Posts Tagged ‘Dish Gwen’

From Dish Gwen:

Recently two events came together in my life, leading me to make mushroom soup. The first was that I got a new blender, after six months of having a busted old useless one taking up valuable shelf space in my kitchen. The second was that I started growing oyster mushrooms. I’ve been making this soup for years but I don’t make it often. Now that I’ve made it for my 20 month old son and he loved it, I have a feeling it will become part of our regular household menu. Plus it takes less than a half hour to make so it’s kind of a perfect dish.

– ½ lb oyster mushrooms, chopped (you can also use shiitakes, buttons, portabellos, whatever!)
– ½ cup chopped white onion
– 3 cloves garlic, chopped
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– ½ teaspoon salt
– ¼ teaspoon white pepper
– 2 cups whole milk
– fresh parsley, chopped


In a deep sauce pan, simmer the olive oil, garlic and onion on medium/high heat until they begin to brown, then throw in the mushrooms. Toss everything together with the salt and pepper, and cook for about 5 minutes. Add about ½ cup of water to loosen any brown bits or caramelized coating from the bottom of the pan, and turn off the heat. Carefully pour all of the contents into your blender, cover, and blend until you get a smooth puree (takes about 1 minute). Pour the puree back into the pot on medium/low heat, and add the milk, stirring so everything combines into a smooth, creamy mixture. Add additional salt as desired, and once it’s steamy hot serve in bowls with crusty bread. Serves 4, and this soup freezes well so got ahead and stash some away for later in a tupperware!

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From Dish Gwen:

My husband and I recently signed up for a Community Supported Fishery (CSF) program, meaning every week we get to pick up a little package of fresh-caught seafood. So far we’ve gotten Long Island Oysters and clams, fresh Atlantic cod, a whole fish (which we grilled) and some really nice filets of striped bass. This week we received a golden tilefish filet, and although it was my first time cooking tilefish it was instantly clear to me where it gets its name (check out that coloration!).

Aside from being beautiful, tilefish is delicious. It’s a flaky white fish with fatty skin that reminds me of cod or halibut. Ours was caught the day we ate it off of Montauk, in Long Island. Here’s how I cooked it:

Ingredients (serves 2-3)
– 1-2 lb tilefish filet (skin-on, scales-off)
– 2 tablespoons honey
– 2-3 large shallots, sliced into rings
– 2 tablespoons butter
– 2 cups white wine
– salt
– white pepper
– olive oil

Simmer some butter in a small sauce pan on medium heat and add your sliced shallots. While they’re browning, heat up a larger skillet on high and grease it lightly with olive oil. When it is good and hot, place your filets skin-side-down on the skillet and let them cook for a few minutes (you want that fatty skin to get nice and crispy so don’t move or flip the filets – leave them alone!). Toss the shallots so they brown all over and then add the white wine and butter, as well as a pinch of salt, and stir on low heat.

Once the flesh of the fish is white nearly all the way through, take a spatula and scrape the filets off the pan and flip them over.

Turn off the heat, and quickly drizzle a spoonful of honey on the crispy brown skin of the filets, then spread the honey evenly across the surface of each filet. Sprinkle the fish with a pinch of salt and white pepper, then serve the filets over a bed of rice, pasta, polenta or another grain of your choice. Spoon the shallots and wine/butter sauce over the fish and enjoy!

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From Dish Gwen:

I’ve never been much of an eggplant fan. The texture is mushy, the flavor isn’t really there, and my sister claims it makes her mouth itch. But last summer I happened to eat dinner at an excellent Italian place (Emilio’s on Houston) and had one of the best pasta dishes ever, and it just happened to have lots of eggplant in it. And it’s pretty simple to make!

– 1 lb eggplant, cubed or sliced into small rounds (no more than 1.5” across)
– ½ cup fresh mint, chopped
– 2 cloves garlic, diced
– salt
– olive oil
– thin spaghetti, cooked al dente


Slice up your eggplant and toss it in a bowl with lots of salt (enough salt to coat each piece of eggplant completely). The salt serves two functions: 1. It makes the eggplant salty and delicious; and 2. It draws the water out of the fruit, which improves its texture. Let the salty eggplant sit for about 15 minutes, then dab it off in a towel to remove the excess water and salt.

