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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Old Favorites and A Newbie

Cooking time has been short for the last few weeks.  Connie played in a bridge tournament so was gone for three evenings.  There was a wine tasting dinner.  A couple of business related functions.  A couple of social things.  We'd not been to the grocery for two if not three weeks.  My refrigerator was about as empty as it gets.  Apples, some straggly carrots, a head of romaine, a box of mushrooms and a couple of ribs of celery that'd seen better days. 

Friday night Connie was playing his last game of the tournament.  I got an email from my dear friend Sue letting me know that she and Doug were going to be in Indy Friday evening.  Would we like to go out to dinner?  Of course I'd love to!  I got home a few minutes before their scheduled arrival.  They are fellow sushi lovers so I had high hopes that we'd head up the street to our favorite sushi restaurant - Tomo.  Then, they walked in the door and it dawned on me.  They'd left Florida several weeks ago and driven to California and now back to Indiana.  They'd eaten out for too many meals to count.  So, my first question was eat here or out?  Sue's eyes lit up and she said home cooking would be wonderful!

Off to the freezer I went.  What would thaw relatively quickly and be easy to cook?  Pork tenderloin would do nicely.  Then, I reached for a sweet potato.  Ummm, no.  It'd seen better days.  Better days a long time ago.  Into the compost bin it went.  Jane's Rice.  It's a pantry staple and SO easy.  A salad with apples and blue cheese and a mustard vinaigrette.  Then, our favorite new sauteed mushrooms.

New sauteed mushrooms?  How in the world do you improve on a knob of butter and a bit of garlic and maybe a splash of wine in your sauteed mushrooms?  You go to Epicurious and find Gourmet's old recipe published in 1999.  It was probably a Cooks Illustrated where I'd read the article about the best sauteed mushrooms.  Remembering the password for that site wasn't happening.  So, I hopped on Epicurious.  And, we tried these mushrooms.  And I declared I'd never again make plain sauteed mushrooms. 

I now had a plan for dinner.  Thaw the pork.  Slather it with Andria's Steak Sauce.  (Here's a link to my post about Andria's.) Grill it.  Make Jane's Rice and sauteed mushrooms.  Toss a salad.  Serve with red wine.  Best of all?  We have leftovers for Monday's lunch!

Saturday morning the four of us were off to our favorite breakfast hole-in-the-wall, Keystone Deli.  As usual, Connie and I both ordered the smokehouse breakfast and didn't touch our extra crispy home fries.  Those are for blue cheese potato salad for dinner tonight and lunch on Tuesday... 

Tonight we're trying Tuscan Ribs from a new cookbook.  They're slathered in this incredible rub and soaking it up in the fridge.  The blue cheese potato salad should be perfect with them.

Saturday late afternoon we headed to Costco and Marsh.  We were in the liquor aisle (shocking, I know) and we both looked at the Tanqueray.  Did we need some or not?  A couple walking by joined in the merriment of what's the worst that could happen?  We'd have TWO bottles instead of one.  We started talking about good drinks and Donna told us about one they make called a Calypso Cooler.  Neither of us could remember the measurements but Connie did a fine job of making a wonderful drink!  Connie promises he's going to get caught up on his drink posts.  I'm not going to make the same promise about all of my recipe posts...  That'd take more hours than I've got these days!

Back to Costco:  While we were there, Connie picked up a bag of fresh artichokes.  Now, I love artichoke hearts and artichoke bottoms.  But, fresh artichokes always feel like a lot of work for very little reward.  But, Connie wanted to try them so we did.  I pulled out my go-to vegetable cookbook - Greene on Greens and looked at a couple of other cookbooks and decided I'd poach them in water, lemon juice, white wine, crushed red pepper and peppercorns.  Then, I was on to the dipping sauce.  Garlic butter didn't appeal.  Green tapenade did.  Another Bert Greene recipe.  But, this time from The Store coobook. 

Along with the artichokes, we had another new recipe.  But, you'll have to come back to see that since it's my Secret Recipe post for the 18th.

So, are you ready for a recipe??

Sauteed Mushrooms


1 T fresh lemon juice
1/2 T soy sauce
1 t sugar
2 T olive oil
10 oz mushrooms, quartered (I used cremini)
1 T unsalted butter
1 garlic clove, minced


Mix the lemon juice, soy sauce and sugar and set aside.  Pour the olive oil into a 10-12" skillet.  Heat it to shimmering.  Add the mushrooms and saute until they're nice and brown.  That'll take 5-10 minutes.  Add the butter and garlic and stir well. 

Once the butter is absorbed, add the lemon juice mixture.  Stir well.  Allow to cook for a few minutes so the liquid is absorbed.

adapted from Gourmet via Epicurious

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