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Wild Mushroom Bucatini

June 24, 2020

 

When I visiting New York City recently, my friends and I ordered a few dishes to share at a very cool eatery called The Smith.

We ordered their Wild Mushroom Bucatini and promptly ordered another one after it came because we wolfed it down, it was so ridiculously good. I couldn’t stop thinking about it so I came up with this recipe. I actually submitted it as one of my recipes for Coastal Design Magazine’s next issue. I was so excited to share it with the world because it might be one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten. Sadly, the magazine folded when the quarantine hit. The editor was gracious enough to let me share it here on the blog and the very talented photographer Kindra Clineff sent me this images. So yay you get to have it dear blog readers!

The thing that makes it amazing (besides the butter, garlic and shallots) is the white wine. It is pucker-y and full of umami and makes your mouth sing. It is comfort food yet you feel surprisingly good after eating it.

I love all the salads and grilled meat in the summer but sometimes it’s still nice to fire up your stove and make something that makes you feel like you’re in a restaurant. It comes together surprisingly fast too. If your people like mushrooms, I highly recommend for an at home date night, cooking for one, or – hopefully soon – having dinner guests over.

Hope you are all well and staying sane/safe!

Happy Cooking, xoxo Katie

 

 

Wild Mushroom Bucatini

 

1 pound bucatini pasta, cooked according to package

4 Tablespoons of butter (1/2 stick)

½ cup of shallots, diced

2 garlic cloves, diced

1-1.5 pounds of sliced mushrooms, such as porchini, baby bellas, or any foraged variety

½ tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. pepper

1 cup white wine

2 cups chicken broth

½ cup cream

1/2 cup parmesan, grated preferably into course bits with a blender or food processor for texture, plus more for serving

¼ cup finely chopped parsley (optional)

 

Directions:

 

In a large pot, boil water for pasta, then cook according to package directions. Take care to salt the water and drizzle a bit of oil in it.

 

Melt butter in large pan over medium heat. Add shallots, stirring frequently while they sautee for 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add mushrooms and cook for 10 minutes, until they’ve released their water and browned a bit. When they are cooked, scrape into a bowl. Add the wine to the pan and let it reduce about 10 minutes over med-low heat. Then add the chicken broth and let it reduce for 10-15 minutes, then add cream and stir. Add mushrooms back to the pan and reheat. Remove from heat and stir in parmesan and parsley if desired. Toss with cooked pasta and serve immediately, with more pepper or parmesan if desired.

 

 

Blueberry Cake

June 9, 2020

 

There is just something about a fruit cake in the summer. So good with morning coffee in the summer sunshine, so snackable through the day, and even fills in as a dessert.

This recipe is from my mother in law, whose been making this for family get togethers through our whole marriage. The kids love it and it makes weekends and summer picnics so special. I love this recipe because its so simple, and you can use the blueberries in season or use frozen berries. I keep a bag in my freezer now all the time to whip this up, since it just uses pantry staples.

The key is to coat the blueberries with flour so they don’t sink to the bottom.

Last summer I made this strawberry cake from Bon Appetit, and it was delicious too, but there is something about the simplicity of this cake that I love. I’ve already made it three times and summer is just getting started.

This cake reminds me of all the trips to Pemaquid Maine we’ve taken, and now we make it for weekends at the lake.

Since it is a food memory for us now and I make it just like my mother in law, but if I were going to play with it I would add the zest of 2 lemons and 3 T. of lemon juice. The simple flavor of the cinnamon sugar on top is pretty perfect though.

So if you have an outing this summer and want something easy to make it special, this recipe is for you. Your family will always be excited to hear you are making blueberry cake, I know from personal experience. It makes great food memories.

Happy Eating!

xoxo Katie

Blueberry Cake

INGREDIENTS:

2 eggs

1 1/3 c. milk

6 Tbsp. melted butter

2 c. sugar

2 tsp. vanilla

3 c. flour

4 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

2 1/2 c. blueberries, floured

 

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350.

Melt butter in the microwave. Crack eggs into a large bowl then beat them with a fork. Add melted butter, sugar, milk and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt. Add blueberries to flour mixture and coat them.

Combine with wet ingredients. Pour into a 13 x 9 inch pan. Cover with 4 Tbsp. sugar and 3/4 tsp cinnamon.

