Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Back at it...

Seems I've been away for a bit as I was under the weather and didn't feel like cooking at all then didn't feel like eating cuz nothing sounded very tasty for the past few days and I almost succumbed to really bad stuff for me but stuck to soul food; Pabst Blue Ribbon, Hebrew National hot dogs with plain ol' yellow mustard like at the ball park and cookies & cream ice cream. Food to feed the inner being.

By the time I started to feel like preparing my own food again, I decided i better cut off the end of my thumb so although right handed, my left opposable has been wrapped well in large amounts of gauze & tape for the past couple of days making cooking and cleanup rather difficult not to mention typing. Yes it's true, 90% of my day job is typing as well so I've just been puttering around at work as well. It gave me a good excuse to surf some recipes anyway...
Halibut with the chimmi just waiting for the grill
Tonight I am marinating a large filet of fresh halibut in some lime riesling chimmichurri which will be accompanied by grilled local asparagus and mushroom pilaf with red bell peppers. I think for a first meal back that will do quite nicely and it makes me wonder as I just put the rice in the oven; is there any better smell than that of mushrooms, onions and garlic sauteing away in butter and olive oil? Perhaps if it were going on a 40 oz porterhouse grilled black & blue but just by itself it conjures so many things. I couldn't wait and had to eat a few bites before I added the rice and stock. Damn that was fine!

Here's the recipe for my fall back mushroom pilaf...

Mushroom Pilaf

Heat oven to 350F

  • 1 Tablespoon each olive oil & butter
  • 1/2 Large yellow onion
  • ~2 teaspoons Minced garlic
  • 8oz White or Crimini mushrooms - but oh so good when the wild mushrooms come in
  • Pinch each kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 Cups Arborio rice
  • 3 Cups Chicken broth - I keep the packaged organic from Pacific Foods on hand

  1. Over medium heat, saute the veg & add the seasonings into the melted butter and olive oil
  2. Continue sauteing until the shrooms shrink and the onions are nearly transparent, stirring often
  3. Add the rice and stir well to coat each grain with the oil & veg juices
  4. Add the chicken broth and stir well
  5. Bring just to a boil, stir once more and put covered into the preheated oven for 20 minutes
  6. After 20 minutes, remove the pan from the oven but DO NOT remove the cover
  7. Let rest for minimum 5 minutes, more is fine as this stays hot for a very long time
  8. Remove cover and fluff rice mixing in all the veg that collected on top
Tonight I added a bit of fresh diced red bell pepper for a fresh taste and that lovely color & crunch but try adding raw just shelled peas, some blanched green beans or let your imagination carry you away, this is a really blank slate just waiting for a bit of artistry

Eat and enjoy

This fine meal was accompanied by a 2005 Witness Tree Chainsaw Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley. A find for the palette if ever there was one. Year after year this fine example of the art of Oregon pinot delivers a lovely dried cherry fruit with a hint of plum and darker berries to round it out. With a very slight nose, the fruit in the palatte hits pretty hard but it is not a fruit bomb and has a lovely soothing quality and fine medium long finish. Life doesn't suck...


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