Vegetarian Stuffed Mushrooms ~ ElephantEats.com

We headed down to my mother-in-law’s for the long Easter weekend. Since Nate was in California for a couple months, we hadn’t been down since Christmas and it was nice to just relax and eat tons of yummy food.

Tired Haley

Nate’s mom totally spoils us and we both got giant Easter baskets filled with our favorite candy. She got me Peeps!!!

Peeps are yummy

We also dyed some Easter eggs. This here is our easter egg family. Do you see the resemblance?

Easter Egg Family

The paw print one was Nate’s representation of L.C….not bad.

But I think my version of Nate was pretty spot on ;)

Easter Egg Beardo

Since Nate’s mom was going to cook a big meal for us for Easter dinner, I decided to make a yummy appetizer for the night before. This is another of those recipe’s from the recipe box I got handed down from my mom. I remember her making these for dinner parties and some catering too.

Vegetarian Stuffed Mushrooms ~ ElephantEats.com

They’re super easy to make and only take 10ish minutes to cook! You can totally make them ahead of time and they can sit out til you’re ready…or you can probably even make them the day before if you really want, and just keep them in the fridge.

Definitely keep this recipe on hand for your next dinner party or just to make your weeknight dinner a little fancier :)

Vegetarian Stuffed Mushrooms ~ ElephantEats.com

Stuffed Mushrooms

From mom’s recipe box

Print this recipe!

Serves 8-10 (can easily be halved with no probs)

25-30 lg. mushrooms, stems removed
2 cups sourdough breadcrumbs (i used regular but I think it wasn’t as good)
1/2 cup pesto
1/4 cup pignoli nuts, toasted
3-4 Tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
3-4 Tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped
1/2 cup vegetable broth
Parmesan cheese for sprinkling on top

Preheat oven to 400.

Combine crumbs, pesto, nuts, parsley and basil. Slowly mix in broth until moist but not wet. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Fill Mushrooms. Top with cheese. Bake 10-12 min.

*Must serve hot!*

Look, I know I’m a few days late on the Valentine’s Day blog posts.

Every other blogger seems to get it together a week ahead of time so that their blog readers have all sorts of recipes and ideas for the upcoming holiday.

The fact is that Nate and I can only eat so much dessert and I only have so much time…and I want the Valentine’s Day dessert I make for him to be eaten on Valentines day, and not a week ahead of time. If I posted this a week ago then I’d have to bake up something new for Valentine’s day.

But you know what’s great? These can be made any day of the year.

There doesn’t have to be a special holiday to share some chocolate goodness, or to tell someone you love them.

Nate showed me he loved me by walking all the way across the city to Trader Joes to pick me up some sea salt for the top of these bars :)

These are EXTREMELY rich…only for true chocolate lovers. I thought the hot chocolate from the other day was rich, but these were even too much for me. Luckily, Nate was a fan.

From my  to your stomach :)


Dark Chocolate-Cherry Ganache Bars

From The NYTimes

You can print this recipe from the original link

Makes 18 bars

150 grams all-purpose flour (about 1 1/2 cups)
90 grams confectioners’ sugar (about 3/4 cup)
26 grams unsweetened cocoa powder (about 1/4 cup)
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
52 grams cherry jam (about 2 tablespoons)
340 grams bittersweet chocolate, at least 62 percent, chopped (12 ounces)
2/3 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons kirsch, rum, brandy or other spirit
1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel, for sprinkling.

In a food processor, pulse together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder and fine sea salt. Pulse in the butter and vanilla until the mixture just comes together into a smooth mass. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment or wax paper. Press the dough into the pan. Prick all over with a fork. Chill for at least 20 minutes and up to 3 days.

 Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Bake the shortbread until firm to the touch and just beginning to pull away from the sides, 35 to 40 minutes.

Cool in the pan for 20 minutes on a wire rack. Brush jam over shortbread’s surface and let cool thoroughly.

Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl.

In a saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer. Pour over the chocolate and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the kirsch. Spread over shortbread. Sprinkle fleur de sel on. Cool to room temperature; cover and chill until firm. Slice and serve.

*Note: I chilled these overnight and I think it was too long. Only chill for an hour or if chilling overnight, let it come to almost room temp before serving. I found the shortbread part to be too dry and crumbly when straight from the fridge.