Cook at 350 for 45-50 minutes.

Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon Caper Sauce

May 25, 2020

 

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I’ve been inspired by Sam Sifton’s latest cookbook, See You On Sunday. When I’m inspired by a cookbook, it follows me around like the novel I’m reading, and I read it cover to cover. I muse over it. I impulsively grab ingredients I read listed in it like cardamom pods and gochujang sauce and chili crisp. When we were packing to come up to the lake this weekend, I rushed through the store, and vaguely remembered flipping through the pages and a photo of two roasted cauliflower heads with capers on top, put two in my cart thinking they would be easy to do on the side of whatever steaks or burgers we made.

My instincts guided me well because we found a new favorite, easy summer side. It’s meaty, its flavorful, it went well with our lamb burgers and our steak tips. And it’s healthy. I woke up today feeling so good and realized it was because of how many veggies we ate, helped by the lick-your-fingers-good roasted cauliflower.

If you’re not already drooling, maybe this will convince you: I preheated the oven to 450, cored the cauliflower, drizzled 2 T. olive oil on each head and salted & peppered them. That’s it. It took maybe 2 minutes. And it yielded showy, warm, delicious food. What more can we ask for from our kitchens?

There also seems like a lot of room for improvisation, with whatever you have on hand. Parmesan with a drizzle of garlic and balsamic? Soy sauce, sesame oil and rice wine vinegar? They could work on this beautiful blank canvas. A yummy dipping sauce like the blooming onion variety would also work well here. But the purist version is simple and good and sometimes to have a meal really sing that is all you need.

Happy Eating, and here is to finding the joy in this summer!

xoxo Katie

 

INGREDIENTS

1 to 2 medium heads of cauliflower, (1 1/2 lbs each), leaves removed

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or more to taste

2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained

Freshly ground black pepper

2 to 3 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 450°F (232°C).
Cut off the stem and carve out the inner core of the cauliflower, being careful to leave the head(s) intact.
Place the cauliflower on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle each head with 2 tablespoons oil and rub to coat it well. Sprinkle each head with 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Roast the cauliflower until tender and golden, about 1 hour. Roasting time will vary based on the size of the cauliflower, so begin checking it after 40 minutes. How do you know when cauliflower is cooked through? Insert a small knife in the center of the head to check for doneness. It should meet little resistance. You may need to roast it longer than an hour.
While the cauliflower is roasting, in a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the lemon juice, capers, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Taste and, if desired, add more lemon juice. When the cauliflower is done, transfer it to a platter. Drizzle some of the lemon-caper sauce over each head, reserving any extra for passing at the table.
Sprinkle the cauliflower with the parsley and serve.

Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins

May 14, 2020

This post is one I published a while ago on my blog, but I keep seeing rhubarb everywhere and I am craving these! I already made the compote on top. Think of this recipe as the ultimate jam + muffin combo. Also feel free to chuckle at my savoring of finally having a slow weekend at home. Ah, memories.

Also, check out Sam Sifton’s interview about quarantine cooking on NPR. He said that cooking now is all about the simple meals as well as projects. We can have both things going on in our quarantine kitchen and that is exactly what I’ve found. Simple pasta one night, scallops with beurre blanc the next. (Currently brining scallops to cook them from his cookbook See You On Sunday.) My ability to take pictures and do a post about our projects is very limited, but follow me on Instagram to see what I can capture on my iPhone.

Happy Eating! Katie


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We are so excited to have a long weekend with slow mornings, and time to linger over coffee, cartoons and these muffins. There is something about rhubarb, with its bright, slightly sour flavor that perfumes everything it touches. And the strawberries right now are so incredibly delicious and sweet that I had to add these to this recipe (the original one from Saveur had just rhubarb and almond flavors, but I’ve adapted it here without nuts and with strawberries).

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Whenever I use rhubarb, I always think of Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. I love everything about this book, where the author writes about a year of living with her husband and two children on a farm where they only eat what they can grow or get within a 50 mile radius (in Southern Appalachia, this excludes grocery stores or box stores of any kind).

