March 31, 2011

Mushroom and Cheese Brioche

I hope to  continue my series on recipes that picture "Pure Michigan"  however, I haven't had time to develop anything new this week.
In searching through my old recipes in preparation for the holidays, I was excited to come upon another favorite.
 I read the recipe through, and my heart started beating in anticipation.  Not many recipes do that! Well, not too many!  Don't be intimidated...Try it.  It's not  labor intensive, just a few extra steps in the process. 

6 servings


For the Truffle Bread Pudding

  • 1 pound loaf brioche
  • 4 cups milk
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 truffle, sliced, optional 
  • 2 cups sliced morel mushrooms
  • 2 cups chopped button mushrooms
  • 2 cups sliced oyster mushrooms
  • 1 shallot, minced 
  • 4 cups grated Gruyere cheese
  • Salt and freshly grated black pepper
Poached Eggs
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
     For the Salad Garnish
    • 1 cup microgreens ( you can use baby greens, spring mix, Arugula, frisee)
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
    • 1 tsp. agave nectar
    • splash of vinegar
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


    For the mushroom and cheese brioche:
    1. Cut the brioche into 1-inch cubes.
    2. In a large bowl, whisk together the milk and eggs.
    3. Season with salt and pepper.
    4. Add the cubed brioche, truffle peelings, and chopped thyme to the bowl.
    5. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight.

    1. In a skillet over medium-high heat, saute the morels, button, and oyster mushrooms with the shallots for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
    2. Add 1/2 the Gruyere cheese to the brioche mixture, then add the mushroom- shallot mixture to brioche and cheese mixture.

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
    1. Pour the bread pudding mixture in an oven-proof baking dish.
    2. Add the remaining cheese. Season with salt and pepper. 
    3. Bake for 45 minutes or until puffed and golden brown.

    For the poached eggs:
    Fill a saucepan with 3-inches cold water, add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil.

    1. As the water reaches the boiling point, reduce the heat and allow the water to simmer.
    2. Add 1 tablespoon vinegar to the water.
    3. Swirl the water around.
    4. Break the eggs into a small plate or bowl and gently slide it into the water with care,
    5. holding the plate as near to the water as possible before allowing the
    6. egg to slowly slip into the water.
    7. Once the eggs are in the water, you can help shape it using a spoon or spatula. Let the eggs cook for 3 to 3 1/2 minutes, allowing for the size of the egg and the preferred doneness of the egg yolks.
    8. Remove each egg with a slotted spoon and drain for a few seconds on kitchen paper.
    9. Trim any stringy or dangling bits with a knife or scissors, if you wish.

    Serve the poached egg on top of the truffle bread and garnish with a little bit of the microgreens dressed with olive oil and salt and pepper.

     Chefs note:
    For your first attempt at preparing poached eggs, you may want to carefully break each egg onto a small cup, ramekin, plate or bowl before adding it to the water.

    A perfectly poached egg has a lovely rounded shape, a soft yet firm white and a deliciously runny yolk. Time is of the essence when it comes to poaching eggs.

    Problems will most definitely arise if the eggs are cooked at a temperature that is too high, if the eggs are not very fresh or if there is not enough water in the saucepan.

    Use a saucepan or a deep frying pan, which allows you to fill it with about 3-inches of water. The eggs should be covered with water during cooking and the 3-inch depth of water ensures that the eggs will not stick to the pan.

    Poached eggs must be cooked in water that is very gently bubbling or simmering. The water is first brought to the boil and then by turning the heat down on the cooker, is allowed to gently simmer. The eggs are carefully added to the pan at this point. If the water is boiling too fiercely, the eggs will be forced to move around too much, causing them to break up and lose their shape. A gentle simmer allows the egg to sit in one place throughout cooking and cook nicely.
    By using the freshest eggs possible, eggs that are less than 4 days old, you are more likely to achieve a perfectly poached egg that keeps its shape. With a fresh egg, the white will stay close to the yolk and should not spread out thinly.

    Vinegar should be added to the water as it begins to boil, as this will help the egg white to coagulate more quickly and form a neat and compact shape. Without the vinegar, disaster may occur. Use about 1 tablespoon vinegar for each pint of water. Bear in mind that the vinegar may slightly flavor the eggs, so do not use too much or a vinegar that is too strong, if you are not so keen on a vinegary tasting eggs.

