Here are two recipes I'd like to share. I made them both last night and they turned out really well. If you have any tips or tweaks for them please leave them in the comments section. One of these days I'll have my camera or phone handy while cooking and snap a picture of the finished results.
1/2 c dried porcini mushrooms
1/2 c dried mixed mushrooms (try for chanterelle, lobster, morel, shitake)
2 portabello mushrooms (reserve stems, remove gills, chop caps)
1 lb Cremini mushrooms (reserve stems, slice caps)
1/2 lb white button mushrooms (reserve stems, slice caps)
1/4 C sherry
1 shallot, minced
2 clove garlic, minced
4 - 6 sprig fresh thyme
2 large bay leaves
4 c chicken stock
2 c mushroom stock (see below)
1/2 c wild rice blend
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp flour
1 c heavy cream or whole milk (preference)
salt and pepper to taste
Mushroom stock: boil 2 cups of water. Combine boiled water and dried mushrooms in a bowl. Cover and steep. In a medium pot add water and the chopped stems from all of the fresh mushrooms with a sprig of thyme and some cracked pepper. Heat to boiling then reduce and simmer. After 10 minutes removed the rehydrated mushrooms from the water and set aside. Add the liquid from the rehydrated mushrooms to the pot with the stems. Allow to simmer and reduce by half volume. Remove the solids.
In a saucepan or skillet heated to medium low add the sliced fresh mushrooms. Sweat the mushrooms until they are fragrant and golden. As they begin to heat, in a (separate) stock pot heat the chicken stock, thyme, shallot and garlic to a boil. Once the sliced mushrooms have all been sweated, transfer to a bowl and repeat with the chopped portabello. Roughly chop the sliced mushrooms and the rehydrated mushrooms and add to the boiling chicken stock. Add the portabello, the rice blend and the mushroom stock that you just made. Bring back to a boil then immediately reduce to a medium simmer. Add the sherry. Allow to simmer for 30 minutes.
As the stew is simmering, melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan and gradually add the flour, whisking constantly. Continue to whisk until the mixture is a deep golden brown and the 'raw' quality is cooked out of the flour. Once finished, slowly add mixture to the stew, stirring well.
After the stew has simmered, add the cream. Allow to simmer an additional 10 minutes. Ladle into bowls, top with fresh thyme, cracked pepper and serve with crusty bread!
I use my Cuisinart frozen yogurt - sorbet - ice cream maker for this. It's an automatic, super easy to use ice cream maker which freezes most concoctions in 30 minutes. Allow to set up in the freezer for an hour or two before serving unless you want it to be a slushie or soft-serve consistency.
1 bag fresh cranberries
juice and zest of one large orange
juice and zest of one large lemon
stevia or whatever crystallized sweetener you prefer
4 cups water
Add one cup of sweetener to two cups of water and boil. Boil cranberries in the other 2 cups of water until they pop (about 15 minutes). Allow both to cool to room temperature. Drain about 1/3 of the liquid from the cranberries then blend the remaining berries and water until smooth. Pour liquid through a strainer to remove seeds and skins. Add the juices and the zests to the berry pulp and stir to combine. Combine the simple syrup and cranberry mixture. Pour into the frozen bowl of the ice cream maker and allow to mix for 30 minutes. Scrape into a freezer-safe bowl. Mixture will be of a slushie-like consistency.
This sorbet makes a great base for smoothies!