Gnocchi with Mushroom Sauce and Zucchini Medley

I had some crimini mushrooms again and thought I’d make a creamy sauce for Gnocchi. Problem is I didn’t have any cream. Well, that was the serendipitous part!

Though one appealing recipe I saw called for bacon, I decided to put the bacon in my vegetable dish to make that more substantial. So, this gnocchi sauce “recipe” could also be tried with bacon or prosciutto.

• Saute 1/4 cup minced onion and minced garlic clove in olive oil and a little bacon fat.
• Throw in sliced crimini mushrooms (about 4-5 ounces, but Louis thought there could have been more.)
• Add about 2 TBS fresh red pepper, sliced in small pieces for color and a little crunch.
• Sprinkle in about 1 tsp. tarragon, 1T flour, a good-sized splash of dry marsala and about 1/3 cup chicken broth.

Stir and let it thicken a bit. The “serendipitous cream” was a little whole milk and the white part of some blue cheese, letting it melt into the sauce. I did this carefully and kept tasting because I was worried a strong blue cheese taste would ruin what I was trying for. At the very end I threw in a couple of tablespoons of chopped flat-leafed parsley. We liked it a lot except Louis wanted more mushrooms.

The vegetable medley was my standard minced garlic, sliced onion and zucchini, but sauteed in the bacon fat I had fried 4 rather small pieces of bacon in. When the zucchini was nearly done, I added a splash of dry sherry and a half of tomato, chopped. I threw the bacon pieces in and a handful of basil leaf bits. It was a nice complement to the gnocchi dish.

Published in: on September 3, 2010 at 8:56 pm  Leave a Comment  
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4th of July Portobello “Burgers”

For the 4th, lots of people do the traditional burgers or steaks or red, white and blue iced cake. Well, we had burgers last night down at the beach with the “Zonies” so we couldn’t have them again. Steak didn’t appeal at all. So, my substitute were these stuffed portobello mushrooms. I got the red and white in there (but couldn’t figure out a “blue”) and they’re the shape of a burger, so how’s that for a rationalization for a 4th of July “theme”?

Stuffing? Sigh. I’m posting this long after the fact so I don’t really remember. It was the serendipitous thing again – whatever I had. I think it was a base of onions, garlic, bits of bacon, feta, cherry tomatoes and panko bread crumbs. I also think I marinated the mushrooms in wine first and then sauteed them briefly. Stuffed them and browned them under the broiler in the toaster oven.

Published in: on July 4, 2010 at 5:52 pm  Leave a Comment  

Gnocchi with Portobello Mushrooms

I had the Gnocchi and a portobello mushroom so I googled it and found a video with recipe on the Internet. It was soooo yummy.

Update 5 years later: Sadly that was a time that I thought everything on the Internet was forever and I simply put a link to the site here.  The video and recipe have both disappeared so I no longer know what I did exactly for this dish that impressed us so much.

Here’s what I know:

  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 2 large portobello mushrooms (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup prosciutto, thinly sliced/strips
  • 1/4 stick butter
  • scallions (maybe 5 or 6 of the small green onions)
  • garlic (of course
  • dill
  • oregano

I used bacon instead of prosciutto. (yep, because I had it) I also happened to have onion and chive cream cheese schmear for bagels so that was what I used for the cream cheese. Also happened to have fresh basil so I tore many leaves of that in, and used the dill (but no oregano.) I think the bacon, mushroom, garlic and cream cheese make it. All else are extras and you can’t go wrong with mixing them up a bit.

I think I probably cooked the gnocchi according to directions and then dumped them into this sauce to cover them completely and warm them through.  Will just have to try again. 😦



Published in: on June 18, 2010 at 8:01 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Stuffed portobello mushrooms

How could it all go so wrong??

It shouldn’t have been that bad –  Henry’s had some portobello stuffed mushrooms, so Ev figured why not? The first warning should have been when they told her they were stuffed with a “meatloaf seasoning mix.”

Can you say SALTY? Then even though it was in the toaster oven for an hour, the meat was still pink. Chopped mystery meat that doesn’t bake in an hour? That’s OK, Ev made a mushroom cream sauce to cover the crime, & the vegetable medley included brussel sprouts aka vitamin bombs, so we were fed, and most meals go better with wine, so that helped too. Hey maybe it wasn’t all that bad….

Published in: on December 30, 2009 at 8:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

Creamy Tuscan Chicken

Yummy!  White wine, cream, garlic, spinach – even the minted carrots were tasty! Now I have to go do clean up – we’ll see if Ev leaves the recipe…

Serendipitous kitchen means I have the ingredients… or at least most of them. I didn’t have the fresh basil so I substituted about a tsp. of dried basil instead, and used whipping cream.  This recipe doesn’t say how much those 4 chicken breasts should weigh.  Basically, I had about 1.5 lbs of chicken. I used more spinach than the recipe and think you could probably use even more.  I had one very large garlic clove, maybe a tablespoon of minced garlic.

