My teenage daughter recently said to me “Mom, you don’t need to put bacon in everything!” with the exasperated sigh that all teenagers use when dealing with their mothers. Hmmm…we may be speaking different languages, because I sure don’t understand this comment! (Don’t worry, I’ll be checking her room for drugs, right after I finish writing this, because really-who says this?) Bacon? Bacon belongs on everything. Bacon should be it’s own food group. Bacon is life. Like this Bourbon Bacon Meatloaf. If you agree with me, or know someone that agrees with me…keep reading……
I won’t lie, it’s been a tough few weeks. I’ve been down and out sick and just getting out of bed in the morning has been a real challenge (and we’re talking getting out of bed to go lie on the couch). My poor husband has been keeping things rolling and picking up the slack with the kids and around the house. I haven’t been able to visit Holly and our newest addition to the With Two Spoons team (born October 6th!). I even spent Halloween holed up in bed while my dad handed out candy so my husband could take my little out. We’ve eaten pizza for 4 of the last 5 meals. But today, today I finally felt like maybe I could tackle dinner. And whenever you are struggling, go back to the beginning. Back to Balsamic Pork with Gnocchi….
I’ve been looking for this dish for a long time, and didn’t even know it. I’ve substituted many things, but this, this Mushroom Bourguignon is the real deal. So, just like so many awesome things in my life, this dish came in to my life by accident. Completely by accident. Well, really it was due to a minor mistake by my husband-but really, the best mistake possible. For real. …
I’ll admit it, I’m having a hard time reentering life after my fabulous trip to the Mediterranean. I’m back to work on a late evening shift (aka not enough sleep), I still have a million emails to catch up on, and to top it all off-I’m sick. I’m struggling to be good to myself, yet still give my kids and home the attention they need. As much as I would’ve loved to spend my waking hours this weekend in the kitchen, it just wasn’t going to happen. Instead I’m eating the Sopressata Sandwich….
Many years ago, I was overwhelmed with a stressful full time job, raising two kids and trying to appear that I had it all together (To be completely honest this may have not been so many years ago, or even so many months ago, in fact this may still describe my life today…but I digress). I was starting to find my way in the kitchen and was starting to read different food blogs. One in particular, Smitten Kitchen, spoke to me. I love Deb Perelman and her witty prose and her tiny kitchen in New York City. Her writing makes you feel like you are drinking coffee at her table while she is cooking for you. And at that time in my life, I was particularly in need of this. (Thanks Deb!)
So when a Facebook group I am a part of suggested we do a Smitten Kitchen Cookbook Challenge, I was all in. After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, correct? The challenge was designed to go chapter by chapter. One person (and sometimes more than one) would make a recipe and review it, and we would continue on until every recipe in the chapter was completed. This sounded right up my alley. Mushroom Tart? Game on.
Due to my vacation, I entered in round 3 (Sandwiches, tarts and pizza) with the Mushroom Tart. I chose this partially because I really love tarts, partially because I really love mushrooms, and mostly because I knew no one else in my mushroom adverse house would even try this-so I’d have it all to myself (yay! leftovers!). And what a great choice it was! Shallots and mushrooms combined with marscapone, fontina and parmesan to form a hearty filling. Cornmeal in the crust gives the crust dimension. I happen to love herbs, so I added rosemary, because I personally think everything should contain rosemary.
I served this Mushroom Tart with a simple arugula salad, lightly dressed with Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar Reduction from Queen Creek Olive Mill (if you haven’t checked out this family owned olive farm in Arizona, you need to!). Not only was it a great dinner, it was a great lunch (for the WHOLE next week).
Don’t be put off by all of the steps, many can be done somewhat simultaneously. A few tips: slice the mushrooms small enough to be bite size, if you like herbs, feel free to use slightly more thyme AND rosemary, and if you haven’t checked out Smitten Kitchen-do so now!
- 1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
- ¼ cup yellow cornmeal
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 6 Tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, diced + a smidge extra for greasing the foil
- 1 egg
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 shallots, sliced thin
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ½ pound (225g) cremini mushrooms sliced into bite site pieces
- 1 pound (455g) assorted mushrooms (shiitake, oyster, chanterelle, more cremini) sliced into bite sized pieces
- 1 teaspoon thyme, chopped
- 1 teaspoon rosemary, chopped
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- ¼ cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
- ¼ cup milk
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup grated fontina cheese (Can substitute provolone)
- ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- TO MAKE THE CRUST (TART SHELL):
- Place flour, cornmeal, and salt into the bowl of your food processor and then pulse to combine.
