Vegetarian Dish with Polenta and A Mixture of Wild and Cultivated Mushrooms


10 g dried porcini mushrooms (omit if using, wild mushrooms)
4 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
675 g wild and cultivated mushrooms
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
3 medium tomatoes, peeled and diced
l tbsp tomato puree
3/4 cup warm water
1/4 tsp fresh thyme leaves or a pinch of dried thyme
1 bay leaf
salt and freshly ground black pepper
a few fresh parsley sprigs, to garnish


6-1/4 cups water
1 tbsp salt
350 g polenta flour


  1. Soak the dried mushrooms in a small cup of warm water for 20 minutes. Remove the mushrooms with a slotted spoon and rinse there well in several changes of cold water. Filter the soaking water through a layer of kitchen paper placed in a sieve and reserve.
  2. Ina large frying pan, heat the oil and saute the onion over low heat until soft and golden.
  3. Clean the fresh mushrooms by wiping them with a damp cloth. Cut into slices.
  4. When the onion is soft, add the mushrooms to the pan. Stir over moderate to high heat until they release their liquid.
  5. Add the garlic, parsley and diced tomatoes. Cook for 4-5 minutes more.
  6. Soften the tomato puree in the warm water (use only 1/2 cup water if you are using dried mushrooms). Add it to the pan with the herbs.
  7. Add the dried mushrooms and soaking liquid. Mix well and season with salt and pepper. Lower the heat to low to moderate and cook for 15-20 minutes. Set aside while you make the polenta.
  8. Bring the water to the boil in a large, heavy saucepan. Add the salt, reduce the heat to a simmer and add the polenta flour in a fine rain, whisking constantly.
  9. Switch to a long-handled wooden spoon and stir the polenta continuously over low heat until it pulls away from the sides of the pan. This may take from 25 to 50 minutes.
  10. When the polenta has almost finished cooking, gently reheat the mushroom sauce.
  11. To serve, spoon the polenta on to a warmed serving platter. Make a well in the centre. Spoon some of the mushroom sauce into the well and garnish with the fresh parsley sprigs. Serve at once, passing round the remaining mushroom sauce in a separate bowl.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Delicious and Fresh Essential Vegetarian


French-style Braised Beef in Red Wine


1 bottle of red Burgundy wine
1-1/2 lb braising beef (chuck is good but cheek is best )
all-purpose flour, for dusting
vegetable oil
1 onion, peeled and sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1/4 cup brandy
1 bouquet garni, made up of thyme, bay leaf, and parsley stalks
1-2/3cup beef or veal stock
2 tbsp cold unsalted butter salt
black pepper


3 tbsp unsalted butter
12 brown-skinned pearl onions (or small shallot), peeled
12 young carrots, peeled
4 oz smoked bacon, cut into thin strips
12 button mushrooms, wiped
juice of 1/2 lemon


  1. Pour the wine into a saucepan and boil until reduced by half.
  2. Trim the beef and cut it into 1-1/4-inch cubes, then dust with flour.
  3. Heat a frying pan until very hot, add a dash of oil, and brown the beef well on all sides. Do this in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan.
  4. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  5. Once all the beef has been browned and set aside, discard the oil and add a tablespoon of clean oil, the sliced onion, and crushed garlic. Cook until the onion is brown and caramelized, then put the meat back in the pan. Add the brandy, followed by the reduced wine, and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Pour everything into a cast-iron casserole dish, then season and add the bouquet garni and stock. Bring to a simmer, skim well to remove any surface scum, and cover loosely with a lid or parchment paper. Place in the oven and cook until the meat is tender – this should take 1-1/2 to 2 hours, depending on the cut.
  7. Let cool, then take the meat out of the dish and set aside. Skim to remove any fat, then pass the liquid through a sieve into a pan. Boil until it thickens to a sauce, then add the meat. Cover and chill until needed.
  8. To prepare the garnish, melt a tablespoon of butter in a saucepan and add the onions, seasoning, 2 tablespoons of the sauce from the beef, and 1/4 cup water. Braise the onions until they are shiny and cooked through.
  9. Put the carrots in a pan with just enough water to cover and most of the rest of the butter. Season and bring to a gentle boil, then cook until almost all the liquid has evaporated and the carrots are tender and shiny with butter.
  10. Brown the strips of bacon in a frying pan. Sweat the mushrooms in a little butter over medium heat until cooked but still firm, then add seasoning and lemon juice.
  11. To serve, gently reheat the braise on the stove top while you prepare the garnish. Add a couple of knobs of cold butter to enrich and add shine to the sauce, then garnish with the onions, carrots, bacon, and mushrooms.
  12. Take the dish to the table for everyone to admire, then serve in wide bowls.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: The French Kitchen

