Mushroom Bourguignon

Okay I’ve got a thing for bourguignon.  Who wouldn’t, though?  I know I’ve already done beef bourguignon on here but I can’t get enough!  Pseudo-veggie friendly this time with mushrooms instead of beef, but there’s still beef stock in there.  Feel free to substitute vegetable stock but oh man you’re going to lose some flavor.

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Mushroom Bourguignon (yields 4-ish servings)

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 2 lb portobello mushrooms, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup pearl onions, peeled (ps PEELING PEARL ONIONS IS A PAIN, especially without fingernails)
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 tsp thyme (1 tsp if fresh, I used dry womp womp)
  • kosher salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup red wine (plus more for drinking obvi)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • egg noodles, for serving
  • sour cream, for serving
  • chopped chives for garnish

Put a pot of water on for the egg noodles and prepare per the package.

Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil and a tbsp of the butter over high heat in a Dutch oven.

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Let the butter melt but DO NOT LET IT BROWN OR BURN.  I can’t emphasize how much the nuttiness of browned butter is not welcome when not wanted.  And burned butter is like burnt popcorn and no one likes that.

Dump the mushrooms and pearl onions into the hot pan.  It’ll sizzle like hell.

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Stir occasionally for 3-4 minutes, or until the mushrooms start to brown but don’t release any liquid into the pan.  Remove and set aside.

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Ginger Carrot Soup

It’s nearly time for grocery shopping in my house.  Things I still have a lot of:  beer (i love playoff football! WHAT A GAME BY THE PATS!), carrots and ginger.  Plus I just love soups.

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Ginger Carrot Soup

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion, cut into a small dice
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • a hunk of ginger, minced (2 tbsp maybe?)
  • 2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into somewhat-uniform pieces
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • fresh ground black pepper

Step one:  crack a beer.

Done?  Good.  Now do your mise en place (french for “to put in place” which is just your prep work).  Peel and cut your carrots.

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Brady was a huge help by lying right under where I was trying to stand.

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Try and cut your carrots into uniform pieces so they cook evenly.

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Boeuf Bourguignon

On the eve of my first day of culinary school, I wanted to make something as an ode to my grandmothers who are definitely inspirations for my cooking.  I wish I had more time with them so I could learn all of my Nana’s Italian home cooking and my Grandma’s French food and pastries.  This is also a classic Julia Child dish and I grew up watching her too, so here’s to them.  This is again another one of Rachel Khoo’s dishes, from her “Little Paris Kitchen”.

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Boeuf Bourguignon

  • 2 lb stewing beef
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 strips of bacon, cut into cubes
  • 5-6 shallots (or a bunch of those tiny onions)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, smashed flat
  • 1 bay leaf
  • a few sprigs of thyme
  • a sprig of rosemary
  • a few cloves
  • parsley
  • peppercorns
  • 2 cups red wine (I used Pinot Noir bc its my fave)
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • a pinch of sugar

Start by heating the vegetable oil in a dutch oven over high heat.  In the mean time, sprinkle and toss the meat with the flour.  Here’s half of my meat batch:

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Start browning your meat in batches.

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Remove all the beef, and add the bacon, scallions, and garlic.  Let the bacon brown up for a minute or two, then add in thyme, bay leaf, rosemary, cloves, a few stalks of parsley, and peppercorns.

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Chicken Stock

Congratulations!  You’ve butchered your first whole chicken!  Now what do you do with that carcass, those wings and wing tips?  Why, make chicken stock, of course!

Chicken Stock

  • chicken parts!  (carcass, wings and wing tips left over from THIS post)
  • 4 carrots, roughly cut into segments
  • 3 stalks of celery, roughly cut (tops and greens are good too!)
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 clump parsley (I used a combo of remnants of fresh Italian and dry since our local store was out of parsley?!)
  • some sprigs of thyme
  • water

In a large stock pot, throw in all of the ingredients.

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Fill with water.

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Bring to a boil, then immediately reduce to low.  Let that pot sit over a low heat uncovered for houuuuuurs aka sit on your butt and watch TV like I did.  Orange is the New Black, y’all.

Stir occasionally and wait for the house to smell like Thanksgiving.

I let mine go for about 3 hours, but it’s completely up to you.  I didn’t add any salt since you can always add that when you’re using the stock in a dish.

Strain it.

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Dump it into a plastic bag or some jars and freeze away for future dishes!

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Honey, Lemon and Lavender Chicken

This dish is based off Rachel Khoo’s (a la “Little Paris Kitchen”) recipe “Poulet au citron et lavande”.  Basically roast chicken with a honey lemon marinade with lavender.

Side note:  I’ve already spelled lavender “lavendar” about 5 times.

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Honey, Lemon and Lavender Chicken

  • 1 tbs dried lavender (the store didn’t have any, so I used a few drops of lavender oil I had in the pantry)
  • 3 tbs honey
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • a few sprigs of thyme
  • zest and juice of a lemon
  • chicken parts
  • salt and pepper

Okay, it’s time to butcher your first whole chicken!  First I watched THIS video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pEW4uFzKm4k

Cut your wing tips off, remove the rest of the wings, then each thigh, and last but not least, dissect out the breasts.  Get it?  Got it?  Good.  You should now have these lovely parts:

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Set aside the carcass and wings for STOCK!

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Dinner Lab – Tour de France

In my first Dinner Lab event in awhile, I saw an all-French menu and had to go.  Chef Jacques Richard lived and cooked in France until moving to Austin and is now a chef at Whole Foods.  His menu is a tour around the different regions of France, with each course representing a different place.

Course 1:  Gironde, Atlantique Ocean.  Baked stuffed mussels, ham, butter, pastis, bread crumbs

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The mussels were really tiny, but the clam itself was nice and light, and they didn’t dry out in the oven, either.  Not sure if it was just a garnish or not (most of the snobs around didn’t eat it), but the sautéed spinach was also delicious.

Course 2:  Lyon.  Lyonnaise Salad, red wine dressing, Lardons, croutons, poached eggs

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The problem with an event like Dinner Lab, where a chef is serving 50 or more people without a real kitchen, things have to be cooked in advance and they have to sit around.  Poached eggs are just not going to be good if they sit around.  The egg had to have been quail or some other small bird, so it was small, and was overcooked, rubbery, and the yolk was so small none of it was runny.  The intent of the salad was good in theory, had the yolk broken open and combined with the vinegar dressing to coat the salad, but it ended up flopping.

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