Tuesday, November 8, 2011

1 thyme out of 3

Mather Street, OAKLAND.
1 Thyme out of 3 recipes 
(The 1 Thyme  is in the Mushrooms) 
 
and all 3 earned the coveted Happy Chef's Cap Award. 
The occasion was that Neal and Ann were at Noni's and why not?  


ON THE TABLE

= 5 Star, but purchased= Happy Chef's Cap award
Labneh/Greek Yogurt Salad
Cold Green Pea and Smoked Almond Salad
Crusty French or Italian Bread
Mushroom Bourguignon
Mashed Quinoa Cornmeal
Organic Apple Juice
Red Wine
Chocolate Chip Cookies from Dragers via Ann
Apple Pie from ?J(via Piedmont Grocery)   via Carel  




AT THE TABLE
The regulars from Central Casting:
•Manya/Noni •Naveed+•Auntie Ann •Uncle Neal
Rumeli •Mikej(need a better shot) •Alanya •Cyrus(need a better shot) •Carel
 
•Sandriz/Dreese •Selim •Naveed•





RECIPES and NOTES

 Labneh with olives, pistachios and oregano
encirclec by chopped organic tomatoes and red onions.


This is probably meant as a dip or spread, but we ate it as a salad. 

It was crunchy, savory, olive-y and wonderful. It was Yotam Ottolenghi.   If you want to make it ala Lenghi perfect, go here, so you can add pine nuts and some goat yogurt.  But this was perfecto enough-o.  
RATING: I think this will become a staple.
Serves 6-8

 

MIX IN A LARGE BOWL
1 cup roasted salted pistachio meats
20-24 ptted Kalamata olives, roughly chopped
some olive oil

COMBINE and ADD TO OLIVE MIXTURE
•2 Tb  roughly chopped fresh oregano
    I chopped with scissors


•2 Tb chopped parsley
Grated zest of 2 lemons

(1 small garlic clove, crushed, but omitted for Neal and Ann)
• extra virgin olive oil

SPREAD IN CIRCLE ON PLATE:
Greek Style thick yogurt (1 and ½ cartons is fine)

COMBINE

3 lg ripe tomatoes or equivalent.  Coarsely chopped
½ a small red onion, chopped

ASSEMBLE at serving time
Put the olive mixture in the center, on top of the yougurt
Surround with the tomato-onion salad
Drizzle olive oil over all

Drizzle entire salad with olive oil
 
Serve as a salad, 



but a loaf of good bread, 
such as Italian Batard  should be somewhere in sight....

     




















    Cold Pea Salad Recipe
    (if you must smoke, smoke almonds)

    MIX TOGETHER:
    •16-ounces frozen petite peas (do not thaw)
    •1/2 cup chopped green onions
    ª8 ounces chopped water chestnuts, chopped

    MIX and add to salad:
    2/3 cup mayonnaise
    2 tsp garam masala The Original Recipe called for curry powder.  
        UPDATE: I've now tried this with Soy Sauce.. it's great. Better than garam masala by a mile.   
        NEXT TIME: Greek Yogurt instead of or for part of the Mayo with Soy Sauce and Sesame oil.  use Soy sauce nuts instead of Smoked.

    You can make the above a bit in advance and put in the refrigerator and then,
    JUST BEFORE SERVING ADD
    4-6 oz  smoked almonds, roughly chopped
    Salt and pepper to taste


    Mushroom Bourguignon

    This serves 6 as a main course in a vegetarian meal

    INGREDIENTS
     
    •4 Tbs olive oil
    4 Tbs butter (ok, I probably used more oil and butter.  But the part you don't measure figures in the taste but doesn't count in the calories.  You do the math.) (Used Earth Balance on Thansgiving due to Daniel's dairy allergy.)
    3 lbs mixed: Portobello mushrooms (in large squares, no stems) and crimini (brown) mushrooms (whole, stems included.  Important aspect of LF= Lazy Factor.)
    1 carrot, chopped (don't peel. see LF above)
    3 small yellow onions or equivalent, chopped
    3 large shallots, chopped (could skip shallots and use 1 large yellow onion rather than small)
     
    I always cut onions and shallots using my swim goggles.  I wonder what would happen if I swam more and chopped less....

    ½ tsp pepper (min.)    
    ½ tsp allspice (min.) 
            This is my addition... small but aromatic. Alice from Fresno via Sivas fills her pepper shakers with half allspice and half pepper and always uses that combo in cooking, too.
            UPDATE: not finding the allspice in the Donner kitchen, I used nutmeg for the Donner Thanksgiving dinner.  Just fine.
    6 cloves garlic, finely diced (omitted here because of Neal and Ann's sensitivities) 
          UPDATE: added garlic for the Donner Thanksgiving.  It didn't make a noticeable change in the taste... so I might add even more next time
    3 c full-bodied red wine (yes!!) Burgundy, of course, makes it Bourguignon.   On Thanksgiving, I used an inexpensive Shiraz = Shirazguignon
    3 c vegetable stock (the kind in a carton is better than cubes. Less salty)
    3 Tbs tomato paste
    1  TB tsp dried thyme 
    1 T soy sauce (adds depth that salt won't)  or more to taste. This is my change.  Not appropriate for soy allergies, though
    fine gravy flour (or regular)

    Top with 
    crumbled feta and 
    parsley 
         But I didn't, because the Labneh salad was already there...  and at Thanksgiving there were dairy issues at the table

    DIRECTIONS
    Yes, it can be done the day before. 

    Heat the butter and oil on high heat
    Add mushrooms and cook on high-ish till darkened but not giving off water.

                Remove to a bowl, so you can capture the juices while you continue



    Add  a bit more oil and butter ("bit" is variable.)
    Add carrots, onions, shallots, garlic and spices.  Saute till onion is nicely golden.
    If you were lazy about cutting the onions and shallots small enough for your liking, continue with a scissors at this point. I always do this..

    Add wine and bring to boil.  Cook down till liquid is reduced by at least a half.
    Add 3 cups broth,  tomato paste
          and also the mushrooms and all of their juices and cook on medium till mushrooms are tender.

    Sprinkle about 1 Tb of flour over, stir and cook a few minutes till thick. 

    Serve with
    Cornmeal Quinoa , mashed with a bit of butter and milk

    OR pasta, gnocchi, potatoes or just in a bowl with bread.  Sprinkling with crumbled feta and parsley is a good idea.

    I photo-shopped the green bits out of my teeth ...


     


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