Sunday, June 21, 2009

June :: Daring cooks! do Dumplings

I've been trying to follow along with the Daring cooks portion of the Daring Bakers new website, but here I am struggling to keep up and posting my dumplings embarassingly late. Since I'm so belated, I'm not going to waste time writing about it. Pictures tell enough of the story, as always.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Al Dente pasta

Recently another Ann Arbor food blog, Gastronomical Three, wrote about Al Dente pasta, and reminded me how much I love the stuff. First off, the fact that it's local is awesome; it's made practically in my backyard, Whitmore Lake, Michigan. What a great way to support the waning Michigan economy. Secondly, it tastes great! (I hesitate to say, this is more important, after all) The flavor combos are fun, a little different than you normally find in a dried pasta. I love to make homemade fettuccine if I have time on the weekend, but during the week, I rarely get the chance. This is a great option if you're in the mood for a more tender noodle, one that tastes more like homemade.

I bought a bag of the lemon chive fettuccine at Plum Market last time I was there. While the pasta was boiling, I constructed this simple but delicious mushroom dish. The mushrooms from Michigan Mushroooms at the Ann Arbor Farmer's market have been excellent lately. I've been digging both varieties of oyster mushrooms that they have, and always stop there for my fix if they're at the market that week.

Saute 2-3 cups of roughly chopped mushrooms in butter that has melted and begun to brown. The browning butter will add a deep dimension of flavor for the base of the sauce. Saute until the mushrooms begin to get brown around the edges. You want a bit of color here. When the mushrooms have softened, shut off the heat under your pan. Add two cups of half and half. Scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pan while the cream is warming from residual heat. Snip 2-3 chives into the pan. When you are confident that the cream has warmed, add 1 1/2 cups of grated Piave into the mushroom cream sauce. Toss the drained Al Dente pasta into the pan with the mushroom cream sauce. Turn the heat back to low to finish cooking the pasta in the sauce (an essential step). Top with an additional 1/2 cup of the Piave.

Perfect as a side dish or an entree.

** new music added today * open in a new window **