“The day is made up of 24 hours and an infinite number of moments. We need to be aware of those moments and make the most of them regardless of whether we’re busy doing something or contemplating life.”
Paulo Coelho, The Witch Of Portobello
Two very different recipes on a couple of comfort food classics, lasagna, and stroganoff family favorites reworked. Michael brought home a package of 4 Portobello mushrooms all the size of soup bowls and go figure, he doesn’t like mushrooms? I wanted 4 smaller sized Portobello to stuff, but my plan changed, while I enjoyed my stroganoff dinner I still had to deal with the other ‘shrooms and decided to sauté them according to the recipe and store them in the freezer for another stroganoff dinner.
The mushroom stroganoff is one of several mushroom versions that I have made and I immediately decided that it is the best recipe, simply adapted from Alton Brown’s recipe. A garlic clove sizzled in warming butter; splashes of Worcestershire sauce and brandy are optional, the Knorr beef stock, and Boursin cheese was my ingredient changes to Alton’s recipe. While I didn’t make the full recipe (used only 1/2 the mushrooms) I did make the full amount of sauce, cutting the sour cream amount in half, added a bit more stock to get the thickness that I prefer, and used less cheese. The really nice beefy flavor that I’m sure Michael will eat if I don’t put any mushrooms on his plate.
- 12 ounces extra-wide egg noodles or pappardelle nests
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 fat clove of peeled garlic
- 5 Portobello mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 bunch green onions, sliced and white bottoms, and green tops separated
- 1-tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 14-16 ounces beef broth, Knorr chicken stock
- splashes of Worcestershire sauce and *optional splash brandy
- 8 ounces sour cream
- 4 ounces fresh goat cheese or 1-1/2 heaping tablespoons of Creamy Spreadable Boursin cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground, plus more for garnish
Add the noodles to 4 quarts of cold water in a 6-quart pot, cover, and place over high heat. Cook to al dente, 18 to 22 minutes, stirring occasionally. Noodles can be prepared ahead of time, slightly undercook by about 1-2 minutes as they will finish cooking in the sauce.
Melt the butter in a 12-inch straight-sided sauté pan set over medium-high heat. Increase the heat to high, add the mushrooms and sprinkle with salt. Sauté until they darken in color, soften and give off their liquid, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the white bottoms of the green onions and sauté 2 to 3 minutes.
Sprinkle in the flour and stir to combine. Cook until the flour disappears and the fond on the bottom of the pan turns dark brown about 1 minute. Deglaze with the Worcestershire, brandy, and beef broth. Bring to a simmer and decrease the heat to medium-low. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes, and then add the sour cream, goat cheese, and black pepper. Stir to combine, and then partially cover and bring to a simmer to warm through, 2 to 4 minutes.
Drain the noodles, add to the pan and stir to combine. Garnish with the green onion tops and additional black pepper. Tabasco is a must for me. Serve immediately.
Yet another recipe using wonton wrappers, lasagna cupcakes perfect party food for adults and kids that like lasagna, perfectly portioned in cupcake sizes that simply need a tossed salad for dinner or serve as an appetizer/primo for an Italian dinner party. Of the many lasagna cupcakes floating out there, I chose a crazy version that calls for of all things, mango chutney in the ricotta mix. A bit of a departure for lasagna purists, but they were delicious. I’ll just post a link to the recipe that I used, but feel free to try another that might be more appealing to you, just a fun idea.