Pappardelle con funghi

Lots of mushrooms were hiding on the bottom… mmmm….

Lo amo i funghi ! They’re so photogenic and delicious! My sister-in-law Kathy and I share a love of fungus photography.  Family members are always frustrated with my vacation photos because they’re all of fungus and mosses… and a few of Chris, but not me.

Anyway, I ordered 4 packages of mushrooms (2 shitake, 2 chanterelle) and couldn’t wait to make this. I also ordered fresh pappardelle pasta from Fresh Direct. Yay fresh pasta!
I used Jamie Oliver’s recipe. Never a reason to modify his incredible recipes. He keeps everything so simple but everything tastes so amazing. Really makes you appreciate good, fresh food. That said, I didn’t use the red chilies (didn’t have them and Chris can’t have spice anyway).  This delicious dish serves 4 unless Chris is eating with you, then it serves 2.5  🙂

J.O. also had the great tip to buy 14 oz of mushrooms so that after cleaning and trimming it’s down to 9-11 oz (most packaged mushrooms come in 3.5 oz containers so buy 4 packages).

9-11 ounces mushrooms, cleaned and sliced (I used shitake and chanterelle this time)
3 tbsp evoo
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1-2 small dried red chilies, pounded or very finely chopped (didn’t use this)
salt and pepper
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 pound pappardelle pasta (fresh!)
small handful grated parmesan (I used pecorino romano, less than a small handful)
handful fresh flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
2 oz unsalted butter (1/2 stick)

Put pasta pot on stove to bring water to a boil (while you do this prep work and cooking).
Brush off and trim mushrooms, sliced (tear chanterelles in half). Put evoo in very hot frying pan (I used a large nonstick skillet) and add the mushrooms. Fry fast, tossing once or twice, then add garlic and pinch of salt. Continue to fry fast for 5 minutes, tossing regularly. Turn heat off and squeeze in lemon juice. Toss and season to taste.
While cooking mushrooms, cook pasta to al dente, 3-5 min for fresh pappardelle. Drain and add to mushrooms. Add parsley, cheese and butter. Toss gently co coat the pasta. Serve with extra cheese.


Monday Gourmet: Chris’ Clams and Rib Eye

What a meal for a Monday! Chris made some delicious steamed little neck clams and a huge 2″ thick rib eye steak that we split.
His recipe for the clams is modified from The Domestic Man (how apropos). This guy even had the cleaning directions is his blog. Excellent.
1/2 cup white wine (Chris substituted Woodchuck Pear Cider as we had no white wine)
1/2 stick butter
2 cloves minced garlic
1/3 cup sea salt

Clean and scrub clams, set in cold water with sea salt for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Rinse clams and put in colander to drain.
Add 1 inch of water, add wine (or cider) and bring to boil over med/high heat.
Once boiling, add clams and cover pot. Steam for 5-10 minutes until clams open completely.
Throw away any closed clams. Serve with fresh lemon.

The flavor was excellent! These clams were from Fresh Direct and were much bigger than I expected but still delicious. Nice and briny and sooo good.

Delicious! Briny and lemony and so yummy.

 As for the rib eye, that was also from Fresh Direct and bigger than I expected when I ordered it, but it was excellent. Very tasty.
He followed these instructions:
Room temperature steak
Season with salt, garlic powder, and pepper
Sear in hot cast iron pan on med-high heat (with 1-2 tbsp evoo)
Move into oven at 350 F until it hits 125 F (for rare), then rest covered with foil for 10-15 minutes.

Chris used our new, thinner, cast iron pan. It’s perfect; cast iron cooking with half of the weight.
His steak came out at 135 and it was a little too well done for our taste, but still delicious. Came out medium rare. Next time we’ll take it out at 125 and let it sit for rare.


Peach Jam #3

Even though I’ve posted 2 previous trials of peach jam I am posting this one to keep track of the amounts used. Each time it gets better, with less sugar and more cooking time.
This time I made 9 half-pint jars from 25 peaches (it’s peach season and Cary took me to Battleview Orchards for my peach jam run). I bought 8 quarts of peaches and kept about 8 peaches aside to hold for pie. I’ll make that on Friday.

The pot was pretty full this time, so it took 1.5 – 2 hours of boiling to cook it down about 50%.

Early stages of cooking… tons of peaches!

25 peaches (9 lbs 7 oz after they were peeled and cut up)
3 cups sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 packet of no-sugar pectin

Peaches were blanched and given an ice bath so I could peel them easily. I drastically cut the sugar content again. Even after 2 hours of cooking I had to add pectin to thicken it. Total prep and cooking time was 2.5 – 3 hours. Peaches are so watery when they cook that they really do need pectin unless I wanted to stand in front of the pot stirring for another 2 hours… no thank you!

It was really delicious and peachy this time, all fruit, very little goo.  🙂  Each serving of this recipe (2 tablespoons) is 59 calories and 14g of sugar. Practically health food!

UPDATE: 8 August 2012
This batch came out tangy. Chris wants it to be sweeter, so next time I’ll use more sugar. I like it, but it is more tart, almost like an apricot jam. I think a little more sugar wouldn’t go amiss.  🙂

Strawberry Blueberry Jam

Leftover berries again. This time I used 1.3 quarts of strawberries and .75 pint blueberries and 1 cup sugar, 1 tsp lemon juice. Made 2 half-pint jars.
Cooked it all down until it was jam. Really don’t need pectin if you cook it down enough.
This one’s delicious. The blueberries were whole so they keep a little shape and give a nice mellow flavor the the strawberries. Tones down the sweetness a teeny bit.

The harvest begins

We have had a cherry tomato here and there but this morning was the first decent harvest. The Fourth of July tomatoes are later than usual this year… must be because of the extreme weather, I don’t know.
The Sun Gold cherry tomatoes taste delicious and the skins are nice (not too thick). Yum!

The pottery bowl Cary & Dan gave us is perfect for them. The squiggle on the top reminds me of the cucumber vines when they start to grow.   🙂  Speaking of which, this is year two with the slowest cucumber plants ever. They’re only about a foot high now, finally sending out their tendrils. I think they just don’t do well in pots… need to be in the ground.