    Cajun Cafe Bourbon Chicken

    This is from the KOPYCAT website

    1 1/2 LB. of Thigh Meat or Dark Meat (cut in bite size chunks) OR Chicken breast
    2 Tbsp. Teriyaki Sauce
    1/2 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
    1/2 tsp. Garlic Salt
    1/2 tsp. Ginger Powder
    3 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
    1 Tbsp. Granulated Sugar
    1 C. White Grape Juice
    1/2 C. Bourbon
    1/4 C. water
    Mix teriyaki sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic salt, ginger, brown sugar 1/2 cup white grape juice and bourbon. Stir until thoroughly blended. Pour 1/3 sauce on chicken pieces and mix. Refrigerate for 3 hours or best overnight. Save remainder sauce and refrigerate.
    Braise chicken with marinate on medium low heat until cooked. Remove from frying pan. In a 2 quart sauce pan heat remainder of bourbon sauce and add 1/2 cup of white grape juice and 1 Tbsp. of sugar with 1/4 cup water. Bring to a simmer and stir until sugar is devolved. Add chicken to sauce and stir until chicken is coated and its ready to serve

    March 16, 2011

    HOMEMADE Corned Beef

    (picture not available yet)

    When it comes to some of the basics in preparing traditional food, I love to see what Alton Brown is doing. is his recipe based on his suggestions  for HOMEMADE corned beef.  I am posting this so you don't have to buy those ones from the store that are soaked in chemicals like  phosphates and nitrates.  This is a much healthier version.  It should stay in the brine for 10 days...but I have tried 6-7 and it is tender and juicy, with all the good flavor.  

    • 2 quarts water
    • 1 cup kosher salt
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 2 tablespoons saltpeter
    • 1 cinnamon stick, broken into several pieces
    • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
    • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
    • 8 whole cloves
    • 8 whole allspice berries
    • 12 whole juniper berries
    • 2 bay leaves, crumbled
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 2 pounds ice
    • 1 (4 to 5 pound) beef brisket, trimmed
    • 1 small onion, quartered
    • 1 large carrot, coarsely chopped
    • 1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped

    Directions: 10 days ahead of time

    1. Place the water into a large 6 to 8 quart stockpot along with salt, sugar, saltpeter, cinnamon stick, mustard seeds, peppercorns, cloves, allspice, juniper berries, bay leaves and ginger.
    2. Cook over high heat until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the ice. Stir until the ice has melted.
    3. If necessary, place the brine into the refrigerator until it reaches a temperature of 45 degrees F.
    4. Once it has cooled, place the brisket in a 2-gallon zip top bag and add the brine.
    5.  Seal and lay flat inside a container, cover and place in the refrigerator for 10 days.
    6. Check daily to make sure the beef is completely submerged and stir the brine.
    7. After 10 days, remove from the brine and rinse well under cool water.
    8. Place the brisket into a pot just large enough to hold the meat, add the onion, carrot and celery
    9. over with water by 1-inch. 
    10. Set over high heat and bring to a boil. 
    11. Reduce the heat to low, cover and gently simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until the meat is fork tender.
    12. Remove from the pot and thinly slice across the grain.

    Optional- Add potatoes and carrots  during last 40 minutes of cooking time and then chunks of fresh cabbage the last 15 minutes.  Serve with grainy mustard or horseradish sauce.

    March 8, 2011

    Homemade Egg Rolls with Sweet and Sour Sauce

    I love homemade egg rolls more than the take-out version.  Maybe it is because I control the ingredients and know exactly what is in them. I also make a homemade sweet and sour sauce for dipping.    When I make egg rolls, I typically will make another dish to go with them because I already have so many ingredients out in the first place.  These go great with a fried rice or stir fry.   
    I just updated this  recipe after recently preparing a baked egg roll recipe from  Amy's Cooking Adventures in the Surprise Recipe Swap. I adapted it a little based on my previous post.    I added the water chestnuts and already cooked pork. Check out the original recipe on her blog for a lovely tutorial. The recipe instructions are for baking, but you may fry them if you want.  I have included instructions for both methods.
    Egg Roll Ingredients
    • ¼ cup reduced sodium soy sauce
    • 2 tbsp rice vinegar or red or white wine vinegar
    • 1 tbsp brown sugar
    • ½ tbsp ground ginger
    • 2 tbsp canola oil
    • 1 nappa or green  cabbage, shredded; about 4 cups shredded
    • 2 medium carrots, grated; about 1 cup grated
    • 1 small can of water chestnuts, chopped
    • 4 garlic cloves, minced; about ½ tbsp minced
    • Salt & pepper
    • 1 lb cooked pork or chicken ( I used 4 leftover pork chops and shredded them in the food processor)
    • 5-6 green onions, thinly sliced
    • Egg roll wrappers, about 21
    • 1 large egg, beaten
    • Oil if frying
    Sweet & Sour Sauce Ingredients
    • 3/4 cup white sugar
    • 1/3 cup white vinegar
    • 2/3 cup warm water
    • 1/4 cup soy sauce
    • 1 tablespoon ketchup
    • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
    Egg Roll Filling Directions
    1. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, and ground ginger.  Set aside.
    2. Meanwhile, heat the canola oil over medium-high heat.  Add the cabbage, water chestnuts and carrots.  Season lightly with salt and pepper and cook for 3-5 minutes or until slightly tender.
    3. Add the garlic, pork, and soy sauce mixture.  Cook until  the liquid is absorbed.  
    4. Stir in the green onions and set aside.
    5. Place 2-3 tablespoons of filling mixture slightly off center in the egg roll wrapper (click here to see a beautiful photo tutorial from Amy).  Tuck the nearest corner around the filling.  Then bring the two short corners in toward the center. 
    6. Brush the remaining corner with the beaten egg.  Then roll the egg roll tightly, sealing the wrapper with the egg washed corner.  Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling.
    7. At this point, the egg rolls can be frozen.  Place the egg rolls in a single layer in a freezer bag and freeze until ready to use.
    8.  To bake, brush the egg rolls with the remaining beaten egg 
    9. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and bake for 15 minutes (up to 20 if frozen) or until golden brown. 
    10. Serve with sweet & sour sauce (recipe below)
    For Frying 
    In a skillet set over moderately high heat, heat about 1/2 cup oil and saute the egg rolls until golden brown on all sides, using tongs to turn them