Ok, ok, I know I just posted a pasta recipe, but I promise this one is way different. Maybe as opposite as can be.

The other pasta was creamy but this one is buttery.

The other pasta had ham but this one is vegetarian!

The other one had a little escarole but this one is chock full of tasty mushrooms.

I used some crazy long spiral noodles for the other one, but this one uses rotini. Yum.

See, I told you, they’re completely different.

I’m always trying to stay semi-healthy around here. I’m also always looking for recipes that I can make and get on the table at a reasonable hour after I get home from work. This recipe fits the bill on both accounts!

And because I’m sure you all just got finished gorging yourselves on holiday foods, and have all made your new years resolutions, I’m hoping this recipe will be much appreciated.

The flour in the recipe is what thickens it, and there is enough butter to give it a richness without adding tons of calories.

Also, just to continue with the wedding updates that some of you enjoy…Nate and I had engagement pictures taken back in November and the photographer Jodi Miller did an AMAZING job. If you guys wanna check them out, head on over to her blog! After seeing how great these turned out, I am SO excited to see the shots she gets of the wedding :)


Pasta with No-Cream Mushroom Sauce

From TheKitchn

You can print this recipe from the original link

Makes enough sauce for almost one 1-lb box pasta, depending on how saucy you like it

1 1/2 ounce package wild mushrooms
1 cup chicken, vegetable or beef broth, boiling
1 cup white wine
2 tablespoons butter, divided
3 8-ounce packages of white button or portobello mushrooms, washed and chopped
4 large shallots, minced
4 large cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped sage
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
Salt and fresh ground black pepper

1 lb pasta, cooked according to package directions

Crumble the dried mushrooms into a glass bowl or measuring cup and pour the boiling broth over them. Let steep for at least 20 minutes. Drain and reserve the drained liquid. Mix the drained liquid with the white wine.

Heat a tablespoon of butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chopped button or portobello mushrooms and let sit, without stirring, for about four minutes or until they have thoroughly browned on one side. Stir and let them cook on the other side – again, without stirring – for about four minutes. Add the shallots, garlic, sage and steeped wild mushrooms. Turn the heat to low, and cook until they are all fragrant and soft.

Add the second tablespoon of butter and, when melted, add the flour. Stir rapidly, letting the flour thicken with the butter into a paste. Have a whisk ready! Slowly pour in the mushroom broth and white wine, whisking rapidly. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking, until the mixture thickens. It should thicken to the consistency of a thick gravy.

Add the chopped parsley, stirring until wilted. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately over pasta with plenty of fresh Parmesan.

Comfort food is such a wonderful idea. Food that seeks to elicit memories of times when you were young, happy, and carefree.  Or maybe just food that warms you up after a cold winter day. I think risotto falls into the latter category since I don’t remember my mom making it all that often when I was a kid.

Unfortunately, try as you might, comfort food doesn’t always make you comfortable.


Case in point: Nate threw his back out a few weeks ago. I felt so helpless in this situation. I pride myself on being a great girlfriend and love taking care of people, but there was absolutely nothing I could do to ease his pain. I catered to his every whim (when I was home), bringing him food and water, but nothing could really make him feel better except time.

So, I did the next best thing that I knew how: I cooked.


I wanted to make something easy for him to eat, but delicious. This satisfied on both accounts. And I think it may have made him forget about his back for at least the first few bites ;)


Sausage and Mushroom Risotto
From Bon Appetit (8/01)

Print this recipe!

Makes 8 1st course servings

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb Italian sweet sausage, casings removed, crumbled into 1/2-in pieces (I used turkey sausage)
8 oz. portobello mushrooms, stemmed, dark gills scraped out, caps diced
10 oz. fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, diced
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1 tsp chopped fresh oregano
1 1/2 cups Madeira (or Sherry)
6 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup butter
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups arborio rice or other medium grain rice (about 13 oz)
1 cup freshly grated Asiago cheese

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over med-hi heat. Add sausage and saute until beginning to brown, about 3 min. Add all mushrooms, thyme and oregano and suate until mushrooms are tender, about 10 min.

