Archive for the ‘Mushrooms’ Category

Hello! I’m sorry I’ve been absent for so long but starting my new job has required my full attention over the past month. Boy I’d forgotten how draining the first few weeks in a new job can be. Not in a bad way, thank goodness, just in a ‘wow, my brain is full and starting to ache’ kind of way.

So I’ve been very neglectful of my writing, which I hope to improve on now that things are starting to fall into place. I have another confession to make (may as well off-load everything now and start with a clean slate!). I know I promised you lots of wonderful spicy delights from my trip to the sub-continent, but whilst I have been using a lot more spices in our everyday meals, I’m yet to try one of the delicious curry recipes that I collected while I was there. Funnily enough, we’ve been craving other tastes since returning, but when the time comes to revisit India, I will of course share with you all.

What has been making regular appearances at the Casa Kilburn dining table, then? Well I know it sounds slightly boring, but I’ve been relying on the humble soup in its various guises. Yearning for hearty and warming flavours as the cold continues to drag and the need for speed when I walk in the door at 7.30pm shattered from work has contributed to this and I’ve been saved on more than a few occasions with my very easy and quick chicken miso noodle soup. I’m not sure where I picked this recipe up a number of years ago, but it’s worth having up your sleeve when you are after something healthy, filling and full of flavour. It’s also versatile, you can substitute the vegetables for pretty much whatever you have to hand, replace the chicken with pork or tofu and if you don’t have miso paste in your cupboard, replace with the same amount of chicken stock. Easy. Enjoy!

Chicken Miso Noodle Soup (serves 4 or two with leftovers for lunch the next day!)

Chicken Miso Noodle Soup

– 1.5 litres miso or chicken stock (I use brown rice miso paste and the ratio is generally 1 teaspoon per 250ml water)
– 2 chicken breasts (boneless & skinless)
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 large or 2 small shallots (peeled & thinly sliced)
– 1 small piece of ginger (cut into thin strips)
– 1 large or 4 baby fennel bulbs (thinly sliced)
– 1 dried or fresh kaffir lime leaves (don’t worry if you don’t have these on hand)
– good handful of shiitake mushrooms (dusted gently & sliced thinly)
– 100g dried rice noodles or 200g fresh rice noodles
– salt and pepper
– handful of coriander (roughly shredded or chopped)

1. Place 1 litre of the miso stock into a pot with the chicken breasts and simmer gently for 25 minutes or until cooked through. Remove the pot from the heat and leave the chicken to cool in the stock.

2. Add the oil to a large pan and over a medium heat, fry the shallots, ginger, kaffir lime leaf and mushrooms for 3-4 minutes stirring often to keep from catching.

3. Add the fennel and continue frying for another 2 minutes.

4. Add the 500mls leftover miso or stock and bring everything up to simmer. Reduce the heat and gently simmer for 10 minutes.

5. While the vegetables and stock is simmering, shred the chicken and put aside. Strain the liquid the chicken had cooked in through a fine sieve and add to the vegetables.

6. Add the chicken and noodles to the vegetables as well and season with salt and pepper.

7. Simmer gently for a further 5 minutes. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Add the coriander (optional!) and ladle into bowls.


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Mushrooms are in abundance at the moment and although living in the middle of London doesn’t allow for the fun of picking them ourselves, it’s no reason not to indulge in eating them as much as possible while they’re at their best.

Prompted by a recent outing to Peter Gordon’s Tapa Room in Marylebone, where I had scrummy wild mushrooms with a poached egg on sourdough, I thought I’d recreate the memory at home with some inspiration from Yotam Ottolengi’s new cookbook Plenty which I’m using a lot at the moment. This pimped up version of standard mushrooms on toast does take slightly more time than just throwing some mushies in a pan with a bit of oil and butter, so keep it up your sleeve for a lazy Sunday when you’ve got some time on your hands.

Mushrooms with poached egg on sourdough

mushrooms and poached egg on sourdough










Ingredients (for 2):
– handful of dried porcini mushrooms (or any other wild variety)
–  300ml water
– 300g fresh mushrooms (any kind, a mixture is fine)
– olive oil
– 1 garlic clove, crushed
– 1 small carrot, peeled and sliced
– 1-2 celery sticks, sliced
– 1/4 cup white wine
– a few fresh thyme sprigs
– 2-4 eggs (depends how many you want!)
– splash of vinegar
– 1/4 cup sour cream
– good handful of fresh parsley leaves, chopped
– salt and cracked black pepper
– fresh sourdough for toasting (or any bread you have on hand)

Before you begin, chop/slice all the veges as above. Place the dried porcini mushrooms in a small bowl, pour over 100ml of the water and leave to soak for half an hour.

There’s no need to peel or wash the mushrooms, but do brush them lightly or wipe gently with a clean cloth or absorbent kitchen towel to remove any dirt. Cut some in half, some in quarters and some sliced for a bit of variety.

Put a medium fry pan on a medium-high heat, add a tablespoon of olive oil and add the mushrooms to the pan. You don’t want to crowd the mushrooms as they will stew so do in batches if necessary. Leave the mushrooms for 1-2 minutes when you first put them in the pan to allow them to brown nicely. Then turn over and brown on the other side. Remove from the pan and set aside. Repeat if doing in batches until all the fresh mushrooms have been browned.

Next, add another tablespoon of oil to the pan and add the onion, carrot and celery. Saute for 5 minutes or until softened, stirring all the time to keep from browning. Once softened, add the white wine; it will bubble and steam, giving off a lovely aroma. Let it simmer away for 1-2 minutes.

Using your hands, remove the porcini from the water and squeeze out any excess water. Strain the leftover liquid through a fine sieve straight into the pan. Add the remaining 200ml water, the thyme and season with salt and pepper. Turn down the heat slightly and leave to simmer gently for 10 minutes or until you have reduced the liquid to about 100ml. 

Once the stock has reduced, strain through the sieve, keeping the liquid and discarding the leftover veges. Then return the stock to the pan (with the heat off) while you poach the eggs and toast the sourdough.

Get all your toasted sourdough through the toaster (or under the grill with a drizzle of olive oil). Then get on with poaching your eggs.

To poach the eggs, fill a saucepan with a couple of inches of water (enough for a whole egg to cook in). Add a splash of vinegar and bring to the boil. Once the water is boiling, add your eggs. The easiest way to do this, is crack each into a small cup first and then pour gently into the water. As soon as you’ve added all the eggs to the water, turn off the heat and leave for 6 minutes. This is Yotam’s tip for getting perfectly poached eggs and it works! After 6 minutes, remove the eggs from the pan and drain on absorbent kitchen paper.

While the eggs are poaching, heat up the stock again, add all the mushrooms, the parsley, sour cream and salt and pepper. Stir to combine, taste and adjust the seasoning if required. Once the mushrooms have heated up, pile them on top of the toasted sourdough and then top with a poached egg or two. Sprinkle with some extra parsley and serve with the Sunday papers!

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