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"A passion for cooking is what I have...Sharing that passion is what I love to do." -Sarah Vasques, The Home Chef

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Chicken with Mushrooms

Published by: Sarah

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  • Apr
  • 11

1 cup low-sodium chicken broth 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms Kosher salt 1 pound farfalle pasta 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 large or 2 small shallots, sliced 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper One 12-ounce bunch Swiss chard, center stems removed and leaves chopped into 1-inch pieces 1 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature […]

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  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound farfalle pasta
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large or 2 small shallots, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • One 12-ounce bunch Swiss chard, center stems removed and leaves chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature (8 ounces)
  • 2 store-bought rotisserie chicken breasts, diced into 1/2-inch pieces to yield 2 cups of meat
  •  

    Boil the broth and mushrooms over medium-high heat in a small saucepan.
    Turn off the heat and allow the mushrooms to soften in the liquid, about 20 minutes.
    Remove the mushrooms and coarsely chop.
    Reserve the liquid.
    Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.
    Cook the pasta until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes.
    Drain and reserve about 1 cup pasta water.
    Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large nonstick saute pan.
    Add the shallots mushrooms, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
    Cook until the shallots are soft, about 3 minutes.
    Add the chard in batches and cook until wilted, about 7 minutes.
    Sprinkle 1 teaspoon salt and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
    Remove the pan from the heat and add the mascarpone cheese.
    Stir until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
    Add the mushroom mixture, chicken and the reserved mushroom-cooking liquid to the pasta.
    Add reserved pasta water if necessary.
    Toss until all the ingredients are coated and serve.

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    Mini Beef Wellingtons with Port Wine Sauce

    Published by: Sarah

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    • Sep
    • 27

    I got the recipe for the Wellingtons from Food Networks “5 Ingredient Fix.” Then I  added the sauce for a fantastic depth of flavor. Don’t be intimidated by the length of the recipe. It is really very easy. Bon Appetite! For the Wellingtons 2 T olive oil 1# Beef Tenderloin, cut into 12 (1-inch) cubes Kosher […]

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    I got the recipe for the Wellingtons from Food Networks “5 Ingredient Fix.” Then I  added the sauce for a fantastic depth of flavor. Don’t be intimidated by the length of the recipe. It is really very easy. Bon Appetite!

    For the Wellingtons
    2 T olive oil
    1# Beef Tenderloin, cut into 12 (1-inch) cubes
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 
    6 ounces Cremini Mushrooms, stemmed and finely chopped
    1 lg Shallot, finely chopped 
    1-2 sheets Frozen Puff Pastry, thawed

    Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
    Pat the beef dry with a paper towel and season all sides with salt and pepper.
    Quickly sear the beef on 2 sides only until deep golden brown, about 4 minutes total; do not overcook.
    Transfer to a plate to cool.
    Add the mushrooms and cook until beginning to brown and release liquid, about 5 minutes.
    Add the shallots and continue cooking until mushroom mixture dries out, is golden brown and shallots are soft, about 10 minutes.
    Remove from heat and cool.
    Preheat to the oven to 400 degrees F.
    Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
    On a work surface, roll 1 sheet of puff pastry to a 10 by 14-inch rectangle.
    Put teaspoon-sized mounds of mushroom mixture on the pastry, evenly spacing them in 4 rows of 3.
    Top the mushroom mound with a piece of beef, seared side up. With a sharp knife, cut the pastry into even squares around the meat and mushrooms.
    Working 1 at a time, pull 2 opposite sides of pastry up over each beef piece, then fold the ends over the top to make a packet.
    Invert and arrange the packets seam side down on the baking sheet and press them lightly to seal the pastry.
    Repeat with the remaining beef, mushrooms, and pastry.
    Bake the Wellingtons until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.
    Remove from the oven to a serving platter and let cool at least 10 minutes before serving.

