Monday, December 14, 2015

Cindy's Dairy-Free Cream of Mushroom Soup

There is something magical about serving dishes created from gathered or home-grown foods.

I host an annual Christmas Cookie Exchange each December. Soups, hors d'ouvres, laughter and wine create a fun celebration of the holidays with the wonderful women in my community. This soup was a hit! The smoky turkey stock, earthy mushrooms and silky coconut milk combine into a lovely, creamy soup (it doesn't taste "coconutty"!).

We gathered more than 15 pounds of Chanterelles this August in Telluride, Colorado, and processed them in a variety of ways. I learned chanterelle mushrooms are best frozen after cooking to remove their moisture. Sautéed with aromatics, these frozen mushrooms make a delicious, easy side dish, topping, or recipe addition. I also filled a 10-tray dehydrator with chanterelles, which dried down to a minuscule two pints of crunchy, earthy goodness! Rehydrated chanterelles are tasty, but rubbery, so it's ideal to puree them with stock for soups or gravies.

This soup reconstitutes the earthiness of a Telluride forest with the warm memories of the harvest as well. Enjoy!

Cindy's Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 ounce dried chanterelle mushrooms
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
4 cups smoked turkey stock (or beef or chicken broth)
6 sprigs rosemary and
8 springs thyme, tied in a bouquet de garni
2 T olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic
1 c white wine
1/2 t salt, or to taste
1/2 t pepper, or to taste
1 pound button mushrooms, sliced
2 cups coconut milk
3 scallions, sliced thinly

Bring the stock to a boil in a soup pot and remove from heat.
Soak the dried mushrooms in hot stock for 20-30 minutes.
Tie the rosemary and thyme with twine into a bouquet de garni.
Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil until translucent.
Add onions, garlic, rosemary, thyme, wine, salt and pepper to the stock and mushrooms and simmer gently, covered, for 60 minutes.

While soup is simmering, sauté the sliced button mushrooms until lightly browned in a medium-hot pan, either in a dry pan or with a little oil. Set aside.

Remove and discard herb stems and puree the soup.

Return pureed soup to pan with sautéed mushrooms, scallions and coconut milk. Heat until warmed and serve.

Add more stock for a lighter tasting soup.


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Aunt Nancy’s Sour Cream Potatoes

Aunt Nancy’s Sour Cream Potatoes
This is the most creamy comfort food you’ll ever taste.
Make a double recipe and freeze it for an easy, decadent side dish.
Enjoy the leftovers as potato pancakes the next morning with eggs!

Aunt Nancy’s Sour Cream Potatoes
6 Maine potatoes
2c. shredded cheddar
1/4 c. butter
1 1/2 c. sour cream (at room temperature)
1/3 c. minced onion
1 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
2 T. more butter
2 T. chopped chives

Boil potatoes 20 minutes in skin. Cool. Peel and shred coarsely. In saucepan, combine cheese and 1/4 cup butter. Stir until almost melted. Remove from heat. Blend in sour cream, onions, salt and pepper. Fold in potatoes.

Put into 2 qt. casserole. Dot with butter and chopped chives

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Breathe in the cheesy aroma and enjoy as a side dish with absolutely anything!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Chocolate Kale Chips

Steady yourselves.
These ARE the most wonderful snack on earth.
If you have a dehydrator, put it to use towards its highest purpose -- the consumption of healthy chocolate treats!

Truly, these chips will delight you. They have the taste of chocolate, the crunch of a chip, and the nutrition of a superfood.

Chocolate Kale Chips

2 large bunches of kale, de-stemmed and washed (about 5 cups)
6 dates
1/4 cup of hot water
1 cup Cindy's Cashew Cheese
1/2 cup raw cocoa powder
1-1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
1 T coconut oil, melted
2 T agave
1/4 t. ground cinnamon

Soak pitted dates in 1/4 cup of hot water.

De-stem, wash and dry kale. Tear into bite sized pieces and place into large bowl.

Combine softened dates (and the water) and all other ingredients into Vitamix blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Pour over kale chips and massage well to tenderize the kale.

Arrange soaked kale pieces in a single layer on dehydrator trays. Dehydrate at 135 degrees for about 15 hours.