Sunday, 13 October 2013

Mushroom and Rice Soup - the Wild Edition

Lobster Mushrooms ready for cleaning
The double edged sword of living in the temperate rain forrest that you have to live with Mother Natures bipolar side. It's her way of reminding the mortals that her treasures come with strings attached. So it's gonna pour buckets of rain at times, but when it doesn't, the forrest is a gracious provider. Surviving the wind and rain pays off, today it paid off in the form of 5 lbs of wild lobster mushrooms.
Glory be to her flip floppy ways! Tonight we give thanks to Mother Nature and dine on mushrooms in honour of our great mothers bounty.

ingredients ready
to roll 
You'll need the following
butter and oil for frying
2 lbs lobster mushrooms, wild harvested, cleaned well and diced small
1/2 lb small criminis, washed, trimmed and diced
divide all the mushroom in 3 equal piles

3 small leeks
2 large cloves of garlic
1/2 cup brandy

1.5 liter stock - pre heated
1 - 1.5 cup of pre cooked wild rice blend (wild and brown rice)
2 tsp thyme & savory
2 tsp porcini powder

125 ml half & half cream
salt to taste
butter and oil for frying
1 TBSP beurre manie

Wash and trim your mushrooms - lobsters can be dirty & wormy so this is a labour of love and a commitment of your time. Be sure to cut the mushrooms up to check that no worm(s) have burrowed in an unchecked location.

Fry a third of the mushrooms in a little butter and oil. Plenty of liquid will be released by the mushrooms, this is fine, just allow the liquid to pool. Once cooked, remove the 1st third of mushrooms and continue to cook the 2nd and the 3rd batch of the remaining mushrooms with fresh butter and oil.

Something to be thankful for, tasty beer &
wild lobster mushroom & wild rice soup
In butter and oil cook the leeks and garlic, deglaze with the brandy a couple of splashes at a time.

Add the stock - Heat the stock prior to adding in order to continue the cooking process. Add a small amount of the stock first to deglaze the pan, add the remaining stock and bring up to simmer.

Add the cooked mushrooms back to the pot

Season the soup with the herbs and porcini powder

Once hot, remove a cup of stock and incorporate the beurre manie and mix until thick.

Return the butter, flour, stock mix back to the hot soup and stir immediately to thicken the soup.

Add the cream to the soup, stir and heat until it's ready for serving.

Top with thin sliced green onions, chopped parsley and pepper.
Serve with plenty of fresh bread.

And importantly drink with wonderfully tasty drink of your choice, see our review of the delicious Pliny the Elder, discoverer of the wondrous hop. Would go equally well with a simple cocktail of sparkling water and lime for those of us off the booze.

Banana Bread - the Double Down Version

It's a well established fact that Fondue Voodoo is a neglectful and abusive mistress of all produce. A bunch of browning bananas stranded on the kitchen counter, forgotten and overlooked is kinda status quo. Which just means that becoming an expert at making banana bread is basically a necessity. The Double down banana bread is a chocolate bread topped with a blonde bread, as such it requires that you make at least 2 loaves of the good stuff.

So tie your apron strings tight, turn up the tunes and get your ingredients lined up, you're in for a terrific ride. Thanks to Kitchen Scraps foodie guru Pierre A Lamielle, who's terrific muffin recipe is top notch and my go to for all muffins and loaves.

Get yourself ready:
You'll need 4 mixing bowls - medium size
2 loaf pans, lined with parchment paper or oiled and floured
heat the oven to 375
 I forgot to take a pic of the mixing process
so heres a cute pic of Bentley Beans

Bottom layer - Double Chocolate Banana Bread
1.5 c Flour
.5 c coco powder
2 tsp Baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Mix all the drys and set aside 

Wet ingredients
1 c yogurt
1/4 c melted butter or vegetable oil
3/4 c white sugar
1 egg beaten
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla 
1& 1/2 c extra ripe mashed bananas 
Mix all the wet ingredients and set aside

Top layer - Blonde Banana Bread with Strudle topping
2 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup chopped dates (could opt for nuts or raisins)
Mix all the ingredients and set aside
Banana Bread Super Star - get out there and
impress your friends

Wet Ingredients
1 c yogurt
1/4 c melted butter or vegetable oil
3/4 cup white sugar 
1 egg beaten 
1 pinch salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 and 1/2 c mashed extra ripe bananas. 
Mix all the wet ingredients and set aside 

1/3 c brown sugar
1/2 c rolled oats
1/4 c vegetable oil
mix well and set aside

how to: 
1. have your loaf pans prepped with either parchment paper (my preference) or oil and flour the insides
2. heat oven to 375 degrees
3. mix the wet and dry ingredients for the bottom double chocolate banana bread layer 
4. give the pans a little giggle to settle the batter evenly
5. quickly mix the wet and dry ingredients for the top blond banana bread layer
6. smooth the batter out with a couple of good giggles
7. sprinkle the studle topping over the loaves evenly and using 2 fingers poke the strudle down into the batter a little, this helps it adhere to the finished loaf. 
8. bake your loaves at 375 until they pass the toothpick test, approximately 50 mins. 
9. marvel at the wonders you've just created - cause baby your a banana bread superstar.