Add 1/2 cup Madeira; boil until almost absorbed, about 1 min. Set aside.

Bring stock to simmer in large saucepan; remove from heat and cover to keep hot.

Melt butter in heavy large pot over med-hi heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until onion is translucent, about 5 min.

Add rice; stir 2 min. Add remaining 1 cup Madeira; simmer until absorbed, about 2 min. Add 1 cup hot stock; simmer until almost absorbed, stirring often, about 3 min.

Continue to cook until rice is just tender and mixture is creamy, adding more stock by cupfuls, stirring often and allowing most stock to be absorbed before adding more, about 25 min.

Stir in sausage mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to serving bowl. Pass cheese separately.

I checked the weather before I headed out the door this morning and it said it was going to be in the high 40′s today. Since the last few days had been chilly, I figured this was toasty walkin’ weather! I left my apartment with just a light jacket and no gloves. Totally fine for the morning walk.


It was a different story, however, when I left work this evening. It was blustery out! (Nate loves that word…he says it reminds him of Winnie Pooh and the Blustery Day) Man, that wind was seriously strong and I had decided to walk all the way home to my apt from Grand Central Station, which was a 30 min walk.

When I walked in the door to my apartment, my hands were frozen solid and my ears weren’t much better. It was definitely time to make something for dinner that would warm my tummy! I’d been wanting to make this recipe I saw in the New York Times for some time now, and this seemed like the perfect night.

Yes, that's my towel hanging in the background. Yes, I have to take my pictures in the bathroom since it has the best lighting there is for nighttime. Don't judge.

Thank goodness Nate doesn’t get home til 9ish, because I’m not going to tell you this recipe came together in a snap. There were several steps, and the puff pastry got a little messy (but maybe that’s because I’ve never used it before), but in the end, not only was it beautiful, but delicious as well.

No, I mean seriously amazing. You MUST make this. It was just what I needed to defrost, relax, and enjoy my Friday evening.

Oh, and stay tuned…I got a tasty cheesecake comin this weekend…

Pardon the crappy pictures…they were taken with my point-and-shoot which doesn’t know how to focus on the objects I want it to. Hopefully I’ll have Nate’s nice camera for my next pics.

Butternut Squash and Mushroom Wellington
taken from the New York Times (directions slightly edited by Me)
Serves 6-8

Print this Recipe!

3-4 tablespoons butter
1 small butternut squash (1 1/4 pounds), peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/8 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika or regular paprika
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 large shallot, finely chopped
3/4 pound cremini mushrooms, trimmed and roughly chopped
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Flour
1 (14-to-16-ounce) package puff pastry
1 cup crumbled goat

1 egg whisked with 1 tsp water

1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment.

2. In a very large skillet over high heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add the squash in a single layer and cook, undisturbed, for 4 minutes. (If squash won’t fit in a single layer, cook it in batches). Stir and continue to cook until squash is golden, 7 to 10 minutes more. Stir in the syrup, thyme, paprika and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook one minute. Scrape mixture into a bowl.

3. Turn the heat down to medium and melt the remaining butter in the skillet. Stir in garlic and shallot; cook 1 to 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and remaining salt. Cook until mushrooms are soft and their juices evaporate, about 10 minutes. Stir in the wine and cook until the mixture is dry, about 5 minutes. Stir in the pepper and parsley. Taste and add more salt if needed.

4. On a lightly floured surface, unwrap the puff pastry. Cut into 2 5-by-15-inch rectangles. *If pastry is already two sheets, no need to cut. Spread mushrooms on each pastry rectangle leaving 1/4-inch border. Spoon the cheese crumbles over the mushrooms. Then spoon the squash over the cheese, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border (it will look like a stripe of squash lying on a bed of cheese and mushrooms).

5. Brush half of the exposed borders of dough on each rectangle with the egg wash(*You will be pinching these together to seal but if both sides to get pinched have egg wash, they wont stick together as well. Better to have one wet side and one dry side meeting). Fold the long sides up to meet in the middle and pinch together to seal; pinch the ends, too. Transfer the pastries to the baking sheet and turn them over so that the seam is face down. Brush the tops with more egg wash. Bake until they are puffed golden, and firm to the touch, about 30 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes, slice and serve.