Monday, December 17, 2012

Beef, Mushroom and Farro Soup

We are so busy this time of year getting ready for Christmas. Meals tend to be hearty and easy. If they give us leftovers, all the better. Soup seems to fit the bill a lot.

This classic soup is fill of umami and will keep you satified on a cold winter night.

We used farro in this soup because we didn't have enough barley on hand, you can certainly substitute.

Beef, Mushroom and Farro Soup

1 T olive oil
1 lb stew beef
8 oz button mushrooms
2 yellow onions sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 c beef broth
2 c water
2 T soy sauce
1 t crushed, dried rosemary
1 c farro
salt and pepper

In a large heavy soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Salt and pepper the beef. Add the beef to the pot and sauté until cooked through. Add the mushrooms and onions. Sauté a minute or two until the onions are tender and the mushrooms have released their liquid. Add the garlic sauté another minute. Add the broth, water, soy sauce and rosemary. Bring to a boil. Add the farro. Bring to a boil again. Reduce the heat, cover leaving the cover open slightly and simmer for 20 minutes or until the farro is tender (it should still have a slight toothiness to it). If it seems too thick add another cup of water. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.

Serve with a crusty bread.

Makes 6 servings.


If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2012 Kathy Lewinski

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Macaroni and Cheese with Pickled Onions

Oh my gosh, where did the time go? This past month has just been a blur with Christmas shopping, a minor surgery, traveling for the holidays and work and lots of holiday craft projects. It's time I got back to sharing food with you all.

If you remember when I was last chatting with you all, I told you about the amazing dinner we had at Geranium in Copenhagen. One of our favorite dishes was this Hay Cheese Soup with Pickled Onions and Bread Crumbs.
Geranium
Matt thought it was a fantasic inspiration for a macaroni and cheese. He was so right, though perhaps it is not as refined a version. This could top the list as my favorite version of our homemade mac and cheese. The pickled onions add such a wonderful bite against the creamy cheese while the pumpernickel bread crumbs add crunch and a toasty flavor.
Mac & Cheese with Pickled Onions
It is really quite an easy dish to make, you just have to remember to pickle the onions ahead of time. I like to do them in the morning for that night's dinner. The longer they sit in the brine the more pickled they will get.

Macaroni and Cheese with Pickled Onions

Pickled Onions

1/2 c white vinegar
1 1/2 T sugar
1/8 t crushed red pepper
1/4 t salt
1 c sliced onion

In a small microwave safe bowl heat the vinegar, sugar, red pepper & salt in the microwave on high for about one minute. Stir until the sugar & salt are dissolved. Put in a jar or plastic container. Add the onions & stir to combine. Refrigerate covered for at least 30 minutes. They get stronger the longer they sit.

Macaroni and Cheese

3/4 lb spiral macaroni
1 Tbs unsalted butter + extra for the top
1/8 C flour
1 C milk
1/2 C heavy cream
9oz mild cheese, chopped into small pieces (we wanted to use Vlaskaas, a Dutch cheese made with flax, but it was out of season, so we went when a young gouda instead. Graskaas made when the cows eat the fresh spring grass would be fabulous too.)
pinch dry mustard
salt
pepper
pumpernickel bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350F.

Cook pasta according to directions drain and set aside.

In a small saucepan melt butter over med-low heat. Add flour an stir constantly for 1 minute. Do not allow to brown. Slowly whisk in milk and cream. Stir until hot and smooth and slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Turn heat to low and add cheese. Whisk until melted. Add a pinch of dry mustard and salt and pepper to taste.

Drain the pickled onions. Mic the cooked pasta, cheese sauce and pickled onions together. Spoon into a casserole dish. Top with pumpernickel bread crumbs and scatter a few small pats of butter around the top.
Mac & Cheese with Pickled Onions
Bake for 25 minutes.

Makes 4 - 5 servings

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2012 Kathy Lewinski
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t = teaspoon
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