Monthly Archives: January 2010

Coming Soon…

I haven’t been slacking lately on cooking…just haven’t had time to add a new post.  Already cooked and waiting to be posted:

  • Bean and Veggie Burgers, Homemade
  • Tempeh Reuben
  • Rice and Beans with Mangoes and Avocado
  • Baked Potato Samosas

Hungarian Mushroom Soup

I made this soup last night with Jayme and Kelly.  It was really easy to make and made for a great meal with some toasted six-grain sourdough and a salad.

Hungarian Mushroom Soup, taken from “The New Moosewood Cookbook” by Mollie Katzen.

Serves 4; takes about 1 hour

  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 to 2 lbs. mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 to 3 tsp. dried dill (or 2 to 3 Tbsp. freshly minced)
  • 1Tbsp. mild paprika
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp. flour
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup milk (can be lowfat) at room temperature
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (can be reduced-fat variety)
  • finely minced fresh parsley, for the top
  1. Melt the butter in a kettle or Dutch oven.  Add onions, and saute over medium heat for about 5 minutes.  Add mushrooms, salt, dill, and paprika.  Stir well and cover.  Let cook for about 15 more minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir in lemon juice.
  2. Gradually sprinkle in the flour, stirring constantly.  Cook and stir another 5 minutes or so over medium-low heat.  Add water, cover, and cook about 10 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Stir in milk; add black pepper to taste.  Check to see if it needs more salt.  Whisk in the sour cream, and heat very gently.  Don’t boil or cook it after this point.  Serve hot, topped with freshly minced parsley.

AURA’S NOTES:  I used three types of mushrooms:  fresh cremini (baby bella), fresh shiitake, and dried porcini mushrooms (reconstituted prior to cooking the soup).  Make sure to discard the shiitake mushroom stems because they are very tough and stringy.  The dried porcini added some woodsy-ness to the soup.

I love sour cream but for this soup, I kind of wish I would have left it out.  The milk made it creamy enough on its own.  I noticed right away that the soup wasn’t nearly as attractive once the sour cream was added.  Next time I’ll just add milk and maybe garnish it with a small dollop of sour cream instead of mixing it in.

Eggplant Parmesan


Tonight I made Eggplant Parmesan for the first time in years.  It was creamy, flavorful, and delicious!  I got the recipe from Mark Bittman’s “How to Cook Everything.”

Eggplant Parmesan

Makes 6 servings; Takes about 1 hour

  • 2 Medium to Large eggplant
  • Olive Oil as needed
  • Flour for dredging
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1/2 pound grated mozzarella cheese, about 2 cups (optional)
  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more if you omit the mozzarella
  • About 30 fresh basil leaves
  1. Peel the eggplant if the skin is thick or the eggplant is less than perfectly firm.  Cut it into 1/2 inch-thick slices and salt it if you like.
  2. When you are ready to cook, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Place about 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet and turn the heat to medium.  When the oil is hot (a pinch of flour will sizzle), dredge the eggplant slices, one at a time, in the flour, shaking off the excess.  Place in the pan, but do not crowd; you will have to cook in batches.  Cook for 3 or 4 minutes on each side, until nicely browned, then drain on paper towels.  Add some pepper to the slices as they cook, as well as some salt if you did not salt the eggplant.  Add more oil to the skillet as needed.
  3. Lightly oil a baking dish, then spoon a little of the tomato sauce into it.  Top with a layer of eggplant, then a thin layer of each of the cheeses, and finally a few basil leaves.  Repeat until all the ingredients are used up, reserving some of the basil for garnish.  End with a sprinkling of Parmesan.
  4. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the dish is bubbling hot.  Mince the remaining basil and sprinkle over the top.  Serve hot or at room temperature.

AURA’S NOTES:  I only had 1 eggplant so I cut the recipe in half so there were 2 layers of eggplant/sauce/cheese in the baking dish.  I served it with some whole wheat spaghetti, which I just mixed with some olive oil, salt, and pepper and topped with some of the fresh basil.  Delicious!

Hello Friends and Family

Dear all,

Welcome to my first blog!  I have been in a cooking rut lately and although I have been scouring cookbooks and magazines this winter, I haven’t been very active in trying new recipes.  This blog is an attempt to get back at the excitement of trying new recipes and sharing them with my family and friends.  Once I get the site up and running, I’d like to open it up to you all so this can be a collaboration of sorts and we can all share our successes and failures in the kitchen. 

Love,  Aura

Best Sauteed Kale

Tonight I made a sauteed kale recipe from Mark Bittman’s “How to Cook Everything.”  I love kale and most other greens and have had a lot of success with simply sauteeing greens with some garlic and olive oil.  Maybe it was because I was so hungry, but this resulted in the best bowl of kale I have ever had.

Collards or Kale, Brazilian-Style

Makes 4 servings; Time:  15 minutes

  • 1 1/2 lbs young kale or collards, or other dark green, washed and very well dried
  • 3 Tbsp olive or peanut oil
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice or red or white wine vinegar
  1. Chop the greens into fairly small pieces; no dimension should be more than 2 inches.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a 12-inch skillet or wok over high heat until smoking.  Add the oil to the skillet, let sit for a few seconds, then toss in the greens and the garlic.
  3. Cook over high heat, stirring almost constantly, until the greens wilt and begin to brown, 3 to 8 minutes (depending largely on the power of your burner).
  4. Season with salt and pepper and add a little lemon juice or vinegar.  Taste, adjust seasoning, and serve immediately.

AURA’S NOTES:  I used Lacinato (aka Dinosaur) kale for this recipe because that is what I had on hand.  I really like the texture of this kale more than any other green.  When I cut the kale, I removed the ribs and sliced them into 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch pieces.  I thinly sliced some carrots to add some color.  After the pan was smoking and the oil was added, I tossed in the carrot and kale ribs and let them cook for a few minutes before adding the kale and the garlic (I added a little extra because I minced too much).  I sprinkled a little bit of lemon juice, salt, and pepper on at the end of cooking.  The carrots not only added color, but they added some dimension and sweetness.  I’m making this again for dinner tomorrow!