Food Flight

An aviator's culinary adventures

Stuffed Mushrooms February 16, 2010

Filed under: Appetizers,Snacks,Vegetarian — flyingbubble @ 12:57 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

First of all, I’d like to apologize for my unannounced leave of absence these past few weeks.  I was busy packing up and moving from AZ to FL again and then I just got out of the habit of remembering to update the blog.  I have a collection of pictures and recipes that need to be updated so hopefully, I get those up soon.  Rather than try to keep everything chronological, I’m here to tell you about some amazing stuffed mushrooms I made for a midmorning snack today.  My Aunt Kathy gave me a cookbook titled “Carb Conscious Vegetarian” by Robin Robertson,  I was excited to try some recipes as my recent food intake has seriously lacked nutrition.  My roommates both returned home on February 15th so I wanted to have Valentine’s Day goodies ready for them…. that roughly translates to me baking multiple batches of cookies and eating most of them and then needing to bake more until I finally filled their packages and refrained myself.  Miraculously I managed to maintain my weight after a weeks worth of the “cookie diet” but mostly because I just didn’t eat much besides cookies… not a good way to go, trust me.  In an effort to feel healthy and energetic again I’m going to try to “cook real food” (my mom’s suggestion).  It makes sense though, stop baking cookies… why didn’t I think of that?!?! Alright, enough about my dieting, these mushrooms are quick and easy and absolutely delicious!!! Definitely try them, they’d be a great side or appetizer for any meal.

RUMAKI-INSPIRED STUFFED MUSHROOMS

8 ounces white mushrooms

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger

1/4 cup chopped canned water chesnuts

2 tablespoons soy bacon bits

2 tablespoons sherry or port

1 tablespoon low-sodium tamari soy sauce

DIRECTIONS: Remove the stems from the mushroom caps and chop them.  Set aside the caps.  Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the chopped mushroom stems and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.  Stir in the ginger, water chestnuts, bacon bits, sherry or port, and tamari.  Cook, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 425 F.  Stuff the mushroom caps with the filling and arrange them in a single layer in a lightly oiled shallow baking dish.  Cover loosely with foil and bake until the mushrooms are tender, about 20 to 30 minutes.

Apparently my camera skills are out of practice

KATIE’S NOTES:  I used diced ham since I forgot to buy soy bacon bits at the store (sorry for the vegetarians out there…)  Fresh ginger can be kept in the freezer for quite a while so its not a bad investment, my roommates had bought it for some other recipe. Of course, if Asian isn’t your cup of tea feel free to play around with the stuffing ingredients.

SERVES 4

PER SERVING: 62 calories, 4g fat, 3g protein, 4g carbohydrates, 1g fiber, 0mg cholesterol, 178mg sodium

Advertisements
 

Leftovers Creation January 23, 2010

Filed under: Dinner,Pasta — flyingbubble @ 4:33 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

My mom and I had extra Bechamel sauce from our crepe dinner the other night so we devised a genius plan to consume the leftovers.  I’ve blogged about Shirataki noodles before, they’re a super low calorie pasta replacement which are as good as whatever you serve them with.  We had a bag of them in the fridge along with extra chunked ham and frozen peas/carrots.  My mom cooked dinner so I don’t have eyewitness or first hand details on the process but the basic idea is that we had shirataki noodles with swiss cheese bechamel sauce, ham, peas and carrots.  I believe my mom just toss everything in a saucepan and warmed it up together.  I would imagine the frozen veggies were microwaved before their union with the cheesy sauce.  I came in near the end, tasted the sauce and claimed it needed extra swiss cheese.  An additional cup of shredded swiss cheese was added.  Here are a few tips assuming you decide to try my stuffed crepe dinner recipe, resulting in a cup of leftover bechamel sauce which you think would go well with some pasta:

* Be careful about adding liquids to the sauce, my mom was concerned that it would be too thick.  Our dinner was almost a noodle soup (she added milk).

* Don’t worry about measuring anything its pasta… with sauce… make it your own!

* The sauce is a great base for almost any flavors so don’t feel restricted by anything I say, use whatever vegetables, meats or cheeses you prefer.

*Adding some spices/herbs to compliment your ingredients would be a great idea, we just stuck with salt and pepper though.

As always, here are the editor’s (yes, that’s me) picks from the photo shoot:

 

