Thursday, November 28, 2013

Mushroom etoufee

Happy Thanksgiving, happy Hanukkah, happy anything else you're happy about! Cajun/creole food is something I'm happy about right now—I'm totally going to take a post-graduation vacation to New Orleans!—so instead of mushroom gravy I decided to make a mushroom etoufee for Thanksgiving this year. The internet doesn't seem to have much consensus on what makes an etoufee an etoufee, so I went with a variation on this recipe. It turned out amazingly: savory and rich, with a good balance of creaminess, zing, and kick. You're supposed to have it with rice but I think it will be splendid with stuffing.

2 T butter
2 small onions, minced
4 stalks celery, minced
1 green pepper, minced
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 bay leaves
20 oz criminis, coarsely chopped
1 oz dried fancy mushrooms, rehydrated and minced
1/4 t cayenne
1/4 t paprika
2 t cornstarch
1 stock cube
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 c cream
1/2 c 1% milk
5 oz spinach, chopped
4 sprigs parsley, minced

Melt the butter over medium-low heat in a large pot. Sweat the onions until translucent, then add the celery, green pepper, garlic, and bay leaves, and cook until soft. Add the mushrooms, cayenne, and paprika, and cook until the mushrooms are done. Add the cornstarch and stock cube and stir until dissolved, then add the tomatoes and dairy. Slowly bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, turn the heat down a bit, and simmer for at least 15 minutes. Add the greenery and keep simmering for at least half an hour. Adjust the seasonings and liquid, and serve over a mushy absorbent starch.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Brownie bites

Just doing what Deb tells me to, procrastinating from finishing my thesis by making easy delicious easily-transportable brownies. Procrastination or not, the thesis and therefore my graduate career will be wrapping up extremely soon, and I'm looking forward to a higher frequency of food creation extravaganzas—expect more posts soon!

3 oz unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
1 stick butter
1 1/3 c sugar
2 eggs
1 t vanilla
1/4 t salt
2/3 c flour

Preheat oven to 350F and spray-grease a mini cupcake pan. In a medium bowl, melt the chocolate and butter together in a double-boiler or in a couple 30-sec spurts in the microwave. Whisk in the sugar, then eggs and vanilla, then salt and flour. Fill the mini cupcake tins almost full; there will probably be a little bit extra batter after filling 24 mini cupcake wells, which can go in a second pan if you have one, or 2 wells of a regular cupcake pan, or whatever. Bake the mini brownies for 15-17 min, larger brownies for longer, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 min in the pan, then transfer the brownies to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Persimmon pancakes

It's persimmon time again! I made a double batch of persimmon bread last week and that recipe is still amazing. This morning I tried this pancake recipe, which is tasty but not as thick and fluffy as I prefer. Next time I might try this one.

3 T melted butter
pulp from 1 Hachiya persimmon
1/4 c yogurt
1 c milk
2 eggs
1 t vanilla
1/2 c oat bran (or oats ground in the food processor)
1/2 c cornmeal
1/2 c flour
2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
2 t brown sugar
1/4 t salt

Separately whisk together wet ingredients (butter through vanilla) and dry ingredients (oats through salt) then whisk wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Let sit for a few minutes while the pan heats up and the batter thickens (it will still be runny). Cook pancakes with 1/4 c worth of batter each.