Tag Archives: mushrooms

Continental Chicken

Coq au vin is a very traditional French dish that is made by stewing chicken in red wine along with onions, mushrooms, olives, and tomatoes. I had it as a child and really enjoyed it but never made it as an adult because I’m a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and don’t believe in consuming alcohol. Last year I moved and I have slowly been unpacking boxes and stumbled across a cookbook that I had bought at a thrift store a few years ago. It had a book mark in it and I wasn’t sure why and so I decided to make the recipe to find out why I had marked it. Well the recipe turned out to be a non-alcohol based version of coq au vin called continental chicken. Needless to say I was quite happy with the results.

To make continental chicken you will need the following ingredients:

Eight bone-in chicken thighs

two tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil

One medium onion, sliced*

One clove of garlic, sliced

One 16 ounce can of diced tomatoes

One 16 ounce can of sliced mushrooms

One 16 ounce can of medium black olives

One 8 ounce can of tomato paste

One half cup soy sauce

Three cups cooked white rice

In a large Dutch oven heat the oil and add the onion and garlic. Saute the onions and garlic until the onions start to brown slightly. Add the chicken to the pot, skin side down, and brown on each side (about five minutes per side). Add the rest of the ingredients, except the rice, and bring to a boil. Reduce the temperature to low and simmer for 45 minutes. Meanwhile prepare the rice according to package directions. Serve the cooked chicken and sauce over the rice.

*If you can find them try using spring or BBQ onions instead of  regular onions. You’ll need three to replace one medium yellow onion but they have a milder taste and give the sauce a wonderful flavor and texture.

 

Jaeger Schnitzel

Schnitzel is a type of meat that is pounded or sliced thin then breaded and deep fried. In Germany the meat used is generally pork and that is what is used in this recipe. Normally the cut of meat used is a cutlet which is then pounded flat with a meat mallet. However, following our tradition of simplifying things for busy people we will be using thin sliced pork chops instead.

There are many different types of schnitzel, more than we could possibly discuss right now. Today we are going to be making jaeger schnitzel, or hunter’s cutlet as it would be in English. This is a schnitzel served over egg noodles with a mushroom gravy. I made it for my family this past weekend and the results were very positive. My father’s exact words were “feel free to make this again any time.” To make this dish you will need the following ingredients.

Two pounds of thin sliced pork chops

One cup of flour

Two eggs

One half cup milk

One medium onion, halved and sliced

One package sliced mushrooms

Three strips of bacon, cooked

Four packages of brown gravy

cooked egg noodles

cooking oil

Combine the eggs and milk and blend well. Put enough oil in a pan to cover the pork chops and heat it to aprox. 375 degrees. Dip each pork chop into the egg mixture and then dredge each one in the flour and then place in the hot oil. Cook the bacon until crisp, remove it from the pan, and add the mushrooms and onions to the same pan and brown them in the bacon grease. Cook each pork chop for five minutes, turn, and cook for five more minutes. Chop the bacon and add to the onions and mushrooms. Prepare the brown gravy according to the package directions. Add the gravy to the mushroom mixture. To serve, plate up a serving of egg noodles, top the egg noodles with a pork chop, and then smother the pork chop and egg noodles with the mushroom gravy. Enjoy

Give Hunger The Bird

Once upon a time there was a menu item at Winger’s called “Loaded Chicken.” Aside from their wings this was my favorite dish that they served. At some point Winger’s revamped their menu and loaded chicken disappeared. Another revamp and loaded chicken was back, sort of. It was now called “The Loaded Bird” and the recipe had changed. I was determined to have the loaded chicken that I loved no matter what it took but it turned out that it was pretty easy to make actually. To make this extremely delicious dish and give hunger the bird you will need the following:

Four boneless skinless chicken breasts

One medium onion quartered and sliced

One package of sliced mushrooms

One half of one stick of butter

Teriyaki sauce

Twelve slices of thick cut bacon

Shredded Cheddar/Monterey Jack cheese blend

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wrap each chicken breast with three strips of bacon; you may need to use toothpicks to keep the bacon in place. Place the chicken in a baking dish and smother with teriyaki sauce. Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes. Meanwhile melt the butter in a large skillet and saute the onions and mushrooms until the onions are soft and translucent. After 45 minutes top each chicken breast with roughly equal amounts of the onion and mushroom mixture. Cover the whole delicious mess with the cheese and bake for another fifteen minutes. Serve hot out of the oven with rice and coleslaw.

