What Better Thing on a Blustery Night…

…than soup?

Nothing, of course… except for maybe soup with other bitchin’ stuff.

What a dinner! On the menu tonight:

  • Broccoli Soup
  • Dinner Salad
  • Stuffed Mushroom
  • Slice of garnished soft cheese
  • Whole Wheat Bread

Stuffed Mushroom.

The mushrooms I’ve been getting at East Side Market have been unusually large, so one stuffed one is plenty for a person as an appetizer – or in this case, as a side.

Core mushrooms, chop stems and place in a small bowl (we’ll call this bowl white for clarity). Chop one clove of garlic. Put chopped garlic in a bowl (blue for clarity) and scrape knife into white bowl with stems. Chop a small white onion. Place bulk of onion into blue bowl and add a small amount to white bowl. Mix in about two tablespoons of ricotta and herbs if you wish.

With a regular spoon, scoop out about half of the mixture into the well of the mushroom cap and drag your spoon downwards to get a nice, rounded effect. The mushroom should be a flattened round shape on the bottom (the top of the cap) and a slightly conical shape on the top. Pile the whole mixture into the cap, smoothing it out as necessary. Garnish with sliced piece of onion or herb or whatever you want, smear a bit of butter on the bottom (top of cap) and bake at 350 for around 15 minutes. or until they get a little golden on top. The butter will brown in the pan and when they are finished baking, pour the browned butter remains over the whole thing. (There’s not much, but enough).

Slice of soft cheese with paper-thin red onion and tomato and some of that leftover butter from the mushrooms. *smack * smack * smack *

This side is all about a palette of textures and nice, clean flavors. The tomato was chilled, left over from yesterday’s dinner salad, so it could have been nicer (read: in the summertime, this would be *amazing*) but it was far from bad.

I like dishes like this to be simple and elegant.

The cheese has a texture sort of like firm tofu, but tastes much, much better and is much creamier on the tongue. If only some of my herbs would have survived the winte, a spring of oregano or thyme would have been the ultimate top-off in this fantastic little trio of tastes.

Broccoli Soup.

I made just enough for dinner tonight, so this recipe yields about 2 small bowls worth:

two large mushrooms (4 crimini), sliced & chopped
3/4 of one small onion, chopped
scant 1 clove garlic, chopped
1 stalk of broccoli, chopped
1tbs olive oil
2c water
3tbs cream
spices as you like them: I used extra hot (Indian) chili powder & cavender’s greek season.

In heavy bottomed skillet, heat oil. Add contents of “blue” bowl (onion, garlic from above) to pan, then add sliced mushrooms and broccoli. Stir fry. Add water and spices. Cook for maybe 15minutes. Ladel out half and puree; return mix to pan. Add spices and cream. Do not boil, but keep warm until serving.

Salad is our usual: Romaine, Apple, Red Onion, Tomato, Adwell’s Gold, Salty Sea. Dressing is Balsamic Vinegar, Brown Mustard, a small amount of mayo and the lovely Cavender’s Greek Season. Yum. Yes. Yum.

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