Creamy Tuscan Chicken (from the Foster Farms package)

Chicken Ingredients

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 tsp. Vegetable oil
  • salt and pepper

Sauce Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup packed fresh baby spinach
  • 1 cup basil  (rough chopped)

1. Heat oil in non-stick pan on medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper and cook on medium high-heat for 8 minutes per side. (depending on how thick your chicken is, the time may need to be adjusted.)  Remove chicken from pan and set aside, keeping warm.

2. Add white wine to hot pan and reduce by half. Add mushrooms and saute for 4-5 minutes. Add heavy cream, garlic and parmesan cheese, mix well and bring to simmer. Add spinach and basil and cook until spinach becomes tender.

3. Place chicken back in pan with sauce to re-heat and simmer for 5 minutes, or until internal temp reaches 165 F.

I served  this with multigrain penne pasta and minted buttered carrots.

Published in: on December 28, 2009 at 8:23 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Turkey Pesto Loaf with ‘Rice-a-Roni Rafforzata’

Turkey Meat Loaf

Luigi wanted me to use up pesto from Trader Joe’s that was way too salty.  I had made this meat loaf before, and he thought it would be a good way to get rid of this salty pesto.  He was right!  Not only did it taste OK, it looked really pretty with the tomato sauce on the outside and the green pesto and mozzarella cheese on the inside. Recipe is in my Black Recipe book. (3 years later – 2012 – HA! that comment about the recipe being in my black recipe book was written before I decided I needed to make this an online recipe book to save all my good recipes from the day that the books get burned in a fire or get lost in a move. So, I will add the recipe now.)

Pesto Meatloaf

  • 1-1/4 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 large onion, chopped (fine)
  • 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce (divided use)
  • 4 tblsp prepared pesto
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly oil a nonstick cookie sheet with sides

In a large bowl, combine the turkey, onion, bread crumbs, eggs and 1/3 cup of the tomato sauce.  Mix well.

On a large piece of aluminum foil, spread the mixture in a rectangle about 12 inches by 10 inches. Spread the pesto sauce over the meat mixture. Top with the shredded cheese. Leave a 1-inch margin around the loaf to prevent the cheese from  seeping out during the baking. (fat chance; it always seeps out for me.)

Roll up the meat mixture jellyroll style. Smooth seams with wet hands.

Place the loaf on the cookie sheet and bake 50 minutes. Pour remaining tomato sauce over the loaf. Bake another 15 minutes. Let the loaf sit 10 minute before slicing.

(From the Great American Meatloaf Contest Cookbook; Hearst Books)


Rice – a- Roni Rafforzata

As a side dish I wanted to make a mushroom risotto, but didn’t have time to go to the store to buy arborio rice.  So, I gave up on the idea and decided to just serve Rice-a-Roni with the meat loaf.  But then I realized that Rice-a-Roni also has short round rice like arborio rice and I thought I’d try the mushroom risotto recipe with the packaged  rice-a-roni.  I combined risotto recipes with the directions on the Rice-a-Roni box  and came up with an enhanced Rice-a-Roni, but it sounds so much better in Italian — Rice-a-Roni Rafforzata!

Here’s what I did:

  • 1 package Rice-a-Roni (chicken, low sodium)
  • 1  1/2 cup quartered mushrooms (crimini and white button mushrooms)
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 glove garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup dry marsala wine
  • 2 cups water (may need to add another 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup parmesan or other Italian blended cheese
  • minced parsley

Saute onions in olive oil for a few minutes.  Add Rice-a-Roni and saute, stirring constantly until vermicelli starts turning golden.  Add 3/4 minced garlic.  Stir another 2 or 3 minutes till garlic is aromatic.  Add marsala wine. Stir until wine evaporates.  Slowly add the water, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until the water simmers. When it starts to simmer, repeat, adding the next 1/2 cup  and stirring until all two cups are in the pan.  Add about 3/4 of the seasoning mix. Cover and let simmer for 15 minutes.

In the meantime, slice the mushrooms and saute with the remaining minced garlic.  Set aside.  Stir into the rice after it has cooked for 15 minutes.  Add more liquid if necessary.  Let simmer another 5 minutes or until rice is cooked to perfection.  Add cheese; adjust seasonings to taste.  Just before serving stir in parsley.   Enjoy  Rice-a-Roni Rafforzata, a San Diego treat!

Published in: on December 4, 2009 at 3:57 am  Leave a Comment  
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Pork Medallions with crimini mushroom wine sauce, roasted potatoes and veggies

Ev makes some pretty yummy dinners with nice eye appeal at times too! As the computer is right by the kitchen I thought I would take a picture every night as a record of what was cooking. Those home cooked meals are probably a rarity in many households, so this is a way to count my blessings, then look back & say mmmmm! 🙂

Published in: on December 3, 2009 at 4:12 am  Leave a Comment  
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