Sunday, February 26, 2017

Savory Mushroom Broth

I owe this one to my friend Ben. He's a passionate vegan, and very fine host. He makes his broth from little more than an assortment of steeped mushrooms, but it's rich and punches you with umami. I've recreated it loosely many times since. The following recipe is very approximate. It's fun to play around with what goes into the broth itself, and then what accompanies it into the soup bowl. We use this for build-your-own ramen night. 

Savory Mushroom Broth:

*3 tablespoons butter or olive oil
*1 onion, chopped
*2 celery stalks, chopped
*3 garlic cloves, minced
*3-4 cups fresh mushrooms, assorted, chopped
*6 cups water
*4 whole peppercorns
*red wine
*sea salt

Heat olive oil or butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and garlic. Saute until the onion is browned and translucent. Add the mushrooms and saute until tender. Transfer all contents of skillet (including any liquid) to a large soup pot, add water and peppercorns. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Season with small splashes of red wine and tamari to taste (keep in mind the salt in the tamari will intensify if you plan to reduce your broth). Lower heat to medium and simmer until broth reaches desired richness, 40 minutes to 2 hours. Adjust seasonings and add sea salt if needed. Strain broth through a sieve before serving.

Load soup bowls with cooked udon, scallions, cilantro, avocado, seaweed, soft boiled egg, poached fish, chili oil, etc. Pour hot broth over soup ingredients. Top with toasted sesame oil and sesame seeds. Serve.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Anya Fernald's Blood Orange Salad

Straight from the pages of my favorite new cook book: Home Cooked by Anya Fernald. A winter menu winner.

Blood Orange Salad
*4 blood oranges 
*1 fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced
*1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
*1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
*1/4 cup piquant extra virgin olive oil (I used blood orange olive oil)
*2 tablespoons chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
*pinch red pepper flakes
*flaky sea salt for serving

With a sharp knife, cut the top and bottom off each orange and stand them on a cutting board. Beginning at the top of each orange, cut down along the curve of the fruit to remove the skin and pith, then cut each orange crosswise into 1/4 inch thick slices. Transfer to a bowl and add the sliced fennel, onion, and kosher salt and mix gently but thoroughly to combine. 

Transfer to a platter and drizzle with the olive oil, then top with the parsley and red pepper flakes. Season with flaky sea salt and serve.