My husband and I love food and we especially love to try to challenge ourselves to learn to cook new foods and to use new techniques. Hence why we make our own beer and I am trying my hand at homemade cheeses. Even though we love love love to cook, we often find ourselves falling into a rut when things get crazy. We have such ambious ideas for things that we can make during the week, but often we end up just making standby recipes that are delicious, but that we’ve made a zillion times. And so, taking a page from all of the cooking competition shows that we watch, Ronnie had a brilliant idea of how we could spice things up a bit. I feel and hope that a lot of people that read our blog and love to cook will appreciate and (hopefully!) replicate this experience because it’s so fun!
Here’s how it went down: Ronnie told me three random ingredients on Friday (trout, shiitake mushrooms and green onions) and I had to think of a meal that features all three ingredients. It could be all in one dish or included in the general menu. Not too challenging, but can you see how this could get hard (and therefore extra competative and fun?!) Now, to begin with I have to admit that I am a recipe person. Sometimes I feel like this is such a taboo thing to say, but at the end of the day I like to try recipes and not just throw a bunch of things together. There are a few exceptions to this rule, but for the most part I follow the instructions. So when I was given my ingredients I started scouring my cookbooks and all of the internet sites that I frequent and got some really great ideas. Here are the recipes that I used and a few photos, I hope that if you try this contest in your own home you share it with us! Happy eating!
from Williams-Sonoma’s Tuscany Cookbook
- 2 fresh rosemary sprigs
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
- 1 1/2 lb. new potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
- 4 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 4 small trout, each 3/4 lb., cleaned and filleted
- 2 Tbs. chopped green onions (my addition! such a rebel…)
Set aside 1 rosemary sprig and finely chop the leaves of the other. In a small bowl, combine the chopped rosemary and the garlic. Season generously with salt and white pepper.
Oil a large baking dish. Arrange half of the potato slices in rows on the bottom, slightly overlapping the slices and the rows. Sprinkle evenly with one-third of the garlic mixture, drizzle with 1 1/2 Tbs. of the olive oil and dot with 1 Tbs. of the butter. Layer with the remaining potato slices, then top with one-third of the garlic mixture, 1 1/2 Tbs. of the oil and the remaining 1 Tbs. butter. Cover the dish and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and continue baking until the potatoes are almost tender, about 20 minutes more.
Remove the dish from the oven and arrange the fish in a single layer on top of the potatoes. Drizzle with the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil and sprinkle with the remaining garlic mixture and the green onions. Lay the rosemary sprig on top. Return to the oven and bake until the fillets are opaque throughout, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving directly from the baking dish.
Simple Sauteed Mushrooms
- 1.5 pounds shiitake mushrooms (or a mixture of various wild mushrooms)
- 1/4 cup of Olive Oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- Bunch of Parsley, chopped
Trim and clean the mushrooms, remove stems (if using shiitake) and slice mushrooms thinly. Heat the olive oil in a large pan (1.5 pounds of mushrooms takes up a lot of space!) and add the garlic and parsley and stir until it smells delicious (a minute or two). Add the mushrooms and stir until they release some of their own liquid (about 5 minutes). The mushrooms will soak up a lot of the oil so be sure to be a vigilant stirrer. After the mushrooms start to soften, turn down the heat, add some salt and pepper and let them continue cooking for another 15 minutes or so, stirring occasionally. They’ll sit happily on low heat until everything else is ready to go!