Sunday, July 14, 2013

Mushroom and Spinach Strudel

Ok, so, I saw this picture and thought, “Man, that looks good! Let’s figure out how to make it!”
It was called, “Wild Mushroom and Spinach Strudel". So, it must have mushrooms and spinach and figured that is probably some good cheese in it and it looked like Phyllo dough on the outside.

So, gathered some ingredients and started trying to do this.

That’s some mushrooms (sliced), green onions, garlic, spinach, goat cheese, oregano, salt and an egg yolk. You probably noticed that I buy oregano in bulk from our local grocer. I do that for most of the spices. Here is part of the spice rack. This is fish net attached to the inside of one of our kitchen cabinets where small clips are used to hold the spices to the net.

So, back to the trial. Figured that the stuffing had to be cooked, and, that it had to be pretty dry in order to be sure that the dough doesn’t get too wet.

So, first dried the mushrooms before slicing them.

Then sliced them and then placed them in a linen towel.

Then, folded the whole towel up.

And started squeezing the heck out of it to squeeze as much liquid out as possible. Here’s how much liquid I got out of the mushrooms, along with the mushrooms afterwards.

Then, heated up the frying pan, added some olive oil and started cooking the green onions.

 After giving them a head start of about a minute, I added the mushrooms.


Just when the liquid started coming out of the mushrooms, I added some salt, minced garlic and chili flakes to it. After 30 seconds it came off the heat and scraped onto paper towels to drain off more liquid.

Used the last of my Hungarian Hatch Chili peppers!

Now, into the now dried frying pan went the spinach. Heat lowered to low, cover on, and wilt the spinach. (Takes about 3 minutes.) Then the spinach goes on paper towels to drain off more liquid. I also pressed paper towels on top to soak up more liquid.

Then it was time for assembly.

Decided to start with 4 sheets of the phyllo sheets.

Placed these on parchment paper and then brushed it with olive oil.

Then, spread some goat cheese in the center. I found out that spreading the cheese with my fingers worked best.

Sprinkled some oregano on it and then placed some spinach on it. Also some raisins as all strudels have raisins, right?

Then the mushrooms.

Then the Phyllo sheets are folded over and placed on parchment paper on baking sheets. Decided that on a couple of them I will brush on some egg yolk and sprinkle salt. The other two were just brushed with olive oil. Then all go into a 375 F oven. After 20 minutes in the oven (rotating to ensure that they were cooking evenly), they were done.

Here’s the ones with the egg yolk.

And here’s the ones with just the olive oil.


The filling is fantastic. Need to work on the packaging. So, next time will probably increase the oven temperature to 400. May think about how to wrap the Phyllo sheets around the stuffing. Also need to try with my own puff pastry dough.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Roasted Wild Boar

4-5 lb Wild Boar Roast
¾ cup kosher salt
¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup Balsamic Vinegar
4 cups hot water
8 cups ice water
¼ cup Worcestershire Sauce
1 cup Chicken Stock
Salt and Pepper
Stick of butter
¼ cup of honey
1-1/2 Tablespoons of flour
1 bottle of your favorite Porter

Need to brine the roast. So, dissolve the salt and brown sugar in the hot water. Add the Balsamic Vinegar, then the ice water to cool it down. Place the roast in the brining bucket and pour the mixture over it. Place in refrigerator for 4 – 6 hours.

Preheat oven to 425 F. Pat dry the roast with paper towel. Score any fat on the roast. Then massage in the Worcestershire sauce and season whole roast with salt and pepper. Place roast on rack in roasting pan. Place roast in oven.

After 10 minutes pour about ¼ cup of the chicken stock over it. Continue roasting at 425 F for another 20 minutes. Pour another ¼ chicken stock over it. Reduce temperature to 350 F.

Continue roasting at 350 F, using pan drippings and or the additional ½ cup of chicken stock to baste every 30 minutes.

Total roasting time will be around 3 to 4 hours to reach an internal temperature in the roast of 170 F. When it reaches 160 F, melt ¼ of the stick of butter and mix in the ¼ cup of honey then pour over the roast. Place another ¼ stick of the butter on top of the roast and place back in the oven. When roast is at 170 F take it out of the oven and out of the pan, tent the roast with aluminum foil.

Deglaze the roasting pan with ½ of the bottle of Porter and then degrease the liquid.

Melt another ¼ stick of butter in a sauce pan until foaming. Sprinkle in the flour and cook the flour, stirring with a whisk, for a couple of minutes until the flour is brown in color. Then, while whisking, drizzle in the other ½ bottle of Porter. Then whisk in the degreased pan drippings liquid. This is now the sauce.

Slice the roast and place on platter. Pour some of the sauce on it and serve with the remaining sauce on the side.

Bruleed Sweet Potatoes

2 lbs sweet potatoes
1 cup brown sugar – divided
1 stick butter – divided, plus some more to butter the baking dish
2 tablespoons olive oil (or other vegetable oil)
1/3 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Wash and dry the sweet potatoes. Rub the oil all over the sweet potatoes and place on a foil lined baking sheet.

 Roast for one hour.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool enough to peel the skins off.

Heat ¾ stick of butter and cream in a small sauce pan over medium low heat until barely simmering and butter is melted.

Rice the sweet potatoes into a mixing bowl.

Add ¾ cup of brown sugar to the sweet potatoes and stir to combine.

Add the simmering cream/butter to the potatoes and stir to combine.

Set oven to broil.

Butter the baking dish and pour the sweet potatoes into the dish.

Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup of sugar over the potatoes. And place under the broiler. Want to melt the brown sugar on top to caramelized and bubbly, at least 2 minutes. Could go longer, like 20 minutes, to form a crispy caramel on top.

Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving.

Fried Peaches

3 or 4 peaches sliced

6 Tablespoons of butter

2 – 3 Tablespoons of flour

¼ cup of brown sugar mixed with a couple of tablespoons of cinnamon and a tablespoon or so of coriander.

Melt the butter in a sauté pan until foaming. Add the flour and cook, stirring with a spatula until it starts to brown.

Add the sliced peaches and cook the peaches for a few minutes on one side. Then, flip the peaches.

Once the peaches have been turned, sprinkle on the sugar mixture and continue cooking until mixture is a good, dark brown color, but not burnt.

Serve. Could top each serving with a brandied Chantilly whipped cream.

Caramelized Cipollini Onions

1 lb of Cipollini onions
3 Tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup dry white wine
½ cup chicken stock
3 Tablespoons butter

Blanch the onions in order to peel them. Here is a photo of the onions after peeling as well as after blanching. You can see how the skins on the blanched onions have been softened.

Preheat medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add the butter and melt. Add the onions and cook.

Stir periodically until they begin to turn golden brown, about 6-8 minutes.

Increase heat to medium high and add the white wine, cook until the liquid is almost all evaporated.

Add balsamic vinegar and chicken stock and continue cooking until liquid becomes thick and syrupy, about another 5 minutes.