Wild Mushroom Soup with Green Garlic and Toasted Barley

“medicinal mushrooms have been shown to boost heart health, lower the risk of cancer, promote immune function, ward off viruses, bacteria and fungi, reduce inflammation, combat allergies, help balance blood sugar levels and support the body’s detoxification mechanisms”

Wild shiitake, maitake and porcini mushrooms are simmered in homemade vegetable stock with green garlic, onions, parsley, sherry and toasted barley and seasoned with fresh thyme, sea salt and black pepper.  A drizzle of truffle oil seals the deal..

Wild Mushroom Soup with Toasted Barley

Serves 2

2 cups homemade vegetable stock
1 1/2 cups dried shiitake, maitake and porcini mushrooms
1/2 cup barley
1 tablespoon pastured butter
2 bulbs green garlic, including leaves, sliced
1/4 cup yellow onion, diced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
2 teaspoons truffle oil, divided
1 1/2 oz medium sherry
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper

Bring vegetable stock to a boil then remove from heat.  Add mushrooms and steep for 1 hour.

Heat butter and half of the truffle oil in a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat.  Add barley and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned.  Add onions and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

Roughly chop re-hydrated mushrooms and add to the pan with thyme.  Add strained mushroom soaking liquid and simmer until barley is tender, about 25 minutes.  Add sherry, parsley and simmer 5 minutes.  Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and serve garnished with a sautéed mushroom cap and a drizzle of truffle oil.

This post is part of The Food Renegade’s Fight Back Friday!

Chicken a la King

Tender pieces of pastured chicken simmered in bone broth with fresh cream, sherry, nutmeg, peas and mushrooms.  Invented in the late 1800’s, this retro dish is every bit as good now as it was then..

Chicken à la King

Chicken à la King

To make roux, melt 4 oz. pastured butter over medium-low heat until it just begins to sizzle.  Add 5 oz. by weight sprouted wheat or spelt flour and whisk to combine.  Stirring continuously, continue to cook until it smells like baked bread, about 5 minutes.  Set aside.

To make topping, toast a piece of sprouted wheat or spelt bread in the toaster, then tear it up into small pieces and sauté in butter and parsley until golden brown.

Gently simmer chunks of pastured chicken (I’m using thighs, skin removed) in chicken stock with a little sherry and fresh thyme until just done.

Lightly sauté halved pearl onions, wild mushrooms and a bit of red bell pepper, then stir into the chicken.

Add fresh cream, green peas and freshly-grated nutmeg and simmer 5 minutes.

Whisk roux into the chicken and simmer, stirring continuously until thickened, 3-5 minutes.

Season to taste with sea salt and freshly-ground pepper.

To serve, simply spoon chicken mixture into a deep dish and top with toasted bread crumbs.


Bookmark and Share

Crawfish Etouffee

Étouffée is a Cajun/Creole dish of crawfish, crab or shrimp smothered in a roux-thickened sauce of celery, onions and bell peppers with garlic, spices and a little sherry.  In New Orleans, étouffée is commonly served with jasmine or basmati rice..

100_2556-1

Crawfish Étouffée

(recipe adapted from Emeril Lagasse and others)

Serves 2

1/2 stick unsalted, pastured butter
1 tablespoon organic, all-purpose flour
1/3 cup chopped yellow onions
1/3 cup chopped celery
1/3 cup chopped bell peppers
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/3 cup diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 bay leaves
1 sprig fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1 1/2 cups shrimp stock* (shrimp shells, water, celery, onion, bay, thyme, lemon)
12 oz crawfish tails
1 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Melt the butter in a heavy skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat until it begins to brown.  Add flour and whisk to combine.  Continue to cook and stir continuously until the roux takes on a dark, brown-red color.

Add the celery, onions and bell peppers (called the holy trinity of Cajun cooking) and cook for 5 minutes.

Add garlic, green onions, tomatoes, Worcestershire, bay, thyme, cayenne and cracked pepper and stir to combine.

Add shrimp stock (or water), sherry and crawfish tails, bring to a boil then reduce to low heat and simmer 10 minutes.

Add fresh lemon juice and chopped parsley, taste for salt and adjust accordingly.

Serve over rice and garnish with lemon wedges and very finely minced green onion, bell pepper, celery and parsley.  Offer Louisiana hot sauce.

* Mineral-rich shrimp is high in healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, Vitamin B12 and niacin.  Use some of the shrimp stock to cook the rice; it helps to make it more digestible.

Bookmark and Share

Calf’s Liver w/Mushroom and Onions, Sauce Poivrade

A mild, tender, rich and savory dish prepared in a classical French meets modern shortcuts manner.

Start with very fresh slices of peeled and deveined calves’ liver obtained from a healthy animal of known origin.  True calves’ liver is paler in color and milder in taste than the much redder baby beef liver typically found in US supermarkets.  If using the latter, it often helps to soak the slices in fresh, whole milk for up to 2 hours to lessen the strong flavor.

“Calf’s liver is less likely to have the accumulations of toxins such as pesticides, hormones and antibiotics found in the liver of older animals. Selecting organic calf’s liver provides the greatest assurance that the liver is free of these toxins. Calf’s liver also is more tender and has better flavor than beef liver (including baby beef liver).”

For the sauce, gather mushrooms, green peppercorns, vinegar, tomato paste, onion, celery, carrot, parsley, butter, lemon, stock and (optionally) demi-glace.

Sauté the mirepoix in butter until well colored, about 10 minutes.  Add a good spoonful of tomato paste and continue to cook until all moisture is evaporated and the tomato begins to brown.  Moisten with a splash of vinegar and a little sherry and stir to combine.

Add stock and a mashed clove of garlic.  Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until reduced in volume by half, about 45 minutes.  Strain into a clean saucepan and add demi-glace. Simmer until thickened and shiny, about 20 minutes.

Sauté thinly sliced mushrooms and onions in very hot butter until brown and slightly crisp.  Add to the pan with the brown sauce.

Pat the liver dry and lightly dredge in unbleached flour.  Sauté quickly in a generous amount very hot butter, turning only once.  Add chopped parsley and a squeeze of lemon to brighten the flavor before saucing.

A big thanks to my son-in-law Jeff, whose amazingly delicious liver & onions revived my interest in this classic dish!

Rating  ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