On medium/high, heat a sauce pan with a couple tablespoons of olive oil and then toss in the garlic and eggplant. The eggplant should sizzle and once it’s golden brown on all sides, toss in the spaghetti and mint. Turn off the heat and toss everything together gently, then serve! A delicious, easy summer dish!

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From Dish Gwen:

I grew up on spaghetti and marinara sauce, and it’s one of the most comforting meals that I make for myself and my family. It’s also something that I make really often, so in order to keep it fresh and interesting I like to play around with the ingredients. This time I used ground lamb, red wine, and classic Italian sausage spices like fennel seed, oregano and sage.

1 lb thin spaghetti, cooked al dente
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ head garlic, diced
½ small white onion, diced
2 lb ground lamb
12 oz can of crushed tomato
2 cups red wine
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1 tsp fennel seed
½ tsp red pepper flake
Salt and black pepper to taste

In a large sauce pan, simmer the garlic and onion on medium-high heat. Once they’re lightly browned, add the ground lamb and chop it up with a spoon or spatula so that it separates into small chunks. Add the salt, pepper and other spices and blend it in gently.

Simmer the meat until it browns about half of the meat, then stir in the red wine and tomato. Bring the heat down to low and simmer for 10 or 15 minutes, then serve over a bed of spaghetti. Serves 4.

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From Dish Gwen:

The other night my cupboards were looking pretty bare, and cereal for dinner wasn’t really appealing to me, so I had to get a little creative. Using a can of black beans, some corn meal, eggs and a handful of salad greens I was able to pull together a rather fancy little dish that hit the spot and was healthy to boot. I think I’ll probably make it again.

– 1 can black beans
– 2 cups corn meal (or dry polenta)
– ½ cup shredded parmesan or pecorino Romano cheese
– 2 eggs
– a handful of salad greens
– 4 radishes
– 2 scallions
– olive oil
– apple cider vinegar
– salt
– pepper

Stew up the beans with some salt and pepper to taste and keep them on warm on the back burner. In a sauce pan, boil 6 cups of salted water, then sprinkle in the polenta while whisking – make sure to whisk thoroughly because otherwise you’ll get lumps. Once the polenta is mixed in, turn the heat down to medium-low and use a spoon and stir until the it thickens. Check the polenta by tasting to see if it’s softened (if it’s grainy and tough you need to add more water and keep stirring until it softens up – this can take about ½ hour).

Grease a square brownie pan or small cookie sheet with butter, then pour out the polenta into it and smooth it over with a rubber spatula to create a flat cake. Cool the polenta in the fridge for an hour so that it firms up, then sprinkle parmesan or Romano cheese evenly across the top and put the pan in the broiler on high to melt and brown the cheese. Once it looks nice and brown take it out and let it rest for a couple of minutes. Slice the cake of polenta into 3 or 4 inch wide squares. (instead of broiling you can also fry polenta cakes! Try it!)

Dice up the radishes and scallions and toss them in a large bowl with the salad greens and a table spoon of olive oil and apple cider vinegar, plus a dash of salt and pepper. Fry two eggs and plate them on top of the dish, with the beans on the bottom, then the polenta cake, then the egg, then the salad mix on top (the plating of this dish is what takes it from random to gourmet). Sprinkle a little salt and pepper on top and serve!

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From Dish Gwen:

Making pizza in a home oven can be a disappointment, but I promise you can cook up some extraordinary slices if you’re willing to follow a few rules.

RULE 1: Make your dough from scratch
RULE 2: Use good cheese
RULE 3: Crank your oven up as high as it goes
RULE 4: Put your uncooked pie directly onto a hot surface when it goes into the oven

Because of these rules, it’s going to take a couple hours to do this from start to finish, but it’s worth it.

pizza dough
– tomato sauce (canned tomato puree)
– fresh mozzarella, goat cheese, and/or ricotta
– herbs, veggies, meat (it’s pizza – you can put whatever you want on it)
– salt
– olive oil

The dough is the same as my Focaccia recipe, only when it’s time to knead it you cut it up into fist-sized balls using your dough scraper.