When the author’s 50 birthday takes place in the summer of their year of eating seasonally, they served their birthday guests huge vats of strawberry rhubarb crisp instead of birthday cake, and of course its completely delicious.image

When I made these muffins, I thought about that scene, because this recipe is really so versatile that it could be easily made into a delicious breakfast coffee cake (or birthday cake as the case may be) just by adding 15-20 minutes of cooking time. It is also very reminiscent of strawberry rhubarb crisp – which I posted here awhile ago – since it has a streusel topping. I love having another way to use strawberry and rhubarb together other than dessert. (Not that I haven’t eaten Strawberry Rhubarb crisp for breakfast.)

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And since I subscribe to the more is more philosophy, I made a quick and easy compote with strawberries, rhubarb, 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water + 1 tsp. lemon zest (totally optional). This is fantastic on anything your memorial day weekend could bring your way – ice cream, angel food cake, toast. And it turns out to be delicious on these muffins too.

Warning: just licking the spoon of this stuff will cause extreme distraction due to the explosion of flavor in your mouth. So, so good.

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The sour cream gives the batter such a moist, tender cake, and the juicy fruits bursting out of it with the sugary, buttery streusel crust with hints of lemon is amazing.

So if you’ve been dreaming of some from-scratch flavors, give your baking tools a spin over this long weekend.

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Strawberry Rhubarb Streusel Muffins (printer version here):

MAKES ABOUT 18 MUFFINS

For the Streusel

½ cup flour

½ cup sugar

2 tbsp. packed light brown sugar

½ tsp. lemon zest

¼ tsp. kosher salt

4 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed

 

For the Muffins

2 3/4 cups flour + ¼ cup to mix with fruit

2 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. baking soda

¼ tsp. kosher salt

1 cup sour cream

1 cup sugar

½ cup packed light brown sugar

½ cup canola oil

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 tsp. Vanilla extract

2 stalks rhubarb, cut into ¼” pieces

1 cup strawberries, cut into ¼” pieces

 

Instructions

Make the streusel: Whisk together flour, both sugars, zest, and salt in a small bowl. Add butter, and using your fingers, rub into mixture until smooth and large clumps form. Transfer to refrigerator; chill until ready to use.

Make the muffins: Heat oven to 350°. Grease and flour muffin pans; set aside. Whisk together 2 34 cups flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl; set aside. In another bowl, whisk together sour cream, both sugars, oil, eggs, and vanilla; pour mixture over dry ingredients and whisk until just combined. In a small bowl, toss remaining flour with rhubarb and strawberries until evenly coated, and then stir into batter. Working in batches, place cup batter in muffin cups, break streusel up into medium-sized clumps, and sprinkle evenly over muffins. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle of each muffin comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

To make a cake instead, preheat oven to same 350 temp. Pour batter into greased and floured 8″ round cake pan or 9×9 inch pan, top with streusel, and start checking at 35-40 with a toothpick for doneness.

Muffin Recipe adapted from www.saveur.com

Easy Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce

In a saucepan, combine: 2 stalks of rhubarb, cut into ½ pieces, 1 cup strawberries, quartered and hulled, ¼ cup water, ½ cup sugar, 1 tsp. lemon zest (optional). Bring to a simmer over high heat, then reduce to medium high, for 6-8 minutes or until fruit has broken down.

Pork, Asparagus and Red Pepper Stir Fry

April 17, 2020

Anyone else have a hoard of hungry people at midday during quarantine?

I am often tied up with the twins and school work and direct them all to sandwiches and salads, but if I can swing I hot meal the day feels a little bit..cozier? Food has definitely been our entertainment and comfort the past month. So when I saw an easy recipe for a pork and asparagus stir fry from Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen fame I thought, I have all the ingredients. Let’s see if this recipe is a contender.

Approximately 30 minutes later, everyone drifted to the table by an irresistible smell from the aromatic garlic and ginger and soy sauce and gathered around the table (still so weird to have everyone home for lunch!). When they dove in the ooohs and ahhhs started. The flavor of the pork tastes like it was made in a restaurant thanks to the addition of sherry.

They dove in and the warm combo of rice and meat was like diving into hot Chinese delivery. But it tasted healthy too thanks to the abundance of veggies.

Deb (we’re on a first name basis now) originally made this with just asparagus but I love color and decided to add another element to the dish.

I usually make stir fry with lots of different veggies but I liked the simplicity of this dish. The blistering technique (see directions below) was easy and I’m going to do it in all stir fries henceforth (it’s a fancy word day I guess).