Baked Hawaiian-style Pork Chops

Years ago I found a recipe for “Polynesian Pork Chops” on a Campbell’s Soup can, tried it, and loved it. However, as is my habit I continued to tinker with the recipe working on tweeking it to my personal tastes. Finally I developed this recipe which is a blend of the original recipe and my own personal tastes. Among other changes I made was to bake the pork chops rather than fry them like the original recipe called for. The idea was to make the recipe healthier and take the recipe up to 11. For this recipe you will need the following ingredients:

one pound of pork chops (bone in or boneless), aprox. 4 to 6

One 15 ounce can of Campbell’s Golden Mushroom soup

One 8 ounce can of pineapple chunks

One medium onion, chopped

One teaspoon of honey

Three teaspoons soy sauce

one fourth cup cold water

garlic powder

Korean BBQ seasoning

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Season the pork chops by sprinkling them with garlic powder and Korean BBQ seasoning and bake them for 30 minutes. Meanwhile in a sauce pan combine the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. After the pork chops have cooked for 30 minutes pour the sauce over them and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Served with cooked white rice and stir-fry veggies.

Asian-style Meatball Soup

Nearly a decade ago a man’s fantasy became reality in a form never seen before…okay, yes I am totally riping off the introduction from iron Chef but there is a reason for that. This recipe I am about to present was inspired by an episode of Iron Chef. It actually was about a decade ago and Iron Chef Chen was squaring off against Hisao Oidate, who is an expert in Chinese Medicinal Cuisine. As an aspiring chef the idea that food could be both used to nourish and to heal interested me. I knew that food could help make you feel better but Chinese medicinal cuisine is much more than just that. They believe that what you eat affects your health by creating imbalances in your spirit. And to put it right you need to eat foods that restore the balance between Yin and Yang.

So this recipe comes from what I learned researching medicinal cooking. It is perfect for the cold winter months because it is chock full of ingredients that are meant to be eaten in that season. However this is also great to eat at other times of the year as well. To prepare this wonderfully balancing meal you will need the following:

One pound of ground pork

One head of cabbage, diced

One carrot, sliced

one medium onion, halved and sliced

Two cups of sliced mushrooms

One teaspoon of ground ginger

Four green onions, chopped

Four cloves of minced garlic

Two tablespoons of soy sauce

One-half teaspoon of pepper

Six cups of chicken broth

One half pound popcorn shrimp (optional)

One package of rice noodles

Combine the ground pork, ginger, soy sauce, egg, garlic, and the tops (the white parts) of the green onions into an even mix. In a large stock pot add the cabbage, carrot, onion, mushrooms, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Make meatballs either by hand or by using a scoop and drop them into the boiling broth. Stir gently and cook for ten minutes. Add the shrimp and rice noodles and cook until the noodles are soft. Garnish with the remaining chopped green onions and serve.

My Flirtation With Vegetarian Food

Last weekend my girlfriend and I took a quick vacation and spent some time at The Grand Lodge at Brian Head in Brian Head, Utah. Now Brian Head is mostly known as a ski resort but it’s also a great place to go for a few days to escape the summer heat, and it is just a short couple of hours from home so it’s a great value. If you don’t believe me then Google the place and just check out how amazing it is.

Our first afternoon there we had lunch at The Lift, which is the lodge’s bar and grill. The thing that caught my eye on the menu was a portobello mushroom burger with sweet potato fries. Now I must admit that I am a big carnivore so I was expecting a big Angus beef patty topped with portobello mushrooms and that is not what I got. But I must admit that I was not disappointed at all with the meal I was served instead.

What I got was a grilled portobello mushroom cap nestled on a whole wheat bun and topped with Swiss cheese, romaine lettuce, red onion, and surprisingly, a grilled tomato slice. The first bite was a bit of a surprise, not just because of the lack of meat but because of the meaty taste and texture of the mushroom.  Over all the burger changed my view on meatless meals and while it was not quite enough to make me swear off meat forever it has made me stop and think about eating more vegetarian food.

Just before we left I managed to coerce the recipe for the portobello burger out of the staff at The Lift. Most of it is pretty straight forward and just involves layering the raw ingredients I listed above. The secret lies in how they prepare the mushroom cap. They marinade the caps in a blend of 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and 2 tablespoons of Italian salad dressing. Place the mushroom cap or caps (the marinade above makes enough for two caps) in a bowl and toss them in the marinade. Let them sit for 20 to 30 minutes and turn them about every five minutes or so. Heat the grill until it’s about medium heat. If you are using a gas grill you can control this precisely but if you are like me and prefer charcoal then you will have to be more careful with this process. Oil down the grill with olive oil or olive oil spray and place the cap on the grill and cook for five to seven minutes on each side. Grill the tomato slices at the same time but only one or two minutes on a side. You are just looking to get char marks. You don’t want to fully cook the tomato. Then put the mushroom cap on the bottom section of the bun, top that with the Swiss cheese, then layer on the lettuce, red onion, and tomato and enjoy.