Instead of kneading, roll the dough pieces into balls (some people do this in the air by folding the dough upon itself with two hands, others do it by cupping the dough in two hands upside-down on top of a floured surface and rolling it around in a circular motion – both methods take a little practice but it’s ok if the balls aren’t perfect).

Place your dough balls on a floured cookie sheet and cover them with foil or seran wrap so they don’t dry out, and let them rest for another hour.

Crank up your oven to its hottest setting (probably between 500 and 600 degrees). Sprinkle flour on a flat counter top or large cutting board and grab one of your dough balls using your dough scraper. Put the dough down on the floury surface and press the middle flat with your hand, turning it as you press it to create a flat circular disk about 12 to 14” across. Leave the edges untouched so they stay fluffy. Continue this for a while, gently tugging on the dough outwards with one hand while you press and turn it with the other. Feel free to lift the dough and let gravity stretch it out a little, and if you’re feeling adventurous you can toss it into the air like a real pizzaiolo. Just be careful not to poke holes in the dough with your finger tips (although if you do, you can patch it up and it’s not the end of the world).

Throw a large cookie sheet into the oven. If you have a pizza stone, use that instead.

Lay your stretched dough flat on a floured pizza peel or very flat dish (like a tray or upside-down cookie sheet – it’s key that it doesn’t have a raised lip), and spread a tablespoon- or small ladle-full of tomato sauce on it, leaving about an inch of the edge uncovered. I highly recommend going light on the sauce and other toppings, because a swampy, floppy slice of pie is always worse than a crispy one. Lay down a few slices of fresh mozzarella, or maybe some dollops of goat cheese or ricotta (or all of the above), spaced evenly across the pie. Add fresh basil, garlic, sliced mushrooms, and some pepperoni. Sprinkle lightly with salt and olive oil. Whatever you do, don’t dilly-dally because your dough is rapidly soaking up that sauce and it’s going to start sticking to the tray if you don’t move it soon.

It’s time to gently slide the pie onto the very hot surface that’s already in the oven. This can be tricky and awkward, but I’m confident you can figure out how to make it happen, and it’s worth the effort because it means you’ll get a nice crispy golden-brown crust. Cook the pie for 10 minutes or so, until the crust is brown and the cheese is melty. You can continually put pies in the oven and take out cooked ones until all your dough is used up – I’ve fit as many as 4 of these pizzas in my oven at once. When they’re all cooked, take them out of the oven and slide them onto plates or cutting boards, slice them up, and enjoy! Makes about 6 personal pies.

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From Dish Gwen:

I recently found myself in possession of a large quantity of tempeh, forcing me to get creative in the kitchen. What’s tempeh? Good question! I had never cooked with it until a couple of days ago. It turns out to be fermented soy beans that are stuck together like a firm cake, and it has a nice meaty texture and nutty taste that many people enjoy as a meat substitute. In this recipe you basically treat it like ground beef, and the result is a hearty meaty dish with no meat in it at all.

– 2 cups tempeh, crumbled
– 1 cup chopped mushroom
– ½ cup diced onion
– ½ cup shredded carrot
– ½ cup shredded turnip
– 1 cup kale, minced
– 2 eggs
– 1 cup breadcrumbs
– ½ tablespoon salt
– ½ tablespoon black pepper
– ¼ cup ketchup

Preheat your oven to 350.

Mix everything together in a bowl using your hands, and make sure that it is well combined and that the egg is distributed throughout. The mixture should have a sticky doughy feel, and if it’s too loose and dry you can drizzle some warm water in there until it gets sticky (so you can form it into a ball without it crumbling apart readily).

Press the mixture into a bread pan so that it forms a firm loaf. Water down the ketchup with a few tablespoons of water, then brush it on top of the loaf so that the entire surface is evenly glazed. Bake for 1 hour, then slice up and serve with mashed potatoes. Save the leftovers for meatloaf sandwiches with mayonnaise!

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