Split Pea Soup and Cucumber with Bean Sprout
Home cooked meal (chicken optional)
I visited my mom yesterday. She fixed butternut black bean soup with a side of garlic kale, fig preserves, chicken, and special Texan corn bread.
(Note: My mom might have gotten her corn bread recipe from the side of a Quaker corn meal box.)
Doused in a modest serving of Sriracha, the dish was plenty spicy, and the heat blends well with the sweet of the fig jam.
As for modifications in the soup, mom substituted chili powder for chipotle powder and omitted red pepper flakes.
Also, there was no mirin (Japanese rice wine) available at her grocery store, so she used sake.
Upside down mushroom tartlet
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.
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
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 pound cremini mushrooms
3/4 cup gruyere cheese
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
1 frozen pastry puff sheet
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.
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.