Resolution – New Meal #1

As part of my resolution this year to start trying to cook some new meals, I tried something new last night.  Ms. J has a similar goal as well, but her’s is to use up some of the unusual ingredients we have stored away throughout the kitchen.  Seems as though we have the reputations as being ‘foodies’ so friends and relatives like to give us gifts of unusual and gourmet food ingredients.  Always very nice gifts, but I have to admit that we would barely qualify as foodies and we usually have no idea how to use the ingredients we get as gifts, so they sit on the cupboard shelf waiting for us to find a recipe to use them in.  Things like truffle oil, saffron, sherry vinegar, Moutarde de Meaux mustard, and dulce de leche.  Ok, the dulce de leche turned out to be actually  quite easy to figure out, but I’ll have to find something to do with all the other things.

I thought I’d start out with something easy, so this time I’m cooking with these dried porcini mushrooms.  I’m not sure how long we’ve had them, but they’re dried, what could go wrong ?


We received three new cookbooks for Christmas, so a quick check of ‘The Kitchen Diaries’ by Nigel Slater and I found a recipe that would use these mushrooms.  Thanks to my sister in law for getting us this book!

Since this is really more of an eating blog than a cooking blog, I’ll just give a brief description. It’s kind of intuitive anyway.   Let those mushrooms steep in some warm water for a few minutes, chop them up very fine, mix them up with a bunch of other mushroom, butter, olive oil, grated parmesan, and basil, and along with that mushroom water from the steeping you have a sauce for some pasta.   The ‘other mushrooms’ are just your everyday generic white button types, they’re just in there to add some mushroom bulk, the porcini mushrooms are what provides the flavor.   I wish we had fresh basil, but it’s January and I’m cheap so I’m not about to spend $5 on a bunch of fresh basil, so dried basil it is.  This turned out to be easy!



Very mushroomy, maybe I’ll add some sausages next time.    Yeah, we’re on our way to a successful resolution!

And yes, that is some red wine in what is most likely the most inappropriate glass.  What can I do, I have a 3 year old running around while I’m cooking so I had no time to find the wine glasses.

Mr. C was a little dubious about the new recipe.





He warmed up to it after a few careful bites though.


Resolution – New Meal #1 — 4 Comments

  1. I think I have some dried mushrooms in the cupboard, unused for similar reasons to yours. I should try this. As you said, pretty intuitive. I just never think about using them; only aware of them when they fall out of the cupboard! I am a bit amazed, though, that as a stay at home parent, you don’t have wine glasses always at the ready! At least, I would if I were home with a 3 year old! :-)

    • Left out an important ingredient – grated parmesan. So it’s really almost like pesto, but with added mushrooms.

      At the risk of sounding like a bad parent, if I do have an adult beverage, it is on Friday nights and usually it’s a gin and tonic. But we’re out of gin, so you’re seeing the glass I use for my gin and tonic with some red wine that was left over from a few days ago.

  2. Wow, that looks like a lot of mushrooms alright! I don’t mind the taste of mushrooms but I don’t like to eat a whole bunch, unless they’re raw and in salad. I doubt my kids would eat that meal so two thumbs up for your kid.

    As for dulce de leche, I eat it by the spoon. Yum! But I’m sure you can find a delicious cake recipe for it. I made lemon loaf for the first time this week and it was scrumptious.

    • Pretty much the only things he doesn’t eat are spinach and swiss chard, so I guess we should be happy.

      My very traditional Italian mother had grown used to very picky grandchildren. Last year we went over for a visit and he ran into her garden, pulled off a tomato from the vine and proceeded to eat the entire thing. It looked like she was going to burst into tears seeing a 2 year old eat a whole tomato.