Dinner in Westros

Okay, I am going to admit it. I have a nerdy side. I enjoyed George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Fire and Ice” long before HBO premiered “A Game of Thrones” and I will enjoy it long after people stop jumping on that bandwagon. I Like Dungeons & Dragons, The Lord Of The Rings, and lots of other “nerdy” things as well. And judging by the success of most of those in pop culture, I’m guessing a lot of you like it too but are afraid of admitting it. If you were to look at my Facebook feed, you would probably think that all I cared about was role-playing games, Doctor Who, and politics.

So by now you are probably wondering what all this has to do with food or dating. Well the truth is, a lot.  If you read A Song of Fire and Ice you will find an extremely varied and exciting food culture. You will also find a lot of great don’t for dating, such as “don’t cut your date’s father’s head off and then force her to look at it.” Today we are interested in the food though, and not the extremely complicated and often disturbing love lives of Westros’s rich and famous.

Before I begin, I must give credit to The Inn at the Crossroads, an incredible website that does a great job of chronicling the food of A Song of Fire and Ice. All the recipes I am sharing in this post come from that website, with a few tweaks of my own.

So about two weeks ago I decided to make a Game of Thrones themed meal for my girlfriend. She loves to have me cook for her and it gave me an excuse to try out some new recipes. So let me tell you what I did.

For the appetizer I went with garlic mushrooms. This recipe was first mentioned in A Dance With Dragons. That means that you folks who only watch the show won’t have heard of it, and as the circumstances of the meal constitute some huge spoilers, I won’t share it here. I will say however that it is a southern dish often enjoyed in Pentos. The recipe is delicious and you should definitely try it.

So, to make garlic mushrooms first you take a pound of white mushrooms and lay them out on a baking tray. Drizzle some olive oil over the top of the mushrooms and then sprinkle three cloves worth of minced garlic over the mushrooms. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and just before you slide the mushrooms into the oven, top it with three tablespoons of butter, chopped into small pieces. Bake the mushrooms for 15 to 20 minutes and then serve them. This should keep you and your friends happy while the rest of the meal is cooking.

Next up, for the side dish, I made spiced squash. This recipe came from A Clash of Kings and was enjoyed by Serr Janos Slynt right before Tyrion Lannister exiled him to the Wall. So this dish comes from King’s Landing, which fits with the theme of taking a culinary tour through Westros and beyond.

First you need an acorn squash. This is a smallish squash with a tough skin and it takes a long time to cook. The original recipe called for sugar pumpkin, but since those are hard to get except at Halloween, I went with something a little easier to procure. Split the squash and scoop out the seeds. Rub butter on the inside of each half and then season the squash with 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon of cumin, and 1/4 teaspoon of paprika. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees; if you turn down the oven after making the mushrooms, you shouldn’t have to wait at all. Now, bake the squash for one to one and a half hours, until the squash in very soft and the top just starts to turn brown. The squash can be served in halves if there is just one or two of you eating or it can be cut into cubes and served that way.

Finally, we get to the main dish, honeyed chicken. This is a dish fit for a king, and was served when King Robert I visited Ned Stark at Winterfell in A Game of Thrones.  First we start with the chicken. The recipe calls for whole chickens, but it is more economical and leads to less waste to use leg quarters. Lay the chicken out in a pan and rub it down with olive oil and sprinkle it with sea salt. It has to cook in a 400 degree over for an hour to an hour and a half just like the squash, so it is best to cook the together.

Now while the chicken is roasting, it is time to do the honeyed part of the dish. In a small sauce pan, combine 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar, 1/3 cup of honey, mint, and 1/8 cup of raisins. The amount of mint that you need depend on whether you are using fresh or dried mint. With fresh mint, you want to use about a teaspoon. Dried mint only takes 1/4 teaspoon. Simmer the honey/vinegar mixture on the stove until the raisins plump and the sauce reduces slightly. When it’s done you want it to have a syrupy quality to it. Take the sauce off the heat and let it sit until the chicken is done. When the chicken comes out of the oven spoon the sauce and raisins over the chicken. The sauce will melt slightly and form a delicious glaze.

Now for dessert, go with something simple like store bought sherbet. This is something that was enjoyed in Dorne, so it fits the theme and is simple to prepare.

There you go, a culinary tour of A Game of Thrones that is fit for a king and yet economical and easy to prepare. Why not have some friends over to watch the show and give these recipes a try. You will be glad you did.