by Green Gourmet L
Welcome back all you Green Gourmets! Green Gourmet K and I would like to tell you that we enjoyed our hiatus, but we missed blogging so much that we had to get back to it! A lot has happened during our time away. Green Gourmet K got pregnant! And Green Gourmet L moved to Texas and then got pregnant! Even though each of us is now eating for two, that doesn’t stop us from cooking green (local, organic, and budget friendly) now more than ever. And we would love to share our journey with you. So stay tuned for our usual awesome recipes, tips and tricks about being green, and new anecdotes about what happens when you get knocked up.
Alright, onto the food! When the weather in TX starts to cool down (from like 90s to 70s), I get excited that I can use my oven again. My absolute favorite way to cook anything when the weather gets a little chilly is a low and slow braise. Braising is just a form of slow cooking, usually some kind of meat in liquid, until it is very tender and the liquid has turned into a luscious sauce.
There are a couple rules to braising:
- Lower temperatures for a longer time are best
- Start with a good base- aromatic veggies like onions, carrots, celery give great flavor during a long cooking marathon
- Begin cooking on the stove first. Brown your meat, soften your veggies, simmer your liquid. It will make the actual braising process go by much faster
- Check your dish occasionally. You may need to add more liquid, stir or turn your meat, and you don’t want to find out after it’s too late
- Your dish might be better the next day. Once the flavors have had a chance to meld together in the fridge, you can enjoy your leftovers even more than the original meal!
I love to eat red meat but I am also sensitive to the fact that this is not a part of everyone’s diet. I mean, we are in TX now, but I am a Green Gourmet so I can adapt. I found a wonderful braised mushroom dish and decided to adapt it to fit my dinner last night. Hope you like it!
Braised Mushroom Pasta
- 3oz prosciutto (or bacon), diced (if vegetarian, use smoked tofu)
- 2 medium onions, diced
- 2 carrots, finely diced
- 2 ribs celery, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
- 3lbs mixed mushrooms, sliced
- 1 small bunch thyme (leave on the stems)
- 1 14oz can diced tomatoes
- 2 TB butter (if vegan, use olive oil)
- 3 cups chicken stock (or veggie stock)
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350F.
Heat an ovenproof casserole dish or a frying pan over a medium heat. Add a few tablespoons olive oil and cook prosciutto until golden brown and crispy (about 5 minutes).
Remove and allow to drain on a paper towel.
Add a little more oil to the pan and add onion. Cover and cook stirring occasionally until the onion is soft and slightly golden (8-10 minutes).
Add carrots, celery, garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add half of the mushrooms, stir and cover for 5 minutes until the mushrooms begin to release moisture and cook down.
Add the other half, stir and cover for an additional 5 minutes.
When the mushrooms have browned, add the crispy prosciutto, thyme, tomatoes, butter and salt/pepper.
Top with 3 cups chicken stock. Bring to a simmer on the stove then put in the oven.
Cook, uncovered for 2 1/2 hours, stirring every half an hour or so. It’s ready when the mushrooms are tender and the liquid has reduced to a delicious sauce. Adjust seasonings and remove thyme stems.
Serve braised mushrooms over your favorite pasta (penne!) or over mashed potatoes, polenta, quinoa, or whatever your heart desires. This also makes a fabulous breakfast served as a bed for a poached egg, folded into an omelet, or as scrambled eggs with goat cheese.
Enjoy your new found mushroom braising addiction and don’t forget you read about it on Green Gourmets!