Saturday, November 01, 2008

Mushroom Bruschetta

We just "field-tested" this one and it came out wonderful! Aunt Linda loved it, and she doesn't like mushrooms!

  • 1 lb assorted mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 4 oz panchetta, chopped
  • 2 Tbs flour, sifted
  • 1 Tbs assorted minced savory herbs (example: rosemary, thyme, and sage)
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 cup beef broth (or any other broth)
  • 1 jigger (1 1/2 oz) of congac or bourbon (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Crackers or toast to serve on


Start by placing the olive oil, panchetta, onion, and shallot in a medium-high skillet with a pinch of salt to begin having them cook down--if the onions sizzle right away, it is too hot to start out. Let "sweat" for about 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent.

Drop in the sliced mushrooms and turn the heat up slightly. Let the mushrooms cook for about five minutes and then add the butter. A slightly thick sauce will start to form. When that happens, add the herbs and garlic and mix thoroughly, then add the sifted flour.

Cook the mixture for one to two minutes (cooking the "raw cereal flavor" out of the flour). It should thicken up very well, so now add the broth and then optionally the congac. The mixture will form a thick gravy, holding the mushrooms together.

Salt and pepper to taste. Serve on small pieces of toast, crackers, or optionally as a side dish.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Totally Awesome Vegan Mexi-Dip

I gotta tell ya, this was JUST AWESOME and full of flavor! Who cares that it's totally vegan??? It's a dish even a meat-eater would love!

I must confess, though... I did spread it on a steak fajita!

1 cup Silken tofu
1 Tbs Olive oil
1 Tbs Flour, sifted fine
1 Tbs Tomato paste
1 shallot, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, fresh
Seasoning, to taste:
Chili powder

On stand-by: arrowroot starch

In a blender, mix silken tofu with cilantro. It will go in solid, but come out as a liquid. Season to taste with spices (suggested above).

In a sauce pan or skillet on medium heat, combine chopped shallot (optional: minced garlic would work too) and olive oil with a pinch of kosher salt. Let the shallots heat slightly and soften and then add the flour. The heat will cook out the "raw, cereal taste" of the flour and you can then add the tomato paste. You will get a thick red-orange paste. If it is too thick, you can add a little bit of the mixed tofu until you get the consistency right. Let the paste cook until it starts to slightly bubble. This is called a "roux" and is the base of all sauces.

Once the roux has cooked (a few minutes will do, but the longer it cooks the more full the flavor will be), add in the mixed liquid ingredient. Whisk together while the mixtrue cooks--it will look like a liquid. Continually whisk until the mixture just begins to boil--then lower the heat to a simmer and whisk occasionally. The sauce will then "tighten up" into almost a thick gravy.

If the sauce is not as thick as desired, now's the time to use the old stand-by arrowroot starch: put a teaspoon in a 1/4 cup of tap water and mix. Once it is incorporated (and you must do this first or it will clump), then add it to the pan and let it heat. The sauce will now thicken up very nicely as it cooks--likely another three or four minutes more, and then begin to cool down.
Serve in a bowl--spread on tortillas, us as a dip for chips or veggies, or as a glaze for tofu fajitas.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Grilled Lasagne

Grilled Lasagne? Absoloutely! Okay, you have to take advantage of a cooking vessel too (I use a cast iron skillet) but by grilling the components first you'll get a great flavor!

Assorted peppers and tomatoes, enough to make a good source of sauce
1 bunch of basil
4-6 Italian saussage links

smoked mozzerella cheese (enough to fill your lasagne)
fresh lasagne noodles (not dried pasta, made form scratch or purchased fresh from a bakery)
olive oil
Black Pepper and Salt, to taste


Fire-grill assorted peppers, tomatoes, onions, and sausage links. Wrap in foil and set aside.

Make from scratch some pasta dough and roll out into lasagne noodles using a pasta machine. Season liberally with salt, pepper, Italian spices, and olive oil. Fire them up over open flame on the grill (they will cook fast).

After the veggies have cooled, drop them in a blender or food processor with a big batch of fresh basil. Hit "Frappe" and there's the sauce.

Slice the sausage links into thin disks for layering in the pasta. Now get your cast-iron skillet. Put a liberal dose of butter on the pan to help prevent sticking. Start layering the noodles, saussage, and smoked mozzerella cheese in the skillet. Place over indirect heat until the cheese is thoroughly melted and maybe just slightly carmelized. If it's a gas grill, kill the heat and let it rest right there for about 10-15 minutes (to let the dish form back together--it's worth the wait) or for a wood or charcoal grill, remove and cover with foil for about 10-15 minutes.

