Ok so even though I love and regularly eat plant-based I can never believe when someone tells me a vegan dish tastes like meat. I call bull on every single meat alternative. Even when I talk about plant-based I talk about it as its own delicious world to explore, and that replicating typically leads to disappointment.
But in saying all of this, damn if these little mushroom tacos didn’t just about bamboozle me, and I made them! My friend who I made them for who also lives off of red meat even said they could have fooled him if he didn’t know. The key here is getting some really good super meaty oyster mushrooms. If they aren’t available near you then a cremini (baby bella) could work too.
As much as I love making pasta, my huge Achilles heel had always been the stuffed variety. I’ve had way more raviolis explode on me than I feel comfortable admitting. But I knew within this mushroom series I’ve been working on I had to do some form of pasta, and since I’d already made a fettuccine/tagliatelle type of deal it was time to put the big girl panties on.
I spent hours watching online tutorials of how to properly fold tortellinis in preparation of this. But what’s cool is that tortellinis are actually shockingly easy to achieve! Between how simple they were and how delicious they were I legit almost cried tasting these. Don’t even get me started on the mushroom, thyme, balsamic, and red wine filling with just a bit of ricotta to give that creamy texture we know and love in our filled noodles. The recipe below feeds 2 for a main. 10/10 would tortellini again.
Most of my recipes in the last several months have been inspired by fresh, home grown produce. I have one friend who’s garden I raided all summer to the point that I could be called Peter Rabbit. Through the fall my main inspiration has come from a friend’s farm that has had an amazingly consistent and diverse array of beautiful mushrooms. With the last batch I received I had originally thought of making a chicken marsala. But as I sat and thought about it I decided it was time to step my game up and give this Italian-American classic a major upgrade.
Steak Diane, one of those old school steak house dishes that were once seen as the height of elegant dining, but has since become stale. Do not get me wrong, there’s nothing to dislike about steak topped with a sauce made out of mushrooms, booze, and cream. The
lies in the same recipe being used for years on end with no refresh button being hit.
In case you hadn’t noticed, in a very large percent of the world it is extremely cold out right now. Currently I live in Chicago and we have the kind of cold where a hot coffee can freeze on the walk to the train, salt solutions make cars and every clothing item you own look gross, and you see me at peak crankiness. When it comes to winters like this all I want to do is live in a blanket fort and sustain myself on pizza and hot cocoa.
For the last few months while I have been on hiatus I have forced myself to do something completely shocking, something I never thought I could or would do. And that thing was teaching myself how to cook and eat on a (mostly) vegetarian and vegan diet. I get in real life that that is not nearly dramatic as I made it sound, but to put it in perspective I have had other bloggers describe my blog as “specialty in non-vegetarian food” when nominating me for awards, so I would say my recent dip into vegetable life is worth noting.
Pretty much every time my brother offers to cook me dinner and ask what I want my response is the same, chicken marsala. For me a good chicken marsala is all about the sweet richness of the sauce. Normally I get so caught up in the sauce and mushrooms that the chicken tends to kind of fade into the background. This time I wanted the chicken to take center stage along with the sauce. I found that the key to that is braising.
One of my favorite culinary styles is high/low cooking. High/low cooking basically takes a dish that is considered plain, humble, peasant food, or junk food and turns the volume up giving it a gourmet twist. That is what I have done with this beef stroganoff.
Everyone who cooks for long enough, whether they are a home cook or a professional chef, has developed a signature dish. For my mother that dish is the most divine chicken parmesan, and for the elite chefs of Le Cirque in Manhattan it is potato wrapped sea bass. The signature dish is a universal truth of the culinary world. And now the time has come for me to share my signature dish with you.
One of my favorite things about summertime is that America officially enters the most wonderful time of the year, burger season. To be honest there was a very dark phase in my life when I was completely over burgers. Everywhere I went it was just the same classic burger with the same toppings. Even though the burger in its most humble form is delicious, I had enough.