Tag Archives: mushroom

Mushroom and Chili Pasta

27 Jun

Angel Kitten asked if we could have some chili in the food (I think I might make a veg curry soon…) It made me think about why I havent made a lot of spicy chili dishes. I think its because when I was quite small, I was in the kitchen with my Kak Gee. She was preparing a meal for an embassy function, and she had some sesame seeds next to the chopping board where she was preparing the chili. I was sneaking finger-fulls of the sesame seeds, and of course accidentally consumed some chili seeds as well. Oh my good goddess, they were so bloody hot! I cried my 5 year old eyes out! I think I have been nervous about cooking with chili ever since! But I decided today I was going to face my fears (unlike the England team), so AngelKitten and I had a chat and dreamed up a pasta we wanted.

We thought up a mushroom, chili and blue cheese pasta, because we were so enamoured with the blue cheese bread pudding from the other night. However, once we started cooking, the blue cheese just didnt go with the chili and mushrooms, so we left it out. This is an example of cooking on the fly 😉 If we had stuck with our initial daydream pasta, it would have tasted totally crap (kind of like England’s play) so we adjusted, and it was yummilicious.

This follows a basic pasta outline that I have used before. Infused oils, seared mushrooms, sauce, and quick mixing with angel hair. Mainly its what you do with your similar ingredients which changes the taste, flavour and texture.

For 6 people you will need:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil + 2 tbsp for cooking
  • 4 red chilis (NOT chili api)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 10 – 12 portobello mushrooms
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Butter
  • Red wine
  • 1 packet or less angel hair pasta

Put olive oil in a clean small bowl. Clean your chilis, and cut off tops, and (depending on the heat you prefer) clean inside – split chili in half and clean out chili seeds and stringy bits with the tip of a butter knife. Be careful here because the chili seeds are the most hot part of the chili and you could do harm to yourself if you rub your eyes or mouth while doing this job. The more chili seeds you leave, the hotter the finished dish will be. Dice the chili finely and put into the olive oil to infuse.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Add minced garlic. Let it soften. Clean and chop the mushrooms roughly. Add about half to the hot oil (the garlic should be sizzling) and sear it – mixing it well in the oil and making sure that it burns a bit. Add the sugar to encourage caramelisation. As the mushrooms burn slightly, add the rest. This will encourage the mushrooms to let go of their juices. Add a few splashes of red wine and a couple small slices of butter to the top of this mushroom mixture, and a wonderful rich sauce will start pooling at the bottom of the pan. Add all the chili and olive oil and mix through for richness and heat. Season with salt and pepper and taste to adjust seasoning.

If you want it creamy, feel free to add milk or cream, but it really doesnt need it.

Prepare 3/4 packet or so of angel hair pasta. Drain. Add pasta to pan with tongs and mix well. Enjoy your comfort food even if your team does crap 😛

Memories of a Vegetarian Thanksgiving

23 Jun

A Thanksgiving for everyone – even the turkey!

M + I cooking together, for Z’s first Thanksgiving…

  • Honey glazed carrots
  • Green beans with crispy friend onions
  • Cornbread stuffing with jerusalem artichokes, mushrooms, kale, and dried cranberries
  • Cranberry honey whiskey sauce
  • Puff pastry roll with mushrooms and pine nuts
  • Garlic mash potatoes
  • Red wine onion gravy
  • Roasted butternut and sweet potato with a maple glaze
  • Berry crumble
  • Pecan pie
  • Red wine and honey poached pears dipped in bittersweet chocolate with vanilla ice cream

… and there are only 4 of us sitting down to dinner!

This was the first Thanksgiving I celebrated in my sister, M’s house in Washington DC. I was there helping to look after Z, my beloved niece. My sister is vegetarian too, and with the advent of her daughter, we found that she was pretty intolerant to milk and dairy products. So we held back on layering the butter everywhere, though we didn’t completely do without it. It was a sumptuous meal, redolent of the most beautiful produce of the season. The colors where phenomenal, and M’s non-vegetarian BSA and our TBH didn’t even miss the turkey!

One of these days, I will try and recreate it and post the recipes. But the menu itself is pretty phenomenal!