Side Dish · Vegetables/Vegetarian

Toasted Israeli Couscous with Roasted Mushrooms Medley

July 2016 Fam Din
At our last Family Dinner, we fired up a bunch of lamb racks and chops per my brother-in-law’s bday request. I initially was going to make a side dish that had potatoes in it but it seemed kind of heavy for such a warm day.

I brainstormed with seester and decided to make some Israeli couscous. The pearls are larger than standard couscous and when toasted –like with risotto — it takes on a nutty flavor with a great texture.

July 2016 Fam Din
To flavor the couscous, I combined it with a medley of roasted mushrooms. I chose a combo of portabello, trumpets and beech ‘shrooms but anything goes. I also added dried porcinis as they have an earthy flavor and used the liquid that I reconstituted them in to deepen the profile.

To finish it off, I added some fresh herbs and lemon zest to brighten up the dish.

July 2016 Fam Din
The couscous paired quite well with the lamb providing just enough substance without being too heavy.

And since it’s delicious at room temperature, it would be a great dish to bring to a potluck or summer picnic event. ❤

___________________________________________________
Toasted Israeli Couscous with Roasted Mushrooms Medley
Serves 4-5

Ingredients:

½ ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1 cup hot water
3 cups sliced mixed mushrooms (I used portabello, trumpets, and beech)
olive oil, divided
kosher salt, divided
black pepper, divided
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon garlic powder
10 sprigs fresh thyme, divided
½ cup white onion, finely diced
2 cups dried Israeli couscous
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 cups vegetable broth, heated
1 tablespoon minced parsley
½ tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon truffle oil or quality extra virgin olive oil

Combine the dried porcini with the hot water in a small bowl. Allow the mushrooms to soften and reconstitute for about 30 minutes. Remove the porcini from the bowl, squeezing out the excess liquid. Reserve the porcini liquid and set aside.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Toss the fresh mushrooms with 3 tablespoons olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper, red pepper flakes, and garlic powder. Pull the leaves from half the thyme sprigs and mix into the mushrooms. Spread the mushrooms on a lightly greased baking tray and roast for about 20 minutes, stirring every few minutes until they have browned. Set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat in a small pot. Add the white onions and cook for 3-4 minutes until they become translucent. Add the couscous—stir and cook until the pearls become toasted and golden brown. Stir in the garlic and cook for about 20-30 seconds before adding in the liquid that the porcini was reconstituted in–careful not to add in the mushroom grit/sand. Pour in the heated vegetable broth, add the remaining thyme sprigs and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover the pot and cook until all the liquid has absorbed—about 10-15 minutes.

Once the couscous is done, take it off the heat and discard the thyme sprigs. Use a fork to fluff the couscous pearls and fold in the roasted mushrooms, porcinis, parsley, and lemon zest. Drizzle in the truffle oil and taste. Add additional salt and pepper as needed.

The couscous can be served immediately or at room temperature.

Advertisements
Pastas/Noodles · Pork · Poultry

Penne di Funghi con Pollo e Salsiccia

Penne di Funghi con Pollo e Salsiccia

Okay, I confess. I didn’t really come up with this pasta dish on my own. It’s actually my interpretation of Pasta Pomodoro’s Penne Portobello which I just L-O-V-E.

Italian Sausage, chicken, mushrooms—all in a garlicky cream sauce. How could it not be Delizioso?

Penne di Funghi con Pollo e Salsiccia

In addition to the criminis, I used porcini mushrooms and its liquor for an extra level of earthiness to the dish.  I also threw in fresh arugula leaves at the very end for a bit of freshness and peppery flavor. And although this is technically a cream sauce, you’d be surprised how light it all was.

Bon appetito!

________________________________________________

Penne di Funghi con Pollo e Salsiccia
Serves 4-5

Ingredients:

¾ Pound Penne Pasta
2 Links Spicy Italian Sausage, casings removed
1 Boneless Chicken Breast, sliced
2 Cups Loosely Packed Arugula
2 Cups Crimini Mushrooms, sliced
½ Ounce Dried Porcini Mushrooms
1 Cup Hot Water
1 Cup White Wine
¼ Cup Heavy Cream
3 Tablespoons Shallots, chopped finely
3 Whole Garlic Cloves, diced finely
¼ Teaspoon Dried Chili Flakes
2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
Kosher Salt and Black Pepper

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add salt and cook the penne pasta just shy of al dente.

Place the dried Porcini in a bowl with the hot water. Allow the mushrooms to reconstitute—about 10 minutes. Squeeze out extra liquid from the Porcinis (saving the liquid) and roughly chop them.

Heat olive oil in a very large heavy pan (or pot) over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Add Italian sausage to the pot and use a wooden spoon to crumble the meat and break into small pieces. Once the sausage is barely pink, add the chicken. Continue cooking until both are done. Use a slotted spoon and transfer it to a plate covered with paper towels.

