Thursday, August 21, 2008

Make Believe?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Cheese and Nut Loaf with Wild Mushroom Sauce

The other day, Gregory came home from family business & the scorching Miami heat to the “chilly” Hudson Valley (we have been having a terrific summer!!!) Anyway, he needed a hearty, nice meal to arrive home too. Last Christmas our wonderful neighbors across the street Anna, David and their super kids Julian and Violet Yaffe, gave our home a vegetarian cookbook "The Greens Cookbook" by Deborah Madison. Anna had suggested the Cheese and Nut Loaf with Wild Mushroom Sauce. So, I took Anna’s suggestion and whipped up this wonderful hearty delight. Boy! Was the vegetarian terrine tasty and rich, cooked in an Emile Henry Loaf Pan it came out like magic!!! The loaf was soft, dense and was definitely a satisfying main coarse, served with a side of garlic string beans from Davenport Farms. The next day, as a left over, we put slices on toasted12 Grain Bread for lunch. A extra yummy sandwich….

Cheese and Nut Loaf

1 ½ cups cooked brown rice
1 ½ cups walnuts
½ cup cashews
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons butter
Salt to taste
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
½ cup mushrooms, wiped clean and chopped
½ to one ounce dried shitake or porcini mushrooms, soaked for 20 minutes in hot water and chopped
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons thyme leaves, chopped, or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
1-tablespoon marjoram, chopped, or 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1-teaspoon sage, chopped, or ½ teaspoon dried sage
4 eggs beaten
1-cup cottage cheese
9 to 12 ounces cheese, grated (use a variety of cheeses, depending on what you have on hand and make sure they go well together…I used Gruyere, Mild Cheddar, Jack.
Ground Pepper

Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Begin by cooking the brown rice, unless you have some cooked. Roast the nuts in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes, and then chop them finely.

Cook the onion in the butter over moderate heat until translucent; then season with salt and add the garlic, chopped mushrooms, dried mushrooms, and herbs. Cook until the liquid being released by the mushrooms has been reduced. Combine this mixture with the rice, nuts, eggs, cottage cheese, and grated cheese. Season to taste with freshly ground pepper and additional salt, if needed.

Lightly butter an Emile Henry Loaf Pan; then line it with buttered wax paper or parchment paper. Fill the pan and bake the loaf at 375° Fahrenheit until the top is golden and rounded, about 1 to 1 ¼ hours. The loaf should be firm when you give the pan a shake.

Let the loaf sit 10 minutes before turning it out onto a serving plate, then take off the paper. Serve with the Wild Mushroom Sauce (see below)

Wild Mushroom Sauce
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
3 cups Wild Mushroom Stock or Broth
1-tablespoon tomato sauce or 1 teaspoon of pureed sun dried tomatoes, I combo-ed and used both!
4 tablespoons cream

Melt the butter in a Viking Cookware Saucepan, then stir in the flour with a sauce whisk, cook over a low flame for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat to let cool slightly. Bring the mushroom stock to a boil; whisk it into the cooled roux. Stir in the tomato and the cream and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, for 20 to 25 minutes.



Joseph Joseph Colander

I'm pretty privileged that I have a decent sized apartment in Manhattan but as is typical, my kitchen is quite diminutive, so space is tight.  A few companies have begun to tackle this issue with space saving accessories using collapsable designs and highly flexible polymers/elastomers (plastics and rubbers).  There's no getting around cookware of course - not until someone develops a foldable stainless steel - but the clever chaps at Joseph Joseph have shown ingenuity in their innovation and saved me approximately 12 cubic inches with their Folding Colander.  I picked one up yesterday from bluecashew, while I was taking a drive with my dogs.  The colander is a cinch to assemble, comes in a single piece of polypropylene, folds and locks quickly and easily.  Collapsing it took a few practice runs to get the knack of but having it flat so I can store it with my cutting mats is brilliant.  The old metal colander went straight into my growing storage of old items that will fill my (future) summer house.  

I am interested in how long the seamless joints last - though I know that polyprop. is pretty durable I am a little skeptical - but I trust that sufficient testing was done in prototyping.  Honestly, if it lasts a year I'm happy to reinvest the $20 purely for the great design and the space I'm saving.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Eva Solo

Denmark's total population is less than half that of New York city and from these mere 5.5 Million people some of the world's greatest designers, engineers and scientists - and I was always led to believe that you needed sun to grow. The Danes are nevertheless, amongst the progress people on the planet and have, in many ways, defined contemporary architecture furniture and industrial/product design.

This prominence is felt at bluecashew and no more acutely punctuated by the Eva Solo range of home and kitchen accessories and tools. Just about two years ago I worked hard to track down a supplier of the Round Knife Magnets but I couldn't find one in the US, forcing me to import them directly from the great land of the Danes. The effort was worth it. Without knives on them, they're a work of art. Simple, subtle, beautiful. I've had people ask me what they're for and enjoy their appreciation as I pull a clean cleaver out of the dishwasher and plant it securely on one of the super strong magnets. Oh yes, the magnets are so powerful I managed to give myself a serious blood blister when installing them - I really must read instructions!!

In any small kitchen, space is of course of the essence and these compliment my sense of spatial efficiency.