    For the Sauce

    Sauté in 1 T Unsalted Butter until soft (about 8 minutes):
    ½ C chopped Yellow Onion
    ¼ C chopped Carrot
    ¼ C chopped Celery
    1 T Tomato Paste
    2 Bay Leaves

    Deglaze, scraping the bits off the bottom of the pan, with & simmer until reduced: 
    ¼ C Red Wine           
    ¼ C Port Wine         

    Add & simmer 8 – 10 minutes:
    3 C Beef Stock or Broth

    Then strain the sauce. IT IS HERE WHERE YOU STORE UNTIL READY TO USE!

    Whisk together & whisk into sauce:
    2 tsp Cornstarch
    2 T Cold Water

    Just before serving, whisk in:              
    1 T Red Currant Jelly        
    1 T Truffle Butter **               
                                
    NOTE: The Wellingtons & the Sauce can be made the day before. Store the wellingtons on the baking sheet covered with plastic wrap. Finish them off in the oven according to directions. Finish the sauce on the stove continuing where directions stopped.

    ** Truffle Butter can be very expensive: Combine I T Unsalted Butter & 1 tsp. Truffle Oil – If you cannot find Truffle Oil, use garlic infused oil instead.

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    Hearty Mushroom Sauce

    Published by: Sarah

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    • Feb
    • 17

    This hearty sauce will please even the most steadfast carnivor. 4 oz. Dried Porcini Mushrooms 3 lg. Portabella Mushroom Caps EVOO ½ lb. Shitaki Mushrooms, stems removed & sliced 2 cloves Garlic, sliced 2 T fresh Rosemary, minced ½ – ¾ c. Red Wine 1 (28 oz.) can Crushed Tomatoes Salt & Pepper Cooked Pasta […]

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    This hearty sauce will please even the most steadfast carnivor.

    4 oz. Dried Porcini Mushrooms
    3 lg. Portabella Mushroom Caps
    EVOO
    ½ lb. Shitaki Mushrooms, stems removed & sliced
    2 cloves Garlic, sliced
    2 T fresh Rosemary, minced
    ½ – ¾ c. Red Wine
    1 (28 oz.) can Crushed Tomatoes
    Salt & Pepper
    Cooked Pasta of Choice
    Romano Cheese

    Place dried porcinis in 2 c. hot water & warm on stove. DO NOT BOIL!
    Heat a grill pan over medium hi heat.
    Brush with EVOO.
    Grill portabella caps top side down first.
    When portabella are turned season with salt & pepper.
    Heat EVOO in a large skillet with the garlic.
    Add the Shitaki’s & cook about 8 minutes.
    Season with salt & pepper.
    When portabella are cooked, remove & slice.
    Add to skillet.
    Add rosemary & season with salt & pepper.
    Add the red wine & cook a few minutes.
    Slice reconstituted porcinis & add to skillet.
    Add ¾ c. reconstituted water & crushed tomatoes.
    Serve this sauce over cooked pasta of choice & top with Romano cheese.

    You can make this ahead & refrigerate or freeze until ready to use.

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    Crimini & Spinach Stuffed Tomatoes

    Published by: Sarah

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    • Jan
    • 10

    These hearty tomatoes can be served as a side or a main dish. 2 Ripe Beefsteak Tomatoes, halved & seeded Extra Virgin Olive Oil 20 Crimini Mushrooms, chopped 1 Rib Celery, finely chopped 2 c. Spinach, washed & dried Salt & Pepper to taste 1/2 tsp. Ground Nutmeg 2 T Sherry Vinegar 1 T Dijon Mustard […]

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    These hearty tomatoes can be served as a side or a main dish.

    2 Ripe Beefsteak Tomatoes, halved & seeded
    Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    20 Crimini Mushrooms, chopped
    1 Rib Celery, finely chopped
    2 c. Spinach, washed & dried
    Salt & Pepper to taste
    1/2 tsp. Ground Nutmeg
    2 T Sherry Vinegar
    1 T Dijon Mustard
    ½ c. Flat Leaf Parsley, chopped

    Sauté mushrooms in olive oil until browned.
    Add the celery & cook until softened.
    Season with salt & pepper
    Add the vinegar & mustard.
    Wilt in the spinach
    Season with nutmeg.
    Cook 1 – 2 minutes.
    Add the parsley at the end to finish.
    Stuff into tomato halves & serve.