Julia Child Crepes Round 2 January 20, 2010

Filed under: Dinner — flyingbubble @ 1:17 am
Tags: , , , ,

I invited my friend Jessica over for dinner tonight and decided to try my hand at savory crepes this time.  I told her we could have some Orange Bavarian Cream for dessert so it just made sense to make a Julia Child recipe for dinner too.  The descriptions for crepe fillings were quite elaborate and after struggling to decide on the flavors, I opted for the simple, classic ham and cheese combo.  There is a basic bechamel cheese sauce recipe that allows for other ingredients to be added so I picked up some ham and swiss cheese.  The crepe batter was much like the last time (Christmas with Julia) so I just had to throw the ingredients in a blender, mix em up and set in the fridge to settle for a few hours (or in this case overnight).  I also went to the store and bought a cast iron pan to cook with because Julia’s book shows 3 types of acceptable crepe pans that are all “iron” pans.  I’m still not convinced I have the right equipment but this time was certainly easier than cooked with the nonstick skillet.  When Jessica arrived, I had everything ready to go and we just had to start making crepes and whip up the cheesy filling.  Eager to help, Jessica took on the bechamel sauce on the burner next to me as I unsuccessfully stumbled through 3 test crepes (Julia is crazy to think you only need one test!!).  I don’t have much to say about the sauce making process since I was quite engaged in my crepe flipping practice (for me, jerking the pan vigorously does not loosen the crepe…).  Although Jessica thought the beginning butter-flour mixture looked delicious and that adding the whipping cream a tablespoon at a time was tediously unnecessary.  As I cooked the crepes, we had a plate of “test crepe” scraps and a plate of successful full circle fillable crepes.  Jessica went to work filling the crepes once the sauce was done and over all we completed the recipe without destroying the kitchen, breaking the garbage disposal or flinging food on the dog!  The resulting meal was a bit rich for my taste (grew up on low fat healthy food) but definitely really good, next time I’ll put more meat and maybe some vegetables in the sauce.  My mom came in once the cooking was done and took the crepe scraps to make her childhood favorite “roll up pancakes”.  She butters one side, sprinkles it with sugar and rolls it up.  I think this would have been tastier with the “sweet crepes” batter recipe instead of the savory one I used.  A subtle difference but definitely noticeable.  If you’re interested in trying this recipe its a great blank canvas for whatever flavors you prefer!  This was actually on the Worst Cooks in America Food Network show where they challenged the Worst Cook contestants to create their own flavor combinations for the crepe with bechamel filling. Here’s the recipe:

PATE  A  CREPES (crepe batter)

1 cup cold water

1 cup cold milk

4 eggs

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups flour

4 Tb melted butter

Put the liquids, eggs and salt into the blender jar.  Add the flour, then the butter.  Cover and blend at top speed for 1 minute.  If bits of flour adhere to sides of jar, dislodge with a rubber scraper and blend for 2 to 3 seconds more.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

The batter should be a very light cream, just thick enough to coat a wooden spoon.  If, after making your first crepe, it seems too heavy, beat in a bit of water, a spoonful at a time.  Your cooked crepe should be about 1/16 inch thick.

Excerpt about how to cook crepes: “Remove from heat and, holding handle of pan in your right hand, pour with your left hand a scant 1/4 cup of batter into the middle of the pan.  Quickly tilt the pan in all directions to run batter all over the bottom of the pan in a thin film.  (Pour any batter that does not adhere back into your bowl; judge the amount for your next crepe accordingly).  This whole operation takes but 2 to 3 seconds.  Return the pan to heat for 60-80 seconds.  Then jerk and toss pan sharply back and forth and up and down to loosen the crepe.  Lift its edges with a spatula and if the under side is a nice light brown, the crepe is ready for turning.”

SAUCE MORNAY (Bechamel with cheese), 3 cups

5 Tb flour

4 Tb butter

2 3/4 cup boiling milk

1/2 tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

Big pinch of nutmeg

1/4 cup whipping cream

1 cup coarsely grated Swiss cheese

*Substitute 1/2 cup of the cheese with 1/2 cup cubed ham

Cook the flour and butter slowly together in the sauce pan for 2 minutes without coloring.  Off heat, beat in the boiling milk and seasonings.  Boil, stirring, for 1 minute.  Reduce to the simmer and stir in the cream by tablespoons.  Sauce should be thick enough to coat the spoon fairly heavily.  Remove from heat and correct seasoning.  Stir in all but two tablespoons of the cheese.  (Add cubed ham or whatever other ingredients you desire).  Film top of sauce with milk to prevent a skin from forming.

Place a big spoonful of filling on the lower third of each crepe and roll the crepes into cylinders.

 

Ham and Cheese Biscuit Sandwiches September 14, 2009

Filed under: Bread — flyingbubble @ 2:40 am
Tags: , , ,

IMG_2428

This is an original recipe…. well I can’t guarantee that it hasn’t been done before but I thought of it on my own and just prayed it would bake up correctly.  Fortunately it turned out really well.

IMG_2429

Recipe:

I don’t have measurements on here because I just made it up as I went along.  I think I could have packed more ham and cheese into each biscuit than I did.  Its just personal preference on how much to use.  You can also do this will any meat and cheese combination.  I haven’t tried it yet but I bet you could put veggies in there too.
Ham slices, chopped

Shredded cheddar cheese

Pillsbury ready-made biscuits

I took a biscuit round and split it in half, which kind of squished the lovely circular round into two amorphous blobs.  After spreading the dough back out into a somewhat circular shape I sprinkled the chopped ham and shredded cheese on one round and then placed the other on top. Press the sides together to the seal the biscuit pocket and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the biscuit chunks. Bake according to directions on the biscuit tube.

(more…)