From the Recipe Box: Mushroom Rice.

I love mushrooms. They’re so versatile and taste great fried up with some garlic butter, so I was especially happy to find a recipe for mushroom rice that’s easy to follow. I took one picture and then got so wrapped up in the cooking process that I forgot to document each step.

You can find the original recipe HERE.

I’ve made this twice in the last couple months and there’s not a lot to preparing this dish, but I did change a few things to bring out more flavour as I found the original bland and my mother said the first batch was too salty.

I only changed two ingredients the second time around. I used mushroom stock in place of vegetable/chicken stock, and unsalted butter. I also cooked this in a cast iron pot because it distributes the heat better, but the handles and lid will get just as hot as the pot. Cast iron gets crazy hot, which is what you need to brown the first few ingredients.  

I cooked the mushrooms, garlic, and onions for fifteen minutes instead of five. Caramelizing onions takes a while (45 minutes, without cheating), but even with diced onions you want them nice and brown to add to the flavour. Same with the garlic but keep a close eye on the garlic as it will burn easily. Leaving the garlic and onion to cook longer gives a good base on the bottom of the pot which adds to the deglazing with the mushroom stock. You’ll get a lot of your flavour from the deglazing.

The small amount of rice for this recipe means you will have enough for leftovers, but not for days on end. I find with some recipes, I still have food at the end of a week and because we have an older and smaller fridge, I end up throwing it out to make room. Next time I make this, I’m going to use a mushroom stock I make myself. This dish was perfect for the nights I had to work late and needed to eat something before bed. A few seconds in the microwave on low did the trick and I swear it tasted better as a leftover.

From the Recipe Box: Chicken and Corn Chowder.

It seems the first day of autumn ended summer on all levels. Goodbye hot, muggy, humid weather, and hello dull, cloudy and cooler day! Hell, it rained on the first full day, and I didn’t complain a bit.

Cooler weather means it’s time for comfort food, and I found a new one that I’m adding to my list. The recipe can be found HERE, which is a variation on the recipe found HERE. I’m not a fan of spicy, so I kept the jalapeño’s out of it and used the bacon to give it a bit more flavour.

I cooked the chicken in the oven at 425 with a layer of olive oil and herbs. This added a bit more taste. Overall, I was going for a nice, mild flavour and along with the bay leaves, I think I accomplished that.

Ingredients:

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cooked and shredded (3 cups)

8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled*

1/4 cup butter

1 large red bell pepper, diced (1 1/2 cups)

1 medium yellow onion, diced (1 1/4 cups)

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 cup all-purpose flour**

6 cups low-sodium chicken broth

3 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced slightly less than 1/2-inch thick (3 cups)

2 bay leaves

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn

1 1/2 cups half and half

Green onions and seeded, finely chopped jalapenos (optional), for serving

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat.
  2. Add red bell pepper, onions, jalapenos and sauté until tender, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds longer.
  4. Stir in flour and cook 2 minutes stirring constantly. While stirring, slowly add in chicken broth and whisk until well blended.
  5. Add potatoes, bay leaves and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring mixture to a boil stirring frequently, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, 10 minutes or just until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add in cooked chicken, corn and half and half and simmer, uncovered 10 – 15 minutes longer, stirring occasionally. Serve warm topped bacon, green onions, and optional jalapeno peppers.

((* cut the bacon ahead and cook in the pot before adding butter))

**((to make this recipe gluten free, substitute potato starch for flour. Just remember that you add less potato starch.))

From the Recipe Box: Vegetarian nachos.

My husband is a pescatarian; which means he eats fish, seafood, and dairy, just not red or white meat. Needless to say, there’s no hamburger on his nachos. There are a lot of recipes out there for vegetarian nachos, unfortunately for someone like myself who can’t eat spicy foods, half the ingredients in these recipes would leave me with stomach problems for the rest of the day.

I researched several vegitarian and vegan recipes and found that not only did quite a few of them have spicy ingredients, but several included non-meat meat (vegan meat substitute), and served hot, so I was really surprised when Hubby gave me a plate that was vegan and cold.

Yes, cold. Nothing hot on it. Great for hot summer days, and it’s just as good as regular nachos. Instead of having melted cheese hold everything together, you have the salsa, sour cream, or guacamole. Instead of melted cheese sauce, he had chunks of cheese spread across, and instead of black beans, chick peas or lentils, he put brown beans.

Honestly, it was so good!

Now, let’s talk chips. Sure, you can go with regular nacho chips, but next time try ones with added flavour. Hubby found lime flavoured chips and they add a bit of tang to the meal. Also, if you don’t like store bought chips, why not make your own? I found a great recipe for making nacho chips and all it requires is tortia bread, a deep fryer (or air fryer), and a pizza cutter. I have yet to try this out, but they sound yummy!

Now that Hubby has made them, I want to experiment and see what I can add. I’m thinking avocado chunks, pineapple, and olive slices. Have you tried veggie nachos? What were your toppings? I need some ideas!

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