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    Peppered Beef Tenderloin

    Published by: Sarah

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    • Dec
    • 24

    Before the Food Network came to cable, the Discovery channel had a show on every afternoon called “Great Chefs.”  It’s really all about the sauce rather than the meat. The sauce is wonderful with any cut of beef, chicken or pork. Give it a try & tell me what you think! For the Sauce  (the sauce can […]

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    Before the Food Network came to cable, the Discovery channel had a show on every afternoon called “Great Chefs.”  It’s really all about the sauce rather than the meat. The sauce is wonderful with any cut of beef, chicken or pork. Give it a try & tell me what you think!

    For the Sauce  (the sauce can be made ahead & refridgerated or freeze)
    2 T Olive Oil
    1 Lg Shallot, minced
    2 C Marsala Wine
    2 Bay Leaves
    4 Lg. Cloves Roasted Garlic
    1 C Heavy Cream
    2 C Veal Stock (canned beef broth can be substituted)
    ¾ C Morel Mushroom, sliced (Morels can be hard to find. Sub in 8 oz. chopped Cremini’s instead)
    1 T Butter
    1½ T Fresh Sage, chopped
    3 Sun Dried Tomatoes, chopped
    3 Good Dashes Balsamic Vinegar

    In a sauce pan, heat oil & add shallot. 
    Cook until softened. 
    Add Marsala, bay leaf & roasted garlic.
    Bring to boil & reduce by half. 
    In a separate pan, saute morel mushrooms in butter. 
    Add chopped fresh sage & sun dried tomatoes to morels. 
    Add cream & stock to shallot mixture. 
    Boil to reduce by half. 
    Remove bay leaves & process until smooth (in a blender or food processor). 
    Add processed  sauce to morel mixture and heat through. 
    Add balsamic vinegar just before serving to finish.

    For the Beef
    12 oz. Beef Tenderloin
    1 T Dried Rosemary
    ½ T Cracked White Peppercorns
    2 Good Pinches Salt
    2 T Olive Oil

    Preheat oven to 375°.
    Season beef with rosemary, salt and cracked peppercorn. 
    Sear all sides in hot oil then bake @ 375 degree’s 15 minutes for rare. 
    Remove from oven, tent with foil and let rest during sauce completion. 
    Slice into ½” thick slices just before serving.

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    Stuffed Beef Tenderloin

    Published by: Sarah

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    comments:
    • Dec
    • 4

    PLEASE, don’t be intimidated by this lengthly recipe. Just take it one step at a time. It is well worht it! 2 – 3 # Beef Tenderloin Roast 3 T Butter 2 T Olive Oil 1 sm. Onion, minced 1 stalk Celery, minced One 4-6 oz. pkg. Crimini Mushrooms, chopped One 4.5 oz. pkg. Shitake […]

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    PLEASE, don’t be intimidated by this lengthly recipe. Just take it one step at a time. It is well worht it!

    2 – 3 # Beef Tenderloin Roast
    3 T Butter
    2 T Olive Oil
    1 sm. Onion, minced
    1 stalk Celery, minced
    One 4-6 oz. pkg. Crimini Mushrooms, chopped
    One 4.5 oz. pkg. Shitake Mushrooms, stemmed & chopped
    ½ tsp. Salt
    ¼ tsp. Black Pepper
    ¼ tsp. Dried Thyme
    ½ c. Merlot Wine
    5 Slices White Bread, put through a food processor

    To Make the Stuffing

    Melt butter w/ olive oil.
    Add onion & celery & sweat 5 minutes over medium heat.
    Add mushroom & sauté another 5-8 minutes. 
    Add salt, pepper & thyme.
    Add wine & reduce liquid by half.
    Stir in bread crumbs.
    Let stuffing cool to room temp.

    To Make the Beef:

    Preheat oven to 400. 
    Trim & cut beef to make flat.
    Spread stuffing on meat and roll closed. 
    Tie roast closed.
    Sear in hot oil on all sides.
    Place on a cookie sheet & bake for 15 minutes.
    Remove from oven & wrap in heavy foil for 15 – 25 minutes.
    Slice & serve.

