowl, cutting the butter into the dry ingredients. I found its easiest to use a fork to help fully incorporate the butter.  Once mixed, spread topping over the top of the fruit.
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Put on the lid, set slow cooker to low and leave for 4 hours. With 1 hr left, take the lid off so the topping can crisp up a bit.IMG_9395

Might I suggest a serving with a little vanilla ice cream?   Really happy my first foray into slow cooker baking worked.  🙂 Enjoy!IMG_9396

 

 

Pizza Buns

At some point over the Christmas break between baking cookies and pies, I experimented a bit with a new alternate for party appetizers.  While I love to do a cheese or charcuterie board, I also like to serve something warm and freshly baked.  My usual go-to is pretzel bites, but I decided to try something different.  While I was making a pizza dough, I had full intentions of making a pizza out of it later.  But then I thought, “what can I make that tastes like pizza, but isn’t pizza?” Voila, pizza buns were being made.

Ingredients:

  • pizza dough (store bought, or my favourite from scratch recipe)
  • thinly sliced pepperoni, as needed
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • dash of sea salt
  • Marinara or your favourite tomato sauce

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400F

On a bread board, roll out your dough into a rectangular shape, ensuring it is of an even thickness all around (about a 1/4 of an inch)
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Spread almost all of the mozzarella around the dough and then place pepperoni on top.
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Roll the dough length wise, sealing the seam at the end
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Cut into even slices, should get 8-10 buns from this recipe

Place buns on to foil lined tray and sprinkle remaining mozzarella onto the tops.  Also hit them with a dash of sea salt
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Bake for 14-16 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and the dough is golden brown.

Let buns cool for 5 minutes and then arrange around a bowl of marinara sauce, for dipping. (on a side note, this Trader Joe’s Marinara is SO GOOD and i strongly suggest smuggling some back with you after your next trip to the US.)
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Have already thought of a few variations on this instead of plain ole’ pepperoni and cheese.  Prosciutto and peppers?  Hot genoa salami with arugula? Go with whatever your tastebuds desire…
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