Using the same pan, lower the heat to medium and sauté the shallots until translucent. Add garlic, chili flakes, and both mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms are tender. Stir in wine and liquid that the porcini was reconstituted in–being careful not to add in the mushroom grit/sand. Raise the heat to medium-high and cook the liquids until it is reduced by half. Stir in the cream and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. Return the sausage and chicken to the pot and add the cooked penne. Stir until all the penne has been coated. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove pan from the heat and toss in the arugula leaves. Toss until the leaves are just wilted. Serve and Enjoy!

Vegetables/Vegetarian

Mushroom Risotto

Mushroom Risotto

 

Over the years, I have grown a deep adoration for risotto. Creamy, rich and perfect as a side dish or entrée. The slow cooking and continual stirring of the rice assists in developing the starch—which helps in the wonderful “unctuousness” of the dish. Pair that with my love for mushrooms and BADA-BING-BADA-BOOM—-you’ve got a happy tummy!

Earthy, rich, savory, and satisfying. All that’s missing is a nice glass of Sauvignon Blanc—and as luck would have it, I just happened to have an open bottle of it since the recipe called for white wine.

Now if that’s not “divine kitchen intervention”, I don’t know what is. 🙂

Cheers, Friends!

 

Mushroom Risotto

_______________________________

Mushroom Risotto
Adapted from Tyler Florence
Serves 2-3

Ingredients:

4 Cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil, divided
½ Cup White Onion, diced, divided
2 Garlic Cloves, minced, divided
½ Pound Fresh Sliced Mushrooms (crimini, portobello, trumpet, oyster, etc.)
1 Bay Leaf
1 Tablespoon Fresh Thyme Leaves
2 Tablespoon Fresh Italian Parsley, chopped, divided
1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
Salt and pepper
½ Ounce Dried Porcini Mushrooms
½ Cup Warm Water
1 Cup Arborio Rice
¼ Cup Dry White Wine
½ Cup Parmesan Cheese, grated

Heat the chicken broth in a medium saucepan and keep warm over low heat.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1/2 onion and 1 clove garlic, cook, stirring, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the fresh mushrooms, thyme, bay leaf, 1 tablespoon of parsley, and butter. Sauté for 3 to 5 minutes until lightly browned, season with salt and pepper. Add the dried porcini mushrooms that were reconstituted in warm water, saving the liquid. Season again with salt and fresh cracked pepper. Sauté 1 minute then remove from heat and set aside.

Coat a saucepan with remaining 1 tablespoons of oil. Sauté the remaining 1/2 onion and garlic clove. Add the rice and stir quickly until it is well-coated and opaque, 1 minute.  Stir in wine and liquid that the porcini was reconstituted in–careful not to add in the mushroom grit/sand. Cook until it is nearly all evaporated.

Now, with a ladle, add 1 cup of the warm broth and simmer, stirring, until the rice has absorbed the liquid. Add the remaining broth, 1 cup at a time. Continue to simmer and stir, allowing the rice to absorb each addition of broth before adding more. The risotto should be slightly firm and creamy, not mushy–approximately 20 minutes in total. Transfer the mushrooms (reserving about 2-3 tablespoons of them) to the rice mixture. Stir in Parmesan cheese, cook briefly until melted. Check for seasonings and adjust with salt and pepper if needed. Spoon risotto into dishes and top with a few mushrooms and chopped parsley before serving.

Lamb

This Little Lamb….

For some time now, Rack of Lamb has been the bf’s and my “go-to” entrée when company come over for dinner. Perhaps because it’s SUPER easy to make or because it sounds “fancy” when you announce to your guests that you’ve prepared lamb, we absolutely love whipping them up. ☺

In the past we’ve prepared them in the traditional style of crushed garlic and rosemary. However, after catching one of Tyler Florence’s episodes on the Food Network, we were inspired how he used porcini mushrooms to create a crust for his Roasted Leg of Lamb. So, we decided to take a spin off of it and apply the same philosophy to a rack of lamb.

End result? DELICIOUS! The earthy tones of the porcini mushrooms pairs so well with the lamb. Instant hit! Pair it with your choice of sides (we love serving it with mushroom risotto or couscous would be tasty too!) and a deep, bold red wine and this will be your Go-To Entrée all year long!

______________________________________________

Porcini Crusted Rack of Lamb
Serves approximately 2-3

Ingredients:

½ Ounce Dried Porcini Mushrooms
½ Tablespoon Kosher Salt
1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
1 Frenched Rack of Lamb (Averages 8 ribs per rack)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Take lamb and trim off any excess fat. Rinse under cool water and pat dry with paper towels.

In a spice grinder or small food processor, grind the porcini mushrooms into a powder consistency. Rub 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the lamb and liberally season with salt and pepper. Roll lamb in the porcini powder, gently pressing to adhere.

Heat remaining oil in a large heavy grill pan over moderately high heat. Sear the rack on each side until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer rack to the oven and roast until the internal temperature reaches 145-150°F (for medium), approximately 5-7 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Slice chops between bones and drizzle with remaining pan juices. Enjoy with side dish of choice.