IHCC, and our theme is appropriately Farewell Food. I have been thinking all week of impressive final recipes, and couldn't settle on anything perfect. Then I whipped up a recipe I bookmarked ages ago for a quickie dinner fix last night. And O to the M to the G, you guys. It was like a Eureka moment. It may seem lame to submit a condiment as my final farewell to Bitty, but I've decided it is perfect. This is the most simple, versatile, and minimalist recipe I've found in the books yet, and I think that pretty much sums up Mr. Mark Bittman. I used my sample of dried porcini mushrooms from MarxFoods and a handful of leftover baby bellos to make this Dried Mushroom Puree in literally 15 minutes. For dinner, I came home and tossed it into some whole wheat pasta with a bunch of leftover sauteed veggies, and a heavy grating of parmesan. Talk about easy and what a flavor! It's like a mushroom smack in the mouth. But in a good way. Of course, I had a bunch leftover, so I used it today to make this sandwich, and I had to stop myself from inhaling it. Note to self: slowly chewing and swallowing makes for happier tastebuds. Also, this is not pretty stuff, but it's incredibly tasty, so get over yourself if you think it resembles something disgusting.
Dried Mushroom Puree
adapted from Mark Bittman's The Minimalist Cooks at Home
1 oz (about 1/2 cup loosely packed) dried porcini mushrooms
1/2 cup baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
1 clove garlic
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. olive oil
2 1/2 cups of water
Bring water to a boil in a small pot. Add dried mushrooms and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, sauté baby bellos in a pat of butter in a small pan until tender. Transfer to a food processor. Once dried mushrooms are tender, transfer to food processor with a slotted spoon, reserving mushroom broth for another use (like stock!). Add garlic and thyme and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Stir into risotto, pasta, soups, or use as a dip or spread.
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Roasted Pork and Mushroom Panini
3 lb. pork roast
2 Tbls. flour
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 -2 sprigs fresh rosemary
zest of one lemon
2 cups low fat milk
1 cup half and half
2 Tbls. olive oil
salt and pepper
For sandwiches: Slices of sourdough bread
Heat olive oil in a large saute pan. Season flour with salt and pepper and dredge pork in flour, coating all sides. Brush off any excess. Brown on all sides in hot oil. Transfer to a slow cooker. Add garlic to the hot pan and saute about 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add to the slow cooker. Add rosemary, milk, half and half, and lemon zest. Cook on high for 7-8 hours. If you want to serve this for dinner with sauce, transfer the sauce to a saute pan and cook on medium high until thickened, about 10 minutes. Use the leftovers for this panini.
Butter two pieces of bread on one side. Spread opposite sides with a teaspoon of mushroom puree, top with slices of pork and cheese. Sandwich together and cook in a panini pan or press until warmed through and cheese is melted.
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