Shroom ‘n Grits

I’ve just returned from a week of eating and boozing in Mexico with five friends. There was a different taco to try at just about every hour of the day. I intend to throw a taco party very soon, to celebrate and exercise my own hand at the new flavors that so captivated us while they’re fresh in memory. But in the immediate aftermath of the trip, there was a group detox to do.

Savory Mushroom Tart (with a Cool Ranch Doritos Crust)

posted in: Pies, Recipes, vegetarian | 2

Yeah, you heard right. We’re throwing out the pastry books and heading to the bodega—why? Because it was my friend Karol’s birthday last weekend. And—still—why? Because she requested specific foods for her potluck party menu, and one of them happened to be a mushroom tart. Another one was Cool Ranch Doritos.

Popcorn Mushrooms with Fried Basil

There’s a street food that everyone’s obsessed with in Taiwan, and it involves boneless nibs of chicken marinated in five-spice, battered and crispy-fried, dusted with white pepper, and tossed with fried basil leaves. How can you improve upon this irresistible snack? You can’t, really. But you can take the same formula and make other foods irresistibly tasty, too. And one ingredient that works very well with it is juicy chunks of king oyster (or trumpet) mushrooms. At least, that’s what … Read More

Lemony Pasta with Mushrooms and Fried Kale

These cold, tough months of winter, I’m always in the mood for a warm bowl of pasta. But marinara sauce can get tiresome, and it looks like we’ve got a long winter still to go. So I made this simple pasta with garlic, mushrooms, and crispy slivers of olive oil-fried kale. I had it as leftovers next, and its flavors had really combined and popped. The oil was deep-green from absorbing that kale. It had also absorbed that lemon, softening … Read More

Quinoa with Portobello and Peas

Doesn’t the sound of mushroom risotto just pull you by the tastebuds? Creamy rice, earthy morsels of mushrooms, and often sweet peas buried in between. This luscious dish appears on so many restaurant menus as a standard option, perhaps due to its vegetarian-friendly disposition, and I’m tempted to make it on chillier nights when I feel like eating somewhat “light.” But it requires patience, attention, and some good stock to cook well, three things I don’t always have on weeknights.

Mushroom Eggs Benedict with Not-Hollandaise

Here’s a breakfast that won’t put you right back to bed. I love Eggs Benedict, in all its drippy, sticky, bread sop-worthy mess. But I rarely bother to make Hollandaise sauce, which is poured liberally on top of the open-faced sandwich. For practical reasons, it’s fussy and complicated to make; and you’d have to make a bigger batch than suitable for just one serving, since it requires at least one egg yolk. And since I’m already having runny, poached eggs, … Read More

Roasted Cauliflower “Steaks” with Mushrooms

I don’t mean to pretend: a) that cauliflower totally resembles steak; b) you should eat cauliflower as a meat substitute, works just as well; or c) cauliflower is inherently awesomer when sliced in thick and satisfying slabs. No, no, no. But this is fun, and you should try it.

Soy-Marinated Steak with Shiitake Mushrooms and Napa Cabbage

posted in: Meat & Poultry, Recipes | 2

Here’s my new take on a standard beef stir-fry with vegetables over rice. I like to use a good cut of good, grass-fed beef to its fullest, and I love the tenderness of a rare-cooked steak, whose drooling juices contribute to the rich flavors of ample marbling (aka fat). Here, I’ve taken a decent cut (sirloin) of really good, pastured beef and added one other benefit: a light marinade for flavor and texture, in the style of a Chinese stir-fry.

Parsnip Gnocchi with Crimini Mushrooms & Herbs

Gnocchi might seem tricky to master at home: you want them to be light and somewhat fluffy inside, textured outside, and preferably a little crisped from hot butter in a pan. Instead, first attempts might yield some over-boiled, chewy nuggets that taste like pretty much nothing. If that’s the case you’re working too hard — overworking the dough, over-boiling; gnocchi can be made with much more speed and carelessness. And to give them a seasonal-tasting twist, they can also be … Read More

Winter Bean Stew With Smoked Paprika and Wild Mushrooms

And lots of garlic. And slowly cooked, finely chopped carrots, onions, green olives and cured sausage — oh my! This stew was so terribly satisfying on a cold winter night. I’ve eaten it (with a poached egg) for breakfast every morning since, too. I really wish I had more for tomorrow’s, and may start one anew.

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