Sunday, December 19, 2010
Ack. I had this whole post written and lost it while it was still in "Draft" mode. Auto-Save is a great feature but can be harsh if you inadvertently lose text (or an entire post) and don't have a chance to recover it before it's automatically saved. Lesson learned. If I'm going to save something in Draft before publishing, copy the entire post's HTML code into a text or Word document. That's my tip for the day!
(An apology is in order here: My photos this week are particularly poor. Not sure what my problem is, but I will do my best to get that figured out soon!)
I do so look forward to the weekends. It not only means leaving the stress of the work week behind, but it allows me the time to do what I really enjoy... cook! Though I do a little cooking during the week, weekends give me the opportunity to try new recipes and more time-consuming techniques that I don't have the time (or inclination) for after a long work day. Which brings me to this week's Weekend Blog Showcase, hosted by Ann (Thibeault's Table) this week.
Take Thou Food. Being the mushroom-lover that I am, I knew it was a dish I would love. Take Thou Food is written by Sean, a young guy who is obviously a talented cook and photographer. I loved that he made the pasta from scratch for this dish even though the mushrooms are what really take center stage in the recipe. While Sean used a rolling pin to roll out his pasta dough, though, I used my handy, dandy crank pasta machine. I felt like a bit of a slacker in comparison, especially given the fact that his dough looks remarkably uniform and mine, well, ... doesn't. Nonetheless, his pasta dough was simple enough to make and will be my go-to pasta dough recipe from now on.
Sean used a combination of shiitake, oyster, button and rehydrated chanterelles in his dish, which sounded delicious. I remembered a small bag of dried lobster mushrooms I've had stashed in my pantry for quite some time, waiting for a dish where they would really star. So I reconstituted them in some hot water for about 30 minutes, and sliced them up along with some shiitakes and baby bellas, saving some of their steeping liquid to enhance the dish. Perfect.
I also had a jar of roasted chestnuts on hand. Their slightly sweet flavor and soft yet chewy texture were a wonderful addition to the recipe.This dish was so easy and so delicious, I know it will be one I will make again and again. Thank you, Sean!
Fresh Tagliatelle (Mushroom, Chestnuts, Sage)
- mixture of wild mushrooms
- 2+ tablespoons of butter
- a bunch of sage, chiffonade
- roasted chestnuts, in little pieces
- dried or fresh fettucini or tagliatelle
- 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
1) Make the pasta. This is so easy and simple to make at home. Just combine 100g of flour, 1 large egg and a tablespoon of olive oil and blitz until it resembles wet sand. Pour out to a lightly floured work surface and knead for a couple minutes until smooth and elastic. Wrap in cling film and chill for 30 minutes.
3) In a hot pan, add a tablespoon of olive oil (Lori's note: I added an additional 2 tablespoons of butter to the olive oil). Add the mushrooms (rehydrate any dry mushrooms per package instructions) and saute until it starts to brown and reduce in size. Finish off with a tablespoon of butter to give it a nice, rich, nutty flavor.
4) Add in sage a minute before the mushrooms finish cooking.
5) This is where you gotta multitask: if you're using fresh pasta, cook it in salted, boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes before the mushrooms finish cooking. If you're using dried pasta, you want to cook it just before al dente and by the time the mushrooms finish cooking so about the same time you start sauteeing the mushrooms. Overcooking the mushrooms is more forgivable than mushy pasta though.
6) Add a splash of the mushroom stock from the liquid the dried mushrooms were in and squeeze about a tablespoon of lemon juice over the pan.
7) Toss in your pasta with the chestnut bits and toss a few times until well incorporated.
8) Finish the pasta with another tablespoon of butter and mix. Serve immediately.