The next step will be to fight off the neighbors who will invade your house wanting to eat it!

For variety, you can add all kinds of summer and/or winter squash too. Eggplant? Sure, if you like that sort of thing (I don't but a lot of people do). Veal? Beef? Chicken? Buffalo? Rabbit? Why not try 'em all!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Grilled Tenderloin Pizza

Did this one this weekend, it was absoloutely awesome!

  • 5-6 Button Mushroosm
  • 1 Tenderloin steak
  • Pizza dough
  • Blue Cheese
  • Pizza sauce
  • Black Pepper and Salt, to taste

Take some mushroom caps (button mushrooms work well) and take the stems off. fill the stems with italian dressing (I used homemade, but you could use prepared). Take a tenderloin steak and cover it with olive oil, black pepper, and salt.

Grill the mushrooms and the steak--you'll want the steak medium at the most, medium-rare is better. Wrap it in foil when you take it off the grill and let "carry-over heat" bring the steak together.

Slice the cooked mushrooms and steak thin-thin-thin.

Take pizza dough (make your own, buy it, or whatever) and toss it out on a medium-hot grill. Let it cook on one side for 2 minutes and flip it--now it's time to work fast!

Oil the cooked side (top) of the pizza crust. Put the sliced steak and mushrooms all over the pizza. Spread crumbled blue cheez all over and then pour (hot) pizza sauce all over the top (by having the pizza sauce hot and on top, it is more likely to melt the cheese.

Two minutes on this side will be enough, so take it up right away.If the cheese still needs to melt, put it in a 200 deg oven for about 3-5 minutes to finish the job.

Slice and enjoy!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Mexican Butter-Corn

Made this just a few days ago--and the leftovers were just as good! This is really simple to make and really easy to get creative on--add or subtract small-cut veggies as you see fit!

  • Corn
  • Sunflower oil
  • Butter
  • Jalapeno Pepper, chopped
  • Chili Powder, pinch
  • Salt, pinch
  • Black pepper, pinch


Put the butter and oil in a hot skillet to melt the butter and combine. Toss in the corn kernels and add salt, black pepper, and chopped jalapenos. Let sautee on high heat until the corn starts to carmelize (blacken) just a bit. Hit with a dash of Chili powder and serve!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Grilled Fry Bread

This was fabulous! We made it for breakfast and dipped it in gravy, but it could easily be used as a soft tortilla shell... next time we make tacos on the grill, we're using this to make the tortillas! I think it would be great for venison tacos on the grill with hot grilled peppers and onions!

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out the dough
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, or 2 to 3 tablespoons butter, melted


Place the flour, powdered milk, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl and whisk or stir to mix. Add the shortening, cutting it in with two knives; the mixture should be the texture of cornmeal. Add enough hot water to obtain a soft, pliable dough. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead it for 5 minutes. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Divide the dough into 6 even pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Working on a lightly floured cutting board, roll a ball into a thin disk 5 to 6 inches across. Place the disk on a lightly floured baking sheet, then repeat with the remaining pieces of dough. Keep the rolled-out dough covered with a damp cloth until you are ready to grill it.

Set up the grill for direct grilling and preheat to high.

When ready to cook, brush and oil the grill grate. Brush the top of each disk with oil. Place a few of the rolled-out disks, oiled side down, on the hot grate; to do so, hold the dough by the edge and gently lay it on the grill. Brush the top side of the dough with oil. After 2 or 3 minutes, the bread will start to puff and blister and the bottom will become golden brown. Turn the bread with tongs and grill the other side, 2 to 3 minutes longer. If you serve the grilled breads at once, they'll be soft and puffy. If you let them sit for 5 to 10 minutes, they'll become delectably crisp.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Yummy-Fudge

Okay, this stuff is just the best! The peanut butter and chocolate combination is just great! I like to use crunchy peanut butter, but do whatever works! Oh, and it's incredibly simple to make!

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup chunk chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk (don't use skim milk, the fat is needed)


Toss all the ingredients in a double boiler and melt slowly, stirring constantly. If the chocolate starts to crystalize, add a little more peanut butter and continue stirring.

Pour into a glass pan and refridgerate until hard, then serve.

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