Upside down mushroom tartlet

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The beauty of cooking is not unlike pioneering. You have to test outside the unset boundaries and trust yourself that you are doing the right thing. Unlike discovering new worlds, exploring food stuffs is mostly harmless. That being said, I enjoy giving myself a bit of lead time on food experiments.

I had a hard time finding the mushrooms for this recipe, so I used a pound of mixed oyster, cremini, and shitake. Although I tend to recommend changing ingredients to accommodate varietals, I have made thyme and gruyere scones before and the combination of cheese and herb is one that is best preserved.

The challenge with this recipe was the instructions. I am still in process, so the next rendition might include using the pastry dough differently. Next time I might use the dough as a purse so that the final product reads  like a stuffed muffin.

Prep time: 25 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Total time: 55 minutes

Here is a clip of the major steps.

Equipment:

1 butcher knife

1 cookie sheet

1 ice cream scooper

1 medium bowl

1 vegetable strainer

1 10″ saute pan

1 cheese grater

1 small bowl

1 muffin pan

1 3″ diameter glass jar

1 pairing knife

Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 pound cremini mushrooms

1 shallot

3/4 cup gruyere cheese

2 teaspoons fresh thyme

1 frozen pastry puff sheet

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375º  Fahrenheit.

Take pastry puff sheet out of freezer. Defrost by letting dough sit out at room temperature for an hour. After one hour, unfold the dough. Using the mouth of the drinking glass, trace six 3″ circles in the dough with the pairing knife. Set six dough circles on cookie sheet and place in the refrigerator.

Lightly coat with olive oil the bottom and sides of six muffin pan cups.

Wash 1 pound mushrooms in strainer. Chop stems and slice mushrooms.

Grate 3/4 cup gruyere cheese.

Turn on heat under sauté pan. Add one tablespoon olive oil.

Dice shallot.

Prepare thyme: Pinch the tiny, soft, live green thyme leaves from the stems. Collect the green leaves in the small bowl. Discard stems.

Cook shallot on medium high heat for 7 minutes or until lightly browned.

Add mushrooms. Stir mushrooms ten-12 minutes on medium high heat.

Stir in thyme. Remove pan from heat. Pour mushroom mixture into medium bowl.

With the ice scream scooper, divide mushroom filling into six muffin cups. Evenly sprinkle cheese on top of six muffin cups.

Lay one dough circle on top of each filled muffin cup.

Cook for 25 minutes at 375º Fahrenheit or until pastry tops are golden brown.

Remove from pan.

Let sit for five minutes

To remove muffins from pan, invert pan over cookie sheet. Tartlets should land with the pastry side down and mushroom side up.

Source:

http://www.marthastewart.com/319487/upside-down-mushroom-tartlets

Thyme lentil potatoes

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I like the idea of slow food, and Sundays are perfect for all day food creations. Making home cooked meals is my favorite artisanal craft: you are constantly using your hands and you can perfect it daily.

When I am not watching TV I am usually thinking about food. As a result I tend to frame life goals around things I have seen on TV.

I recently had a conversation with some people at work about why some people live so long. NPR aired an interview with the 90-year-old Dick Van Dyke. He said the key to staying young is always keep moving. This is the same name of his recent memoir. He is constantly in motion.

Always Be Closing

Connecting the weird dot from old film stars to now, a gif in my mind runs Dick Van Dyke doing a little tap dance with a caption that reads: Always Be Moving, in the style of the ABC (Always be Closing) speech from the movie Glengarry Glen Ross where Alec Baldwin’s character motivates a bunch of salesmen to make the deal.

I think there is a lot of play with this dish. You could add more lentils and less potatoes for a more stew consistency, or pack on the tots like my current incantation which reads more like a casserole.

Simple contrasts pull this piece together: savory thyme mashed up with  sweet coconut. This recipe includes ingredients I got at the farm market and items already in my cupboard.

Prep time: 35 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour

Total time: 1 hour 35 minutes

Equipment:

1 Butcher knife

1 pairing knife

1 peeler

1 strainer

1 9″ x 11″ Pyrex dish

cutting board

1 large pot

Ingredients:

4-6 red skinned potatoes

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp thyme

2 Tbsp extra virgin coconut oil

1 can chunked pineapple

1 12 oz bag lentils

2 handfuls Brussel sprouts

Optional topping:

plain Greek yogurt

Directions:

Preheat oven at 400ºF.

Crush and finely chop garlic cloves.

Fill large pot 2/3 way with water. Heat on high.

Pour thyme, ginger, coconut oil, and garlic into pot.

Open bag of lentils. Pour in strainer. Rinse in running water for a minute.

Once water begins to boil, add lentils. Boil lentils for one minute and then simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off burner under lentils.

Open can of pineapple. Empty entire contents in Pyrex dish.

Clean and scrub potatoes. Use a peeler to remove blemishes and eyes.

Chop potatoes into 16ths. Set aside in Pyrex dish.

Cut each Brussel sprout in half. Set aside in Pyrex dish.

Pour lentils on top of vegetables in Pyrex dish.

Cook in the oven for one hour.

Remove Pyrex dish from oven.

Let sit five minutes before serving.

Optional: top with a dollop of Greek yogurt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Root vegetables

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I love food, so much so that I tend to have a strained relationship with it. Not that I always use food to problem solve, but I eat when I’m bored, nervous, or otherwise unoccupied.

I consider a scene in the TV show 30 Rock where Alec Baldwin’s character, Jack Donaghy, attempts to quit drinking. So instead of drinking, he knit a sweater.

30 Rock Replace the Ritual

I often defer to this mantra when changing my habits. Lately I have been eating more vegetables and when I am watching TV instead of sitting down I’ll paint at my easel. I don’t know if the art is that good, but it makes me happy and it is an activity that I lose myself in entirely.

The following recipe is something I tried today. I hope you enjoy it.

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour

Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Equipment:

1 Butcher knife

1 pairing knife

1 peeler

1 spoon

1 9″ x 11″ Pyrex dish

1 small bowl for optional sauce

Ingredients:

4 orange beets, peeled of blemishes, cut into four chunks

handful of rainbow carrots, scrubbed

1 butternut squash

1 bunch scallions

1 bunch basil

4 cloves garlic

1-2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Coconut oil

1 spoon

Optional Sriracha Greek yogurt sauce:

1 Tbsp Sriracha sauce

4 Tbsp Greek yogurt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400ºF

Prepare vegetables:

Peel and chop butternut squash into 2″ x 3″ blocks. Set aside in Pyrex dish.

Wash four orange beets.  Scrub and peel blemishes off. Cut and quarter beets. Set aside in Pyrex dish.

Wash rainbow carrots. Peel if desired. Cut off root and end tips. Set aside in Pyrex dish.

Wash scallions. Pat dry. Finely slice. Distribute evenly over vegetables in Pyrex dish.

Crush and finely chop garlic cloves. Sprinkle evenly over in Pyrex dish.

Pour coconut oil evenly over vegetables in Pyrex dish.

Cook in preheated oven at 400°F for one hour.

When finished cooking, let sit for five minutes.

Optional Sriracha and Greek yogurt sauce:

Mix Sriracha and Greek yogurt together until blended in small bowl. Scoop desired amount on top of vegetables.