Brown Rice Crust Quiche with Turkey and Mushroom



2 cups cooked whole-grain brown rice, cooled
1 egg
cooking spray


2-3 tsp canola oil
1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
3 tbsp green onion, chopped
1 cup Swiss cheese, shredded
1 cup cooked turkey, diced
3 eggs
1/3 cup low-fat sour cream
3/4 cup low-fat milk
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp paprika
dash pepper
dash cayenne pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Stir together rice and one whisked egg.
  3. Liberally spray a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray. Press rice mixture into bottom and sides of pie plate. Set aside.
  4. In small frying pan, heat 2-3 tsp canota oil over medium-high heat and saute mushrooms, sundried tomatoes and green onion. Set aside.
  5. Sprinkle cheese, turkey and sauteed vegetables into rice pie crust.
  6. In a medium bowl, beat eggs until just blended, and then mix in sour cream, milk, salt, basil, thyme, paprika, pepper, and cayenne. Pour into pie shell.
  7. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a knife gently inserted near the centre comes out clean.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Manitoba Egg Farmers

Chinese-style Stewed Pork Belly with Cuttlefish


1 cuttlefish, about 600 g
450 g pork belly (with skin)
6 pieces dried black mushrooms
2 slices ginger
2 stalks green onion, cut into sections
1 clove shallot, cut into slices


2 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
1/2 tbsp dark soy sauce
1-1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
1/3 slab brown sugar
3/4 to 1 cup water


  1. Rinse pork belly with the skin on. Scrape off the hair. Blanch in boiling water until it stops bleeding. Rinse and cut into pieces.
  2. Remove the gut of cuttlefish thoroughly. Cut flesh into pieces and make crisscross incisions on each piece without cutting all the way through. Blanch in boiling water, rinse and wipe dry.
  3. Soak dried black mushrooms in water until soft and remove the stems.
  4. Heat about 2 tbsp oil in a wok. Stir-fry ginger slices, green onion and shallot until fragrant.
  5. Add pork, dried black mushrooms and cuttlefish. Pour in seasoning. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the ingredients are tender and the sauce thickens. Remove and serve hot.

Source: Simple Treats

Bay Scallops and Foie Gras Ravioli with Cipolline Bouillon and Black Truffles


1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 slices bacon, cut into small dice
10 ounces cipolline onions, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
3 cups chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
sprig of thyme
1 bay leaf
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
30 bay scallops, about 6 ounces
salted freshly ground black pepper
18 toasted walnut halves (about 1/2 cup)
3 tablespoons walnut oil
1 large fresh or flash-frozen black truffle (about 2 ounces)

Foie Gras Ravioli

Cornmeal, for dusting
18 wonton wrappers
3 ounces fresh duck foie gras, trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch dice, or foie gras terrine, cut into 1/4-inch dice.


  1. To make the bouillon, melt the butter with the olive oil in a medium saucepan over moderate heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until it has rendered its fat, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the onions, garlic, and sugar and cook, stirring, until the onions are soft and browned, about 7 minutes.
  2. Add the sherry vinegar, increase the heat to moderately high, and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Boil until the vinegar is reduced to a glaze. Add the stock, thyme, and bay leaf, bring to a boil, and boil until the liquid is reduced by half. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a saucepan and set aside. (The bouillon can be made up to 2 days ahead, covered, and refrigerated.)
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boll, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Skim off and discard the fat that has come to the top of the bouillon. Bring the bouillon to a simmer over moderate heat. Reduce the heat to low and keep warm.
  4. Heat a large nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot. Add the 2 teaspoons olive oil and heat until hot.
  5. Season the scallops with salt and pepper. Add the scallops to the pan and cook just until browned on the first side, about 1 minute. Turn the scallops over and cook until just barely translucent in the center, about 1 minute longer.
  6. To make the ravioli, sprinkle a large baking sheet with cornmeal. Lay the wonton wrappers out on a work surface. Place about 1-1/2 teaspoons of the foie gras in the center of each wrapper. One at a time, using a pastry brush or your fingertips, moisten the uncovered portion of each wrapper with water, than fold the wrapper over the filling to make a rectangle and press the edges firmly together to seal. If desired, use a fluted pastry wheel or a 2-1/2-inch round cutter to cut the ravioli into half-moon shapes. Transfer the ravioli to the baking sheet. (The ravioli can be made early in the day, covered loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerated.)
  7. Add the ravioli to the boiling water and cook, stirring occasionally so the ravioli don’t stick together, just until the wonton wrappers are al dente, about 3 minutes. Remove the ravioli with a wire skimmer or slotted spoon and drain briefly in a colander.
  8. Arrange 3 ravioli and 5 scallops in each of 6 shallow soup bowls. Scatter the walnuts over the top, and ladle in the broth. Drizzle the walnut oil over the broth, shave the truffle over the top, and serve immediately.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Truffles