Friday, February 1, 2013

Hungarian Mushroom Soup

This soup will knock your socks off.  It is rich and satisfying, especially during soup season (which is the opposite of grilling season, in case you were wondering). Did I mention it was rich? Even my son, who is not a mushroom fan, loves this.  I got the original recipe from my coworker Sue, who is a fellow soup connoisseur.  Claire's husband once declared it the best thing we've ever made.  There are many versions of this recipe, which I originally saw in the Moosewood Cookbook.
Here it is without the garnish...

Hungarian Mushroom Soup
I like to deepen the mushroom flavor by using a combination of fresh mushrooms and a dried mushroom mix that contains shiitake mushrooms in it.  I tend to chop my mushrooms smaller, but if you like bigger chunks, just slice them.  Serve it with crusty bread and a salad.  You won't be hungry.

6 T butter
1 1/2 c chopped onion
4 tsp Hungarian paprika or smoked paprika
4 tsp dried dill weed
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2/3 c flour
1 2/3 c milk
2 2/3 c water
4 c chopped mushrooms
2 t soy sauce or tamari
2 T lemon juice
1/2 c sour cream or Greek yogurt (and a little extra for garnish)
3 T minced fresh parsley (and a little extra for garnish)

Melt the butter in a saucepan and saute the onions with the paprika, dill weed, salt and pepper until the onions are tender and translucent. Whisk in the flour, then add the milk and water.  Add the mushrooms and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from the heat and stir in the soy sauce, lemon juice, sour cream or Greek yogurt, and parsley.  Serve immediately, with a little extra sour cream or yogurt  and parsley on the side for garnish.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Quinoa Cakes with Green Goddess Dipping Sauce

I made these for the first time last August, and have been making them regularly ever since. They are delicious, and great as a side dish or as a vegetarian main dish.  I make my quinoa in my rice cooker.  It turns out perfectly every time.  Adapted from
I made these originally during the Summer Olympics 2012.  Can you tell?

Quinoa Cakes
My kids love these.  They are hard to resist when hot out of the pan.

2 1/2 cups of cooked quinoa (follow directions on package)
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c chopped scallions
1/2 finely chopped white or red onion
1/3 c Parmesan cheese (preferably not the kind that comes in a can)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 c whole wheat bread crumbs

Mix together the quinoa, eggs, and salt in a medium-sized mixing bowl, and stir in the scallions, onion, cheese, and garlic. Add the bread crumbs and let it sit while you get the pan ready.  Heat about 1 tablespoon of olive or canola oil in a large frying pan on medium to medium low-heat. Once it's hot, scoop about a golf-ball-sized spoonful of the quinoa mix, shape it gently into a patty, and place it into the oil.  (This is easiest if your hands are wet.)  Cook on one side until the underside is golden brown, and flip over. Cook until the patty is firm in the middle, about 7-9 minutes total.

Green Goddess Dipping Sauce
I throw this together all the time for various things, especially when I don't want to use store-bought dressing but I need either a dip for carrots and celery, or a sauce.  Adding a little water to it will change its consistency so that you can also use it as a dressing.  If you have fresh basil or other herbs, feel free to experiment. 

1/2 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
1/2 - 1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
small handful of baby spinach leaves, chopped
zest from 1/2 lemon
1 T lemon juice
1/2 tsp dill weed
1/2 clove finely minced garlic, more or less depending on your taste
1 chopped scallion (optional)
1 t olive oil (optional- makes it a little smoother)

Blend together with an immersion blender or something similar until smooth.  Add a little water or milk, 1 T at a time until a desired consistency is reached.