Mushroom, Barley, Kale, Carrot

Mushroom, Barley, Kale, Carrot in a Rich Roasted Turkey Stock

The weekend after Thanksgiving is always bittersweet: memories of a magical week spent with family mix with a bit of sadness that we won’t be seeing each other for a while. Over the past few years it has become a ritual to make a comforting soup with the rich turkey stock while I wash piles of sheets and towels, store all the huge pots & platters, and put away the turkey decorations including “Albuquerque the Turkey” and “Plymouth Rock” until next year.

See ya next year Albuquerque!

The stock was made by simmering the turkey carcass in filtered water with rough chopped carrot, onion, celery, and a couple bay leaves. Two and a half hours later, the stock was strained, cooled, and refrigerated over night.

Remove any fat from the stock then add rinsed pearl barley and cook until the barley is al dente, about 45 minutes to one hour. Meanwhile sauté sliced mushrooms in olive oil with thyme until lightly browned, season with salt and pepper. In a separate pan, sauté 2 parts sliced carrot with 1 part each diced onion and celery in olive oil with some minced rosemary until lightly browned, season with salt and pepper. Add vegetables to the barley soup and simmer another 15 minutes. Add torn pieces of Tuscan kale (center ribs removed) and simmer until the kale is tender. Adjust seasoning and serve with red pepper flakes on the side.

Since the kids have already left by the time I boil the carcass, I save this year’s wishbone for next year’s wish. I let it dry out then tuck it into a plastic baggie and store it with the rest of the turkey decorations, to come out at our next Thanksgiving meal.

Wishing you wonderful holiday memories…

The Chanterelles

Heart Healthy Chanterelle Scramble with White Truffle Oil

Cantharellus formosus, the Pacific golden chanterelle, from Oregon
gorgeous golden-orange color
a distinctly fruity aroma
a mild peppery flavor
funnel shaped with ridges instead of gills

  • Sauté finely chopped onion in olive oil.
  • Add cleaned sliced chanterelles, sea salt & fresh ground pepper, and sauté until lightly cooked all the way through.
  • Add minced garlic, cook for about a minute more.
  • Add a splash of dry white wine.
  • After the wine has completely evaporated, add egg beaters or beaten fresh egg whites.
  • When the eggs are barely cooked through, transfer scramble to a plate.
  • Lightly drizzle with White Truffle Oil and a bit more sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.

The Chanterelles

When we were fourteen years old, my girlfriends and I formed a little song & dance group. We called ourselves The Chanterelles. After school and all summer long we would just practice in Wendy’s basement, for no particular performance.

We were so into Motown.

Knew every word to every Supremes song, my baby love! Went crazy seeing The Temptations in concert at the (long gone) Mill Run Theater-in-the-Round in Niles, Illinois. I was in love with Melvin Franklin, the bass singer with the Temptations. His signature line “and the band played on…” delivered in his deep deep sexy voice sent my fourteen-year-old self into fits.

(that’s Melvin on the far left)

Our Favorite Double Album:  Diana Ross & The Supremes Greatest Hits

Our Favorite Song to Sing Along:  Ball of Confusion by The Temptations

Our Favorite Dance Routine to:  I Want You Back by The Jackson 5

(artist shots borrowed from wikipedia here and here)

It wasn’t until almost a decade later that I found out that we had named our group after a fungus.

Project Food Blog
Voting for the current challenge ends at 6 PM Pacific Time, Thursday October 21st.
If you are a fan of my latest entryAsian Pizzette, it’s not too late to vote here!

Bistro Duck and Wild Mushrooms, Two Ways

Sautéed Breast of Duck with Crispy Skin
Oyster, Shiitake, and Porcini Mushrooms in a Beef Stock Reduction

Sautéed Breast of Duck, Seasoned with Szechuan Pepper & Flor de Sal
Roasted Wood Ear and Shiitake Mushrooms
Crispy Polenta Cake and Wilted Mizuna Greens
Porcini Reduction Sauce and Pomegranate Balsamic Vinaigrette

Continue reading “Bistro Duck and Wild Mushrooms, Two Ways”

Lincoln Dinner at Delmonico’s, February 12, 1900

Bacon Wrapped Filet Mignon
Red Wine Mushroom Sauce
Spinach in Puff Pastry

Served on an authentic reproduction of the Lincoln Presidential dinner service plates.

Abraham Lincoln Presidential China

The Lincoln China was the Kennedys preferred pattern for dining in the White House.

Mary Todd Lincoln was renowned for her enjoyment of shopping, thus she selected the Lincoln White House china shortly after her husband’s inauguration. An elegant French design, the Lincoln china combines the American eagle with various decorations in a brilliant color called “solferino”. This purple-red hue was invented by the French in 1859 and was very popular among the fashionable hosts of the Lincolns’ day. Authentic reproductions can be purchased at the JFK Museum Store here.

Continue reading “Lincoln Dinner at Delmonico’s, February 12, 1900”

Filet Mignon, Mushroom Madeira, Crumbled Bleu

Filet Mignon over Madeira Wine Sauce with Mushrooms, Topped with Crumbled Bleu Cheese
I posted a similar recipe back in October, this time I added mushrooms and bleu cheese. It is so delicious and flavorful, and fast and easy to prepare, I thought I would share this version too.

I start by cooking the sliced crimini mushrooms in a little olive oil until the are browned. Cook’s Tip: Leave the mushrooms alone until they have caramelized on the bottom, then toss.

Meanwhile, I season an 8 oz. filet mignon with course salt and fresh ground pepper.

The filet is dipped in olive oil then place in a hot pan, over medium high heat for 3 to 4 minutes per side to get a nice crust. Then into a pre-heated 450 oven for another 3 to 4 minutes depending on the degree of doneness preferred.


At the same time, I make the sauce with 1/4 cup finely diced shallot or red onion, 1 cup of Madeira, and a 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme. This is reduced over high heat by about a third. Then 1 cup of beef stock is added and reduced further.

About 2 T. butter are swirled into the sauce, seasoning adjusted.
Madeira is a fortified wine from Portugal. Its unique raisin, spicy, caramel, nutty, smokey flavors make for an extraordinary tasty sauce.


Pour the sauce onto the plate, add the browned seasoned mushrooms and the filet. Top with bleu cheese crumbles.
In only about 20 minutes, you can have a complex-flavored Steakhouse style meal. I like to serve it with a light spinach salad…
The Madeira Wine Guide is an excellent source for information about this wine, its history and the islands where it is produced.