Thursday, November 24, 2011

Homemade stuffing from scratch

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends; I hope everybody had a great day!
Here is a super simple recipe for you.

When I first made this it was so easy (and delicious!) that I was truly baffled as to why people used the boxed stuff.

thanksgiving food 2011 stuffing

Homemade stuffing from scratch

5 C whole wheat bread cubes (see below)
1 med/small onion – diced fine
2 stalks celery – diced fine
1/4 stick butter (2 Tbsp)
1 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried rosemary – crushed (I throw it into my spice grinder and pulse it a few times)
1/4 tsp Italian spice mix (optional, recipe below)
1 1/4 C veggie broth

The night before, slice about 5 slices of whole wheat bread into cubes. Spread them on a cookie sheet and bake at 200 degrees F for about an hour or until they are dried out and hard.

Before dinner, melt the butter and saute the onion and celery until the onion goes translucent. Add the herbs and broth. Bring to a simmer.

Dump the bread cubes into a casserole dish and toss with the onion mixture until everything is evenly coated and well mixed. Don't worry of some if the cubes are still crispy.

Cover and bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake another 10 minutes, and it's done!


Italian Herb Blend
(When I make it 1 Part = 1 Tbsp, but you can make bigger or smaller batches as desired.)

3 parts basil
2 parts each, marjoram, oregano, & thyme
1 part rosemary, crushed 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Mushroom Risotto

Earlier this week the Llama Papa had to go out of town for a couple of nights; it was rough, but we made it through. My mother came down to help out while he was gone, (thanks Mom!) and to thank her I made one of her favorite dishes, Mushroom Risotto. She loved it and I decided type up the recipe for her, and while I was at it, make a blog post!

mushroom risotto

Mushroom Risotto

3 C short grain brown rice (put the rice to soak in the morning)
2/3 - 1 C dried Porcini mushrooms
1 lg onion, chopped
8 oz White Button mushrooms, sliced
8 oz Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
3 C vegetable stock
1 C dry white wine
fresh Parmesan cheese

Roughly chop the porcini mushrooms, place them in a bowl and cover in boiling water. Let sit.

Put the stock into a saucepan along with 3 cups water and bring to a bare simmer.

Meanwhile, Saute the onion in olive oil over medium heat until they turn translucent. Add the fresh mushrooms and saute until they release their juice and the liquid is evaporated.

Strain the soaking porcini mushrooms, reserving the liquid, and add them to the onion mixture.
Drain the rice and add it to the pot, stirring for a minute or so to warm and coat it with the oil.

Add the wine and the reserved mushroom liquid, raise the heat slightly to medium high and cook, stirring often until it has all evaporated.

Add several scoops of stock until the rice is covered and let cook, stirring often until the liquid is mostly gone. (If the liquid is boiling to high and evaporating too fast, reduce the heat back to medium.) Repeat this process until all the stock is used,this should take between 30-40 minutes. Taste the rice; it should be al dente (slightly chewy, but not crunchy). If it is not fully cooked, continue adding hot water, cooking and stirring often until the rice is cooked and lightly coated by a delicious creamy sauce.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with a topping of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, and a glass of the remaining wine.

Adapted From the Risotto with Mushrooms recipe in Vegetarian by Linda Fraser
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