Sunday, December 05, 2010

Mushroom Bourguignon

Here we are on the eve of another work week after a very relaxing and wintry weekend that included an entire Saturday of snow fall, a Duke basketball win, a Panthers football loss and several trips to Starbucks for a holiday beverage. I know the Holidays are coming when Starbucks switches over to their festive cups and why is it that a Hazlenut Mocha Latte only seems appealing from Thanksgiving until New Years?

An entire season has passed since I last posted but that means there is much on which I can reflect. I am now Mary Mullinax Samuel after a wonderful wedding weekend and subsequent trip to the Social Security Office where I learned that I could not have two first names without a court order and since I did not have one of those lying around, I figured I had 100 pieces of stationary with the initials MMS (for my hope of First Name: Mary Jordan, Middle Name: Mullinax, Last Name: Samuel) so I figured legally, I could handle being Mary Mullinax Samuel on a few documents. And now the stationary will not go to waste.

I got to go to two new cities after the wedding including Paris for the honeymoon and a quick work trip to Portland. I adored both of them but felt more tied to Paris due to the fact that a) it was our first trip as husband and wife and b) it's Paris for crying out loud. Even with striking high schoolers leading to the closing of this one tower I wanted to see, it was a fantastic trip. Portland was great too but due to a missed connection and being by myself, it could have gone a little better. It was nothing that a couple donuts from Voodoo Donuts didn't take care of though.

My brother had a successful Election Day for which we are all very, very grateful and appreciate all the friends who supported him during this Election time. And it was my first Thanksgiving as a married woman and Robbie's first Thanksgiving in Newton where, unfortunately, law school kept him rather preoccupied and he was not able to enjoy the turkey and pie as much as the rest of us.

That being said, we are now into December and I am getting accustomed to taking advantage of my weekends in Winston-Salem. I only get a mere 36 hours a week with my husband so we have learned to make the most of it. Even with exam time around the corner, I was able to make Robbie a home-cooked meal of Mushroom Bourguinon which was much fancier than our usual Mexican or Chinese trip. It was appropriate that I snagged this recipe from Deb, of Smitten Kitchen which always has me smitten, and it was a rather successful meal. I bought two pounds of portobello mushroom caps but realized that was too much so only used half of them (four large caps) and found the cooking time and instructions were fairly spot on. The most difficult thing was waiting for the water to boil to cook the egg noodles at the very end.

I even was able to host Robbie's brother and use him as a guinea pig to prove to myself that I can cook and that it isn't just that Robbie will eat anything I put in front of him. He enjoyed the meal as well so my confidence continues to grow -- which will hopefully create more posts here on the blog!

Mushroom Bourguignon

2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs butter
1 lb portobello mushroom caps (4 large caps), in 1/4 inch slices
1/2 carrot, finely diced
1 small yellow onion, finely dinced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 c full-bodied red wine
2 c beef broth (you can use veggie if you would like)
2 tbs tomato paste
1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
1 1/2 tbs flour
1 c pear onions, peeled (I did this by putting them in boiling water for three minutes then running cool water over them and the outer layer came right off.)
Egg noodles, for serving
Sour Cream and Parsley if you would like. I did not like either on mine.

Heat 1 tbs of the olive oil and 1 tbs of the butter in a heavy sauce pan over high heat. Sear the mushrooms until they begin to darken but before any liquid is released. This took me only a few minutes. Remove them from the pan and place them aside.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the second tbs of the olive oil. Toss the carrots, onions, thyme, salt and pepper into the pan and cook for 10 minutes until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for just another minute more. Stir the veggies periodically throughout these 11 or so minutes.

Add the wine to the pan and scrape off any bits that stuck to the bottom. Turn the heat all the way up and reduce the liquid by half. Stir in the tomato paste and broth. Add the mushrooms and any liquid that has collected from them back to the pan. Once the liquid has boiled, reduce the temperature so it simmers. Keep it simmering for about 20 minutes or until mushrooms are very tender. Add the pearl onions and simmer for five minutes more.

Combine remaining butter and the flour with a fork until combined. (I did not do this before I threw it in the pan and therefore had to work a little harder to get the flour fully incorporated.) Lower the heat and simmer for 10 more minutes. If the sauce is too thin, boil it down to reduce it to the right consistency.

Serve over a bowl of egg noodles with a dollop of sour cream, chives and/or parsley.

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