- Add the chilled butter and pulse until butter is in small bits.
- Add the egg and pulse until dough clumps.
- Lay out a piece of plastic wrap on a clean counter.
- Place dough on plastic wrap and cover with an additional piece of plastic wrap.
- Using a rolling pin, roll dough out to a 12 inch circle.
- Remove the top piece of plastic wrap and invert the crust over a 9-inch tart pan.
- Use your fingers to push the crust against the corners and sides of the pan.
- Put the tart pan on top of a baking sheet, and place the pan into the freezer for 20-30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375ºF.
- Remove the tart shell from the freezer. (keep on the baking pan)
- Grease one side of a 12 inch piece of aluminum foil with butter.
- Press the foil, butter side down, against the crust.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- Remove foil (carefully!) and bake for another 8-10 minutes until crust is golden.
- Remove tart shell from the oven to a cooling rack.
- Turn oven down to 350ºF.
- TO MAKE THE FILLING:
- Heat the olive oil and butter in a large sauté pan.
- Add the shallots and sauté over medium heat until soft, approximately 3 minutes.
- Add the garlic and sauté for an additional minute.
- Add the mushrooms, thyme and rosemary.
- Although it seems that all of these mushrooms won't fit, don't worry, if you keep stirring, the very large volume of mushrooms will be quickly reduced!
- Saute the mushrooms over high heat until tender and the released liquid has evaporated, approximately 10-15 minutes.
- Add the salt and pepper and stir.
- Allow mushrooms to cool.
- In a medium bowl, combine mascarpone and milk, whisking until smooth.
- Whisk in the eggs and then add the fontina and parmesan.
- Finally, add the mushrooms and stir to combine.
- TO MAKE THE TART:
- Place tart shell back onto baking pan.
- Add the filling to the tart shell.
- If you haven't already turned the oven down to 350ºF, do so now.
- Bake for 25-40 minutes until golden and the custard is set.
- Cool the tart on a cooling rack for 10 minutes.
- Slice and serve.
I still remember my first real dinner party. I mean, I had been out with friends a million times. We had ordered in pizzas, gotten take out Chinese, checked out all of the various sub places. But none of my friends were cooks. Although we frequently ate together (and were great at finding awesome restaurants), we didn’t cook for each other. Until I moved to Houston. I became good friends with one of my colleagues and his wife, Andria, and they invited my husband and myself over for dinner (how grown up! how nerve wracking! Turns out luckily we both knew how to behave…). And that is when I learned about One Pot Chicken Tarragon….
I learned about a new food this weekend and I thought it only fair to share it with you! (Especially since I was thinking: Where have you been all of my life?). I had made my favorite sauce in the whole wide world (Cilantro Lime sauce, in case you missed the post) and was looking for something special to do with it. Something my entire family would like. Something that wasn’t my “same old”. I found it in Pulled Pork Sopes, and we’ll be making it many more times in the coming months….
Are you looking for a delectable way to get more veggies into your kids? Yep, me too. In a never ending battle to get more nutrition into the foods my kids eat, I developed a sloppy joe recipe brimming with extra nutrition. I knew Veggified Sloppy Joes were a winner when both of my kids asked for seconds. (and shhh…I found my teenager eating the leftovers the next day!)…
As a busy mama, I have come to really appreciate a quick, one-pot meal. Less pots = less clean up and more time with my family and these days, that is worth everything. This One Pot Pasta with Tomato, Spinach, and Mozzarella fits right into my crazy schedule and is gobbled up by my hungry husband and toddler alike. Filled with healthy ingredients available at any grocery store (in other words, I can grab everything in 10 minutes on my way home from work!), this pasta dish is hearty, healthy, and on your table in under 3o minutes. The recipe is based off of a recent feature in Cooking Light Magazine, one of my go to sources for fast and fresh dinners. I’ve adapted the dish to suit my family’s tastes and I hope you love it. It is most definitely becoming a family favorite! …
I was trying to think of something great to make for dinner while at the cabin this weekend. I knew it was going to be just my husband and I and our 5 year old, so I was looking for something simple. I also knew it was going to be rainy, so I wanted something comforting. My 5 year old and I had been watching Pioneer Woman on Food Network (I will happily to admit to having the biggest girlcrush on Ree…) when he said, “mama we should make that sometime…but I won’t eat the radishes”. I have to admit that I hadn’t really been paying attention, but when I did…Mediterranean Salmon Farro Bowls were born!…