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    Mushroom Cappucino

    Published by: Sarah

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    comments:
    • Dec
    • 1

    My husband & I recently cruised to the Florida Keys, Half Moon Cay & Grand Turk. I attended a cooking demo on the ship where they served this devine soup. 5T Onion, chopped 1 clove Garlic, minced 2 oz. clarified Butter 1# Mushroom, chopped 2 sprigs Fresh Thyme 4 c. Chicken or Veggie Stock 2 […]

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    My husband & I recently cruised to the Florida Keys, Half Moon Cay & Grand Turk. I attended a cooking demo on the ship where they served this devine soup.

    5T Onion, chopped
    1 clove Garlic, minced
    2 oz. clarified Butter
    1# Mushroom, chopped
    2 sprigs Fresh Thyme
    4 c. Chicken or Veggie Stock
    2 c. Heavy Cream
    Salt & White Pepper to taste
    A Few Drops White Truffle Oil
    Fresh Chopped Parsley for Garnish

    Saute onions & garlic in butter until soft.
    Add the mushrooms &cook another 2-3 minutes.
    Add stock and thyme & simmer 5 minutes.
    Season with salt & pepper.
    When mushrooms are cooked through, remove the thyme.
    Blend with a hand blender.
    Return to pan & add cream.
    Cook to warm through.
    Finish with truffle oil & garnish with parsley.
    Serve hot.

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    Lucious Lasagna

    Published by: Sarah

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    comments:
    • Sep
    • 12

    As we all know, lasagna is all a matter of taste. This vegetarian version is delicious & know one I’ve served it to ever feels deprived of the meat! Plus you don’t have to cook the noodles even though they are not the oven ready kind – you may use the oven ready if you choose to do […]

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    As we all know, lasagna is all a matter of taste. This vegetarian version is delicious & know one I’ve served it to ever feels deprived of the meat! Plus you don’t have to cook the noodles even though they are not the oven ready kind – you may use the oven ready if you choose to do so, however.


    1 box Lasagna Noodles (to make this gluten free use eggplant in place of the noodles – see note below)
    Water
    15 oz. Low Fat Ricotta Cheese
    4 c. shredded Pizza Cheese Blend
    1 c. grated Pecorino Romano Cheese
    1 c. grated Parmesan Cheese
    16 oz. Reduced Fat Cream Cheese, softened
    2 Eggs, beaten
    3 T dried Oregano
    2 (2 lb.) jars Marinara Sauce **
    4 lg. Portobello Mushroom Caps, stems removed & sliced thin
    1 (24 oz.) jar Fire Roasted Red Peppers, drained
    2 (6 oz.) bag Fresh Baby Spinach
    2 c. grated Asiago Cheese


    Layer lasagna noodles in a criss-cross fashion in a large pan .
    Just cover with water.
    Let rest while making the filling.
    Combine  ricotta, pizza, romanoparmesan & cream cheeses with the beaten egg.
    Mix well.
    Crush the oregano between your hands into cheese mixture.
    Mix well.
    Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
    Spray a 10×13 baking dish with  non stick cooking spray.
    Spread enough sauce in the bottom of the dish to cover. 
    Cover with one layer of noodles.
    Take 1/3 of the cheese mixture & spread over noodles.
    Layer the sliced mushrooms on top of the cheese.
    Dot the mushrooms with sauce.
    Layer on noodles & cheese again.
    Layer in the peppers & dot with sauce.
    Repeat the noodles & cheese.
    Spread on the spinach & dot with sauce.
    Cover the spinach with a final topping of noodles & cover generously with sauce.
    Bake for 1 hr. & 15 minutes.
    Remove & top with asiago cheese.
    Bake an additional 15 minutes.
    Remove & let rest for 20 minutes.
    Sprinkle with additional oregano if desired.


    **NOTE: This cook prefers to use Prego Traditional, when I don’t make my own 🙂 – For the eggplant: Peel & cut the ends. Slice lengthwise & place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil & season with salt & pepper. Bake @ 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Cool until able to handle. Build your lasagna using the eggplant in place of the noodles.

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