Tuesday, March 18, 2014

This spinach salad recipe is a variation of Mom's, but I really love the dressing which is made from the rendered bacon fat and poured over the spinach when it's still warm. Yummy!

Spinach Salad with Bacon Dressing
from Television Food Network


8 ounces young spinach
2 large eggs
8 pieces thick-sliced bacon, chopped
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 large white mushrooms, sliced
3 ounces red onion (1 small), very thinly sliced

Remove the stems from the spinach and wash, drain and pat dry thoroughly. Place into a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Place the eggs into an electric kettle and cover with cold water by at least 1-inch. Turn the kettle on. Once the water comes to a boil, the kettle will turn itself off. Leave the eggs in the water for 15 minutes. Remove and peel off the shell. Slice each egg into 8 pieces and set aside.

While the eggs are cooking, fry the bacon and remove to a paper towel to drain, reserving 3 tablespoons of the rendered fat. Crumble the bacon and set aside.

Transfer the fat to a small saucepan set over low heat and whisk in the red wine vinegar, sugar and Dijon mustard. Season with a small pinch each of kosher salt and black pepper.

Add the mushrooms and the sliced onion to the spinach and toss. Add the dressing and bacon and toss to combine. Divide the spinach between 4 plates or bowls and evenly divide the egg among them. Season with pepper, as desired. Serve immediately.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/spinach-salad-with-warm-bacon-dressing-recipe.print.html?oc=linkback

Monday, March 10, 2014

I've never had a bad recipe from America's Test Kitchen, and this certainly continues that trend. We made it for dinner tonight and the broth was absolutely fabulous. If you like mushrooms, you are going to love this soup. I sauteed the veggies while the rice was cooking in the oven which saved substantial time in the end.

Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup
From America's Test Kitchen Season 14
Serves 6 to 8
White mushrooms can be substituted for the cremini mushrooms. We use a spice grinder to process the dried shiitake mushrooms, but a blender also works.
ounce dried shiitake mushrooms, rinsed
4 1/4 
cups water
sprig fresh thyme
bay leaf
garlic clove, peeled, plus 4 cloves, minced
Salt and pepper
teaspoons baking soda
cup wild rice
tablespoons unsalted butter
pound cremini mushrooms, trimmed and sliced 1/4 inch thick
onion, chopped fine
teaspoon tomato paste
cup dry sherry
cups low-sodium chicken broth
tablespoon soy sauce
cup cornstarch
cup heavy cream
cup minced fresh chives
teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Grind shiitake mushrooms in spice grinder until finely ground (you should have about 3 tablespoons).

2. Bring 4 cups water, thyme, bay leaf, garlic clove, ¾ teaspoon salt, and baking soda to boil in medium saucepan over high heat. Add rice and return to boil. Cover saucepan, transfer to oven, and bake until rice is tender, 35 to 50 minutes. Strain rice through fine-mesh strainer set in 4-cup liquid measuring cup; discard thyme, bay leaf, and garlic. Add enough water to reserved cooking liquid to measure 3 cups.

3. Melt butter in Dutch oven over high heat. Add cremini mushrooms, onion, minced garlic, tomato paste, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are browned and dark fond develops on bottom of pot, 15 minutes. Add sherry, scraping up any browned bits, and cook until reduced and pot is almost dry, about 2 minutes. Add ground shiitake mushrooms, reserved rice cooking liquid, broth, and soy sauce and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until onion and mushrooms are tender, about 20 minutes.

4. Whisk cornstarch and remaining ¼ cup water in small bowl. Stir cornstarch slurry into soup, return to simmer, and cook until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove pot from heat and stir in cooked rice, cream, chives, and lemon zest. Cover and let stand for 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.