We were dying for vegetables after our odd weekend in the Tri-Cities, so we loaded up a shopping cart with mushrooms, onion, fennel, beets, carrot and a parsnip and took it all home to roast with olive oil and salt. I separated out the shrooms and fennel to roast together, parboiled the beets and put them in a pan with the carrot, and put the onion and parsnip in a third pan (J is not a big fan of the parsnip). When everything was caramelized and soft I tossed it all together on our plates, and topped the piles with a lovely halibut steak that I had roasted as well. It was all very fresh tasting and delicious, and made us feel that it was nice to be home (sleeping in our own bed helped, too).
So dinner was nice, but I felt the high point was lunch the next day. I was feeling inspired after seeing this post and video on poaching eggs, as well as months of reading the wonderful blog posts on Last Night’s Dinner featuring beautiful poached eggs on top of duck hash or other yummy things. I had been known to poach an egg occasionally, but usually wimped out and ended up frying them (I’m good at frying eggs, at least) and eating them for breakfast on top of leftover greens or couscous.
But I did it! It’s not as pretty as it could be, but it was perfectly done and it tasted wonderful with the roasted parsnip and beets and such, with the yolk dribbling down and mixing with the sweet vegetables juices. With a good sprinkle of fleur de sel, it was a cheery and restorative lunch.
For J’s birthday we decided a crêpe night was in order. Every once in a while we like the have the sort of dinner where we pull stools and a kitchen cart up to the stove, have all the fixings on hand and just eat crêpes as they come out of the pan, nice, hot and buttery.
J was introduced to buckwheat crêpes when he went to Brittany during high school, but I didn’t get to know them until we went to Paris a few years ago on an anniversary trip. The galette du jour at La Crêperie Beaubourg converted me to buckwheat in one delicious ham-and-cheese swoop! Now we make all of our crêpes with buckwheat flour, unless they’re for dessert.
As usual when we make buckwheat crêpes, I couldn’t remember which recipe we usually use. This time we did the one from Susan Loomis’ French Farmhouse Cookbook, which is just buckwheat flour, water, salt and eggs; other recipes might use milk or a little all-purpose flour. These crêpes were tasty, but I’m planning to try a different recipe next time. If I can remember which one I used this time (maybe this blog will help).
Yes, the weather has been nasty around here, windy, cold and wet. It snowed rather convincingly on Sunday morning but then settled back into a glum, clammy grayness. I wanted something warm, easy to eat and comforting for dinner, as you might imagine.
I had a little Arborio rice left, so I made risotto. I was going to do a plain mushroom risotto with a piece of salmon alongside, but wasn’t thrilled with our store’s fish selection (an unusual occurrence). So we went for one of our frequent emergency backups: kielbasa. It’s quick, easy and gives a great savoriness to anything you put it in. We use Hempler’s, a local brand.
This soup is a relic from the days when I was cooking my way through the old Moosewood Cookbook. I lived in a vegan interest house in college, so I was pretty limited in what I could make – almost everything from Moosewood has cheese AND butter in it. So when I’d fly out to visit J, my then-fiancé, we’d spend much of our time furiously cooking up all the stuff we didn’t normally get (in my case, dairy – in his case, almost anything that wasn’t spaghetti). Some of those recipes we never made again (looking at you, Almond Soup) and others are still in our repertoire thirteen years later, if somewhat modified.
Like many Moosewood recipes, I find the basic concept of this soup to be the important part, so I usually open the cookbook to the correct page, glance at the ingredient list, and then make it how I want. Here’s my personal version of Hungarian Mushroom Soup, adjusted for a carnivorous household. Continue reading