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68 Days of Gourmet: Day 64

My most sincere apologies for the lack of updates over the last couple weeks. We closed on our first home and have been moving. Life is a little crazy right now! We LOVE our new house and are having so much fun getting everything unpacked and organized. The house hunting process was long with a lot of ups and downs but we really feel like we ended up with the perfect first home! Pictures of my new kitchen to come very soon.

I made this mushroom appetizer before we moved out of our apartment. It was also from the July 1946 issue of Gourmet (check out my previous post – Veal (or Pork) Scallopine – also from the 1946 magazine). They were a fun appetizer – Brandon loved them!

Promise I have tons of good stuff coming at you guys over the next few weeks. Stay tuned!

Mushroom Smetana
(Recipe source Gourmet, July 1946)

*Note – this is word-for-word how the original recipe was written. Crazy how different recipes were written then!

One fairly fancy hot whet which I dug into in the Shanghai-that-was is so good that we list it here. Never a gourmet-purist yet who didn’t want the recipes, once he tasted it. I call it Mushrooms Smetana – mushrooms with sour cream sauce – as did the Russian princess who was our dance partner for that night…Slice 1/2 pound of fairly small mushrooms fairly thin. Brown gently in 1 1/2 tablespoons butter. Mince one fairly large onion (we seem to be using a lot of “fairly’s” in this one!) and cook gently in another 1/2 tablespoon butter. (Original recipe said to do them separate, but I put them all together.) Now, turn in enough beef boullion or consomme to make quite moist, but not quite enough to cover. Simmer until mushrooms are tender. Work in 1 tablespoon of flour smooth with a little hot juice, put in pan and season with salt and cayenne to taste. Add 1 scant cup of sour cream (now buyable from any good town dairy); simmer up for 5 minutes. Serve hot on little squares of thin crisp toast. We add 1 tablespoon sherry just before serving.


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68 Days of Gourmet: Day 13

Does it get more comforting than chicken and mushrooms in a cream sauce with noodles? I think not. Stocked with a bunch of leftover mushrooms from the Filet Mignon with Mushroom Sauce and a lot of heavy cream from the best ever Macaroni and Cheese, I decided to try out the Chicken Fricassee recipe in The Gourmet Cookbook. We really love creamy chicken dishes but most of them include cream of yuckiness soup. Although this recipe is not exactly low-cal, it is a delicious and creamy combination of chicken and mushrooms with no fake or processed ingredients.

This dish is nothing fancy, it’s just good old-fashioned comfort food. The chicken was extremely tender after being braised in the chicken broth and vegetable mixture and the finished dish was perfect served over egg noodles. This was a great weeknight meal served with steamed broccoli and rolls alongside.

And on another note…I promise the week after Thanksgiving I will attempt to focus more on recipes that qualify for the “Healthy” category!

Chicken Fricassee
(Recipe source The Gourmet Cookbook)

Ingredients:

1 (3 1/2 pound chicken, rinsed, patted dry and cut into 8 pieces) – I used 3 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 celery stalk, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried or fresh thyme
10 ounces (3 cups) mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 egg yolk
Garnish: flat leaf Italian parsley

Directions:

Generously coat chicken with salt and pepper. Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and heat until shimmering. Carefully place chicken in pan, skin side down and cook for about 3 minutes per side, until browned. Remove chicken from pan and reduce heat to medium. Add onion, celery, mushroom and garlic and cook for 7-10 minutes, or until mushrooms and onions have softened. Stir in thyme and flour and cook for another minute or so. Add in chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add chicken, skin side up, and simmer, covered, until chicken is just cooked through. This should take 20-25 minutes and internal temperature should be 160 degrees for breasts and 170 for legs or thighs. Transfer chicken to a plate while you make sauce.

To make the sauce, whisk together cream and egg yolk in a small bowl. Add in 1/2 cup mushroom/broth mixture in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Whisk cream mixture into sauce in pan and gently simmer over low heat (careful not to let it come to a boil) whisking frequently. Sauce should slightly thicken and cook for about 1 minute.

Place chicken over egg noodles and spoon sauce over. Sprinkle with parsley.

Yield: 3-4 servings

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68 Days of Gourmet: Day 11

One of my favorite things to do is stay in on Friday night and cook a nice dinner. I’m usually pretty tired from a week of working and enjoy hanging out at home, cooking and watching a movie. We save going out for Saturday nights. Brandon commonly requests steak for our Friday night dinners. He used to love filets but since getting into grilling his favorite now is bone-in ribeyes.

Filets were on sale at the grocery Friday so I decided have Brandon grill them and I’d make a nice sauce. We love sautéed mushrooms with grilled steaks so I decided this recipe for Filet Mgnon with Mushroom Sauce from Gourmet sounded perfect.

The combination of the bacon and mushrooms in this sauce was great. The bacon really added an extra element of depth to the sauce and the lemon brightened it up. It was very simple to put together and holds well if your steak isn’t ready yet. The sauce was a nice addition to the grilled filet. I served our steaks with steamed asparagus and roasted fingerling potatoes. A perfect dinner for two!

Filet Mignons with Mushroom Sauce
(Recipe source Gourmet, March 1995)

Ingredients:

1 slice bacon
1 small garlic clove, mashed to a paste
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 white mushrooms, sliced thin
2 tablespoons Cognac or other brandy
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 filet mignons, about 1 inch thick

Directions:

Cook bacon over medium heat in a heavy 8-inch skillet (cast iron if available) until crisp. Transfer to a paper towel and pour off excess fat from the skillet. Crumble bacon and reserve.

Add 1 tablespoon of butter and garlic to skillet. Cook until butter is softened and then add mushrooms and salt and pepper, to taste. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until liquid from mushrooms begins to evaporate. Add brandy and boil until nearly evaporated. Stir in water, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce and boil until sauce is thickened slightly. Transfer sauce to a small saucepan and stir in reserved bacon and parsley. Keep sauce warm.

Pat filets dry with paper towels and generously salt and pepper. If you’re cooking steaks in skillet, heat remaining 1/2 tablespoon butter over medium high heat and sauté filets for 4 minutes. Sear sides slightly and turn filets over. Sauté 3 to 3 1/2 minutes more for medium-rare meat. Internal temperature should be 125 degrees. Let steak rest for about 5 minutes before serving.

For the grill, preheat the grill to 400 degrees. Cook steaks for about 4-5 minutes per side, rotating half way through on each side if you want grill marks (a 45 degree turn). Pull steaks when they’ve reached 125 degrees for medium rare. Let rest 5 minutes to allow juices to redistribute.

Divide filets between 2 plates and spoon sauce over them.

Yield: 2 servings

And another filet suggestion…Bacon Wrapped Filet
http://bakinandeggs.wordpress.com/2009/04/08/bacon-wrapped-filet/

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