Tag Archives: mushrooms

Lentils, Mushrooms, and Zucchini Blossoms

Happy French Friday!  We are going to do some catching up today.  I mentioned last week that I had a couple of French Fridays with Dorie recipes to catch you up on.  Plus I also have this week’s recipe to tell you about.  I had hoped to get to the catch-up recipes earlier in the week, but that obviously didn’t happen…  Let’s get to it!

French Lentils: A Basic Recipe

The title of this recipes says it all.  It is a basic recipe for French lentils (lentilles du Puy) that can be used as a side dish or the base for a salad.  I served mine as a side dish with grilled chicken stuffed with sage and mozzarella.  I topped them with Honey-Roasted Cherry Tomatoes from the book River Cottage Veg.

French Lentils

The combination of all these flavors was excellent!  I enjoyed this dinner very much.  While I liked the lentils, my husband merely tolerated them, so I will likely not make this recipe again, unless I find the perfect dish that needs lentils on the side.

Chanterelles with Napa and Nuts

Next up is a recipe the group made a few weeks ago called Chanterelles with Napa and Nuts.  I wasn’t able to find chanterelle mushrooms (though the guy in the produce department said they had them just the week before), so I used a gourmet mushroom mix instead.

Gourmet Mushroom Mix

This dish was a quick saute of mushrooms and Napa cabbage, garnished with parsley and chopped nuts.  It would be excellent as a side dish to all sorts of meats, especially grilled steak.

Mushrooms with Napa and Nuts

My husband was out of town the week I made this dish, so I served mine with a simple hamburger patty cooked on the stove.  I really, really loved the mushrooms!  The title of this recipe didn’t appeal to me, but you must look past that and make this if you like mushrooms.  A winner!

Shrimp-Filled Zucchini Blossoms

I finally got a few zucchini blossoms from my garden!!!  I harvested 3 of them and made myself these blossoms for lunch one day.

Shrimp-Filled Zucchini Blossoms

I tend to shy away from deep-frying things.  It seems hard, and wasteful, and stressful.  It really isn’t hard.  The hardest part (for me) seems to be getting the oil to just the right temperature.

In this recipe, we simply stuffed the zucchini blossoms with large shrimp, dipped them in a tempura batter, and deep-fried them until done.  I wish the recipe had specified what temperature the oil should be, because I think I had it too hot.  My blossoms cooked faster than the recipe suggested they should.

Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms

These were fun to make!  I have never cooked with zucchini blossoms before, but I should since I have them in my garden.  And the deep-frying would be easier with practice.  Maybe next year I will try the goat cheese-tapenade variation!

Whew, I’m caught up (on the writing, at least)!  If you are interested in trying any of these recipes, be sure to check out Dorie Greenspan’s book, Around My French Table. On a related note, I finally pre-ordered Dorie’s new book, Baking Chez Moi: Recipes from My Paris Home to Your Home Anywhere.  Now I will be ready to go when the group starts the new book!

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Paris Mushroom Soup

For Christmas this year I received the cookbook Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan.  It’s a gorgeous book and so many of the recipes sound wonderful.  The problem is, it’s a vast book, and trying to decide what to make is difficult with so many good-sounding recipes to choose from.  I feel like there are whole chapters in the book that I have hardly even looked at yet.

To help myself get to know the cookbook, I have decided to participate in French Fridays with Dorie.  The idea is this: all participants cook a selected recipe each week and then post about it on Friday.  This week’s recipe was Paris Mushroom Soup (page 72, for those who have the book).

I really wanted to love this soup.  Dorie’s description makes it sound so good and I have always loved mushrooms.  I didn’t hate the soup, but it didn’t wow me and I doubt I’ll make it again.

Paris Mushroom Soup

Paris Mushroom Soup

For those who don’t have the cookbook, here is a bit about how the soup is made and served:  First of all, chopped onions, garlic and mushrooms are sauteed and then simmered in broth.  At the end, the whole thing is pureed to make a smooth soup.  To serve, a little salad is made with fresh mushrooms and some herbs.  The salad is placed in individual bowls and the hot soup is poured over it, slightly cooking the raw mushrooms.  The recipe suggests a dollop of creme fraiche on top.  While I didn’t do this, I think it would add a lot.

The first night we ate this I thought the problem was that between the raw mushrooms and my shallow soup bowls the soup cooled off too quickly.  I prefer my soup piping hot.  Also, I didn’t care for the contrast between the pureed soup and the mostly raw mushrooms.  The next night I made some adjustments: I sauteed some sliced mushrooms to replace the raw ones and I used different bowls.  It still didn’t do much for me.  I actually think I would like this soup a lot better served as a small portion at the beginning of a meal rather than as a main course.

So, this was a disappointing start to French Fridays, but I am looking forward to trying more!

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