    Sweet & Sour Sauce
    1. Place the sugar, vinegar,  soy sauce, and  ketchup in a medium saucepan, and bring to a slight boil. 
    2. Meanwhile, mix water and cornstarch together to make a slurry.  
    3. Add slurry to sugar mixture.
    4. Stir continuously until the mixture has thickened. 
    5. Serve warm or at room temperature.

    March 5, 2011

    Homemade Meatballs and Spaghetti Sauce



    For the meatballs:

    • 1 pound ground pork
    • 1 pound ground beef
    • 1 cup fresh white bread crumbs (4 slices, crusts removed)
    • 1/4 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
    • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1 extra-large egg, beaten
    • Vegetable oil
    • Olive oil

    For the sauce:

    • 1 Tablespoon good olive oil
    • 1 cup chopped  onion
    • 1 clove  minced garlic
    • 1/2 cup good red wine, such as Chianti
    • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, San Marzano are best.
    • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
    • 1 Tabslepoon oregano
    • Salt & Pepper to taste
    • 1 Tablespoon sugar or agave nectar

    For serving:

    • 1 1/2 pounds spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
    • Freshly grated Parmesan
    • Chopped fresh basil


    1. Preheat oven to 350.
    2. Place the ground meats, both bread crumbs, parsley, garlic, Parmesan, salt, pepper, nutmeg, egg, and 3/4 cup warm water in a bowl. 
    3. Combine very lightly with a fork. 
    4. Using your hands, lightly form the mixture into 2-inch meatballs. You will have 14 to 16 meatballs.
    5. Place meatballs on a baking sheet and bake about  8-10 minutes.  They will continue to cook in the sauce. 
    6. For the sauce, heat the olive oil in the same pan. 
    7. Add the onion and saute over medium heat until translucent, 5 to 10 minutes. 
    8. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add spices.
    9. Add the wine and cook on high heat,  until almost all the liquid evaporates, about 3 minutes. 
    10. Stir in the tomatoes. Add sugar.
    11. Return the meatballs to the sauce, cover, and simmer on the lowest heat for 25 to 30 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through and the sauce thickens.  Use  a tomato paste if you want a thicker sauce. 
    12. Serve with cooked spaghetti 
    13. Garnish with chopped basil  grated Parmesan.

    March 3, 2011

    Mushroom Risotto

    I was waiting for an opportunity to use a small bottle of black truffle oil I bought from Whole Foods Market.  Today was the day.  I love this risotto with pork tenderloin and a sweet green salad.  The 3 pair beautifully with a nice glass of Reisling or a warm cider.  A great autumn meal. If you don't have truffle oil, its tasty without it. 


    • 8 cups chicken broth, low sodium
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
    • 1 onion, diced, divided
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced, divided
    • 1 pound fresh portobello mushrooms, wiped of grit (don't wash)  and sliced
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
    • 2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • Salt and pepper
    • 1 tablespoon truffle oil(optional)
    • 2 cups Arborio rice
    • 1/2 cup dry white wine
    • 1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
    • Fresh Italian parsley, for garnish


    1. Heat the chicken broth in a medium saucepan and keep warm over low heat.
    2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
    3. Add 1/2 onion and 1 clove garlic, cook, stirring, until translucent, about 5 minutes.
    4. Add the fresh mushrooms, herbs and butter.
    5. Saute for 3 to 5 minutes until lightly browned, season with salt and pepper.
    6. Drizzle in truffle oil then add the  mushrooms
    7. Season again with salt and fresh cracked pepper. 
    8. Saute 1 minute then remove from heat and set aside.

    1. Coat a saucepan with remaining 2 tablespoons of oil.
    2. Saute the remaining 1/2 onion and garlic clove.
    3. Add the rice and stir quickly until it is well-coated and opaque, 1 minute. This step cooks the starchy coating and prevents the grains from sticking. Stir in wine and cook until it is nearly all evaporated.
    4. Now, with a ladle, add 1 cup of the warm broth and cook, stirring, until the rice has absorbed the liquid.
    5. Add the remaining broth, 1 cup at a time.
    6. Continue to cook and stir, allowing the rice to absorb each addition of broth before adding more.
    7. The risotto should be slightly firm and creamy, not mushy. 
    8. Transfer the mushrooms to the rice mixture. 
    9. Stir in Parmesan cheese, cook briefly until melted. 
    10. Top with a drizzle of truffle oil and chopped parsley before serving.
    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...