The main idea of this recipe was that family members could adjust how much heat they add to the dish by using chili crisp  which is basically a condiment with red pepper flakes and crispy bits of garlic and shallots and ginger. Instead, I used this chili onion crunch oil I got at Trader Joes. The texture and the heat were, as you can imagine, delightful. If you don’t have anything like this, sriracha works just fine if you like heat.

This was super easy and delicious. Definitely a contender for our regular dinner (and now I guess lunch too) rotation.

Happy Eating! xoxo Katie

Pork, Asparagus and Red Pepper Stir Fry

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 tsp. peanut or vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 lb. asparagus, trimmed, cut on a diagonal into 1″–2″ pieces
  • 1 large red pepper, cut into strips
  • 16 oz. ground pork
  • 6-8 scallions, white and pale green parts only, finely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 2″ piece ginger, peeled, finely chopped
  • 4 Tbsp. Shaoxing wine (Chinese rice wine) or medium-dry sherry
  • 4 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. toasted sesame oil

RECIPE PREPARATION

  • Heat 1 tsp. oil in a large skillet over high. Once pan is hot (oil will be lightly smoking), add asparagus and a couple pinches of salt and cook, tossing only once or twice so the pieces have a chance to blister, until crisp-tender and lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer asparagus to a plate. Add 1 tsp. oil to skillet (no need to wipe it out) and repeat process with red pepper strips. Transfer to a plate.

  • Reduce heat to medium-high; add remaining 1 tsp. oil to skillet, then add pork, spreading out into an even layer. Season with a couple pinches of salt and cook, undisturbed, until meat begins to brown underneath, about 2 minutes. Break up meat with a wooden spoon and add scallions, garlic, and ginger. Cook, stirring, until pork is crisp and mixture is very fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add wine and soy sauce and return asparagus to skillet. Cook, turning to coat with pork mixture, until heated through, about 1 minute.

  • Transfer stir-fry to a platter or large shallow bowl and drizzle with sesame oil. Serve with rice and chili crisp.

    Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit 

Tuna Poke Bowls

April 3, 2020

We love the local restaurant that serves Tuna Poke bowls. They are fresh and fast and delicious. Our two oldest kids started to love them too but they are $15 a bowl (!) so we came up with a way to cook them at home sometimes to save money. Fast forward to the current state  of the world and we tried to order some but they are closed. I know so many friends who also love them and wanted to share how we make them so they can still have them.

Fresh tuna is so delicious, and my husband grabbed some while he did our weekly shop. (Will definitely ask him to get more the next time we have to go to the store if they don’t stop carrying it!) Sometimes we sear it and make fish tacos with cabbage and rice wine vinegar and spicy mayo. But poke bowls have been our go to lately.

I put some sushi rice in the rice cooker and cubed the tuna (I’ve use jasmine rice too and it works well). Then I mixed 1/4 cup each soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and sesame oil and poured it over it and let it marinate for 30 minutes. We chopped up our favorite toppings – red pepper, cucumber, carrots, and jalapeño  and took some edamame out of the freezer, and dinner was done.

The special ingredient is the Sriracha Mayo. You can also use Rays Secret Sauce with a horseradish kick.

This dinner makes you feel so good! It is so satisfying and healthy and easy. You can also make bowls for little kids with chicken nuggets or cubed chicken with some terriaki sauce on it.

Digging into one of these is such a treat. I hope you get to try it soon! And also hoping that tuna stays available.

Tuna Poke Bowl

2 tuna steaks, cubed (about 2 pounds)

2 cups sushi rice or jasmine rice + amount of water in directions

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

1/4 sesame oil

For the toppings, pick your favorite:

cucumber

red pepper

edamame

shredded carrots

jalapeno

sesame seeds

any spicy crunchy topping

sriracha mayo

Directions: Cook rice and water in rice cooker or in a pot according to directions.

Cube tuna steak and mix together soy sauce, rice vinegar and sesame oil. Pour over tuna and stir to combine. Let marinate for 30 minutes (if you have the time, otherwise can just toss to coat it in the sauce).

Assemble poke bowl by filling with rice, then tuna, (can use cubed cooked chicken with teriyaki sauce for kids) then toppings. Serve with sriracha mayo drizzled on top.