Green Bean and Portobello Casserole
4 slices bacon
1/4 cup olive oil
1 pound baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
1/2 medium red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup with roasted garlic
1/3 teaspoon paprika
1/3 teaspoon white pepper
2 (15.5 ounce) cans French cut green beans, drained
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Place bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat, and fry until crisp. Remove from the skillet to drain on paper towels. Pour olive oil into the skillet, and reduce heat to medium. When oil is hot, add mushrooms and onion; cook, stirring frequently until the onions start to become translucent. Add garlic, and fry for a couple of minutes, just until fragrant. Stir in the mushroom soup and almonds, and bring to a boil. Season with white pepper and paprika, and crumble in the bacon. Gently stir in the green beans, then transfer the mixture to a casserole dish.
Bake uncovered for 30 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove from the oven, and sprinkle Cheddar cheese over the top. Return to the oven for 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Notes: For those who read this and know me personally, yes, this was really a casserole and it was actually all mixed together. Despite this, I found it -- not bad. And except for my youngest sister and my uncle (who has very particular tastes), it was well-received. Not a bad score in my huge clan. It was made in substitution of the dish usually provided by my sister-in-law at the holiday dinner as she could not attend this year.
Also -- I made it ahead up to the point where the cheese is added. It transported easily in the casserole dish, and when we were ready to eat, we reheated it and then finished the last step.
Veal Scaloppine with Tomato, Oregano, and Capers
from Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking
2 1/2 TBSP vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves peeled
1 pound veal scaloppine
flour, spread on a plate
fresh ground black pepper
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup canned imported Italian plum tomatoes, chopped with juice
1 TBSP butter
1 tsp fresh oregano or 1/2 tsp dried
2 TBSP capers, rinsed and drained
Put the oil and garlic in a skillet, turn on the heat to medium, and cook the garlic until it becomes colored a light brown. Remove it from the pan and discard it.
Turn up the heat to medium high, dredge the veal in flour, and brown quickly on both sides, about 1/2 minute per side. Transfer to a warm plate and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Over medium high heat, add the wine and deglaze. Add the chopped tomatoes with their juice and stir to coat well. Add the butter and any drippings that have accumulated on the veal plate. Adjust heat to cook at a steady, but gentle simmer.
After 15-20 minutes, when fat floats free of the tomatoes, add the oregano and capers, stir thoroughly, then return the veal to the pan and turn in the tomato sauce to reheat. Serve at once.
Notes: I must admit - I'm just not in love with the organization of this cookbook. I've written out all the instructions here. However, in the book itself, one is often required to flip back and forth between several recipes for earlier methods that have already been applied. Still, despite this, I've yet to make a recipe from this collection that I didn't like. Indeed, this was very tasty, though the sauce didn't quite have the consistency that I expected from the description of the dish - if it were a different type of cuisine I'd call it more of a warm salsa. In any case, the capers were certainly a nice contrast to the tomatoes and I think I'll likely make this one again sometime.
Braised Lamb in Yogurt Sauce
-a work in progress-
2 shoulder lamb chops
1/2 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP water (or maybe, white wine)
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1 small shallot, diced
3/4 cup canned diced tomatoes with liquid
Rub coriander, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, and garlic powder into chops. Let sit at room temperature at least 15 minutes. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Brown lamb chops, about 3 minutes per side. Remove chops and pour off fat. Add 1 TBSP water and deglaze. Saute shallot. Return lamb to skillet and cover with tomatoes and yogurt. Braise 20 minutes, turning once about 1/2 way through.
Notes: My idea for this came from reading several recipes for braised lamb shanks and the memories of one of my favorite dishes at the Istanbul Cafe, finest Turkish restaurant in Connecticut. It didn't come out quite the way I envisioned. Though the chops were certainly tender and the seasoning was delicious, the tomato/yogurt concept didn't work out as anticipated. Because, of course, the yogurt separated - so I didn't end up with the sauce I wanted. Rather tasty anyway, and I have a couple ideas for "fixing" it the way I'd like it to be: (1) braising it in just the tomato, perhaps with some wine or water for extra liquid and adding just a 1/2 cup of yogurt towards the end to thicken things up and make them creamy, and (2) cooking the lamb chops a bit more on the first phase so that I can get rid of more of the fat so that it doesn't have so much of an effect on the consistency of the sauce.
Pheasant in Mustard Sauce
2 leg/thigh pieces pheasant (about 1 1/4 pounds)
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
3/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
Sprinkle pheasant with pepper. In a skillet over medium heat, brown pheasant in oil and butter on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Combine onion, garlic, broth, lemon juice, mustard and marjoram; add to skillet. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until pheasant juices run clear.
Notes: This was adapted from a recipe from backwoodsbound.com -- and though the portions were small it turned out fairly well. I think it could be used on boneless chicken breast to good effect, and in fact, I measured the doneness of the meat by inserting my digital thermometer set to it's "chick" parameter of about 180 degrees.