Posts tagged ‘mushrooms’
This dish, an amazing marriage of roasted brussels sprouts, savory sauteed mushrooms, parmesan, and crispy shallots, was probably the most successful new dish we tried at our fake Thanksgiving party this year. And that’s saying something, considering how happy we were with the turkey and stuffing! It manages to be everything that a homey green bean casserole is (comforting, traditional, delicious), but elevated to a new level by fresh mushrooms, homemade shallot rings, and the roasted sprouts. I love green beans, but the sprouts have a more complex flavor and texture that works well here, and even sprout-haters tend to like them in this dish. It’s miles away from any gloop-laden thing you’ve had from a can, but still somehow very close to home.
I have a lot I could say about the origins of this recipe and the importance of stuffing, but I’m going to cut to the chase first. For me, this is The Best Stuffing Ever. The only recipe I’ll need from now on. The One.
This stuffing strata comes out so fragrant, moist, and flavorful, you would never know it hasn’t been cooked inside the turkey. But the fact that it hasn’t set up camp in a turkey means that you can shorten your turkey cooking time, and serve the stuffing to vegetarians without that out-of-place taste of vegetable broth that usually flavors vegetarian stuffing. Also, it’s a total snap to whip up; you can assemble it the day before and just pop it into your already-350-degree oven on the big day. It features all the traditional flavors of a really homey stuffing (sage, thyme, celery, and of course the bread) bound together by a magical mixture of egg, milk, wine, mustard, and gruyere cheese. The strata gets moistness and richness from the egg mixture, but doesn’t turn out soggy or taste of breakfast; essentially, it tastes like everything stuffing should be, but more…better!
Finally, yes finally, I am getting caught up on the kitchen firsts backlog I got buried under after my vacation! We actually made this dish during the last week of July, and here we are practically a month later (luckily, still swiss chard season, although we are nearing the end of its June-August peak) and I don’t want to wait any longer to share this recipe! This one came from Peter Berley’s The Flexitarian Table, and it immediately spoke to me, as I had been wanting to try chard for the first time and mixing it with israeli couscous, mushrooms, and feta sounded like a great way to do so (we seem to be on a feta kick lately, so its inclusion totally sealed the deal). Unfortunately, it turns out that I don’t really like chard (oops!), but if there was ever a dish that would make me want to eat it anyway, this is it!
Well, I think it’s fair to say my first documented week of menu planning was a disaster. We stuck to our plan 3 days out of seven (4 days if you count moving skipped parts of Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday’s meals to Sunday), and one of those days was just sticking to the plan of eating out. I was pleased that we made use of our backup plan to cover one of those days, but all in all it went pretty badly. On the bright side, the nights we ate the Sonoran enchiladas and the baked chicken with mustard-herb crusts (read on for the recipe) were good enough to ease the sting of failure.
Luckily, I think I learned a bit about making things go a bit smoother. I think my main pitfall was that I originally built the menu plan by choosing recipes I was excited about, but I did not make the time on Sunday or set aside the money to go buy all the necessary ingredients. This ended up biting me in the butt the very next day– I would have gone through with the plan to make Chicken Machaca on Monday, but I got home tired and couldn’t face the idea of going back out to the store for chicken and peppers. So, next time, I’ll make sure I have all the critical ingredients for the first day or two, and ideally at least most of the critical ingredients for the rest of the week before I start.
So, here’s my attempt at week two. Last week we had 4 “weekend” type meals, so this time we’re shooting for a much better ratio. Most of these recipes are relatively simple, utilize the proteins and fresh produce we got this weekend, and should be low maintenance enough for a busy week. We’ve already taken care of Sunday and managed to stick with the plan as written!
Sunday (everyday): Chicken Machaca with rice and Parral Pea Pods (carryover from last week)
Monday (weekend): Korean BBQ Sliders and Tuscan Fries with salad
Tuesday (everyday): Homemade Pizza with Jicama and Cucumber Salad
Wednesday (everyday): Light Sweet and Sour Pork (carryover from last week) with rice and sauteed zucchini
Thursday (everyday): Spaghetti Bolognese (lighter style with mushrooms, ground chicken and a touch italian sausage) with Roasted Cauliflower
Friday (everyday): Baked Chiles Rellenos
Saturday: Flex night, freedom to eat out or collaborate with friends
Backup plans: breakfast for dinner, bean burritos
And now, for a super easy and healthy recipe for chicken brushed with mustard, coated in herby panko and baked, read on! Also an italian recipe for sauteed mushrooms (mushrooms trifolati). Delicious!