BaltimOregon to Maine

Locavore Cooking with Southern Efficiency and Northern Charm

Posts Tagged ‘pasta

Black Trumpet Mushrooms in Maine and Oregon

with one comment

There’s nothing like a good Willamette Valley pinot to bring out the earthy flavor of mushrooms. These foraged black trumpets stand out in this slighty creamy, gorgonzola pasta.

Maine and Oregon have so much in common from a culinary perspective: an abundance of fresh seafood, blueberries, lots of freely ranging chickens, cattle and pigs. And mushrooms just begging to be foraged from wooded trails. Unfortunately, my foraging in Oregon was limited to easily identifiable golden Chanterelles. I hope to get more adventurous here in Maine and got a good start today with our first black trumpet harvest.

Two days of casual harvest on a hike near my parents’ place on a lake in Central Maine.

There’s nothing like the serendipity of chancing upon delicious mushrooms while on a hike. It makes the hike more of a hunt. It’s a simple thrill. We saw at least a dozen other mushroom varieties on the hike, but felt too amateur to pick others than the striking black trumpets. Consulting images on the web, I now suspect we saw Lobsters, Yellow-Foot Chanterelles, and Reishis growing on trunks. I’ll have to tag along with someone more senior soon.

Black trumpets are a simple thrill to discover on the damp forest floor.

If you get your hands on some black trumpets (in Oregon my source was The Mushroomery), you must make this pasta dish (assuming you aren’t dairy or gluten-intolerant. My sister did enjoy it with gluten-free pasta).

Black Trumpet Mushroom and Gorgonzola Pasta (recipe courtesy of Tree and Elaine)

1 oz. dried or fresh mushrooms,
butter
minced shallots
1 cup heavy cream (use 1/2 and 1/2 cream; just as good)
1 oz. Gorgonzola dolce
1 lb. penne pasta (used wild mushroom linguine)
1 c. fresh parmesan
minced parsley, (tarragon-opt.)

Before using, soak mushrooms for 30 min. in warm water, drain and rinse
well to get rid of any remains.

Melt butter and add shallots. Saute 7 minutes,
Then add mushrooms, cream and stir in the Gorgonzola.
Simmer 10 minutes.
Cook the penne with salt till al dente and pour it in skillet with the sauce,
stirring well.
Fold in the parsley and the Parmigiano.

Advertisements

Written by baltimoregon

September 15, 2012 at 9:15 pm

Off the Wagon, with Homemade Pasta, Bread and Beer

with one comment

Homemade Pasta by Chef Intaba at Fireworks Restaurant.

Told you the gluten-free thing wouldn’t last. This weekend, I indulged in yeasty bread, Block 15 beer (including a sweet-tart, heady, Belgian-style “Cherry Quad,” with 11 percent alcohol) and homemade pasta from Chef Intaba. She had scraps from her manicotti shells she couldn’t use, which made perfect eggy and soft, makeshift lasagna sheets. Though they didn’t hold their shape or get those crispy edges, they still made an easy Swiss Chard Lasagna, perhaps my favorite vegetarian lasagna recipe. Blanching imparts the chard with a sweetness, while it still stands up more sturdy than spinach, with none of the bitter taste of other greens.

Definitely feel a bit more distress in the belly as it tries to digest wheat again. I hope avoiding gluten doesn’t make it even more painful for the body to break down once you resume consumption. You know, how vegetarians throw-up upon eating meat after years of abstention. Everything in moderation–the middle path–that’s me.

Fall apart Swiss chard lasagna: don't judge it on the looks!

Started with a Salad: Yummy Kimchi-Marinated Apples with Arugula and maple yogurt, ala David Chang.

Written by baltimoregon

January 18, 2010 at 1:28 am

The Gluten-Free Game

with 3 comments

Surprisingly al dente gluten-free macaroni, from bionaturae.

A wise person once said, “I’d be dead without bread,” and normally I’d have to agree. Except I’ve basically gone without bread (and other wheat products) for more than a week now. This has not been easy. I’m about as omnivorous as they come. In fact, it’s nearly impossible for me to name a food I don’t like. Tongue, Brussels sprouts, turnips, chopped liver, you name it: bring them on. Well, maybe I don’t love tripe.

Nor have I ever really dieted. I would rather exercise more than go without. But my sister has been nagging me for a year now to give up gluten for a week. She doesn’t have celiac disease, but she’s had more energy, been less irritable and more sated after a meal when she goes wheat-free. Apparently, going without gluten improves attention span and counteracts ADHD, traits of which I’ve been known to exhibit. So I finally agreed to take the plunge while visiting Elaine in Atlanta.

A week and a half in, I do feel less bloated and a bit sharper, but that’s probably because I’m eating fewer food-coma inducing carbs. I may be starting to shed some holiday weight (but that could be the additional Pilates and Bollywood dancing classes I’m taking). Lack of gluten does seem to change things gastro-intestinally, for the better. And when I violated the diet to have a store sample of bread, a few sips of beer and French onion soup with a little flour in it, I did feel a bit light-headed.

Not sure how much longer I’ll continue the experiment, but it’s nice to have this baseline. I’m really craving baked goods and more than anything, beer. Hard cider and the gluten-free stuff don’t cut it (I drank both this week). The pasta wasn’t half-bad, though. And I love quinoa. We made a lovely quinoa with shitake mushrooms and leeks risotto from the Flying Apron’s Gluten-Free and Vegan Baking Book I gave Elaine. I might try to do gluten-lite. It is nice to have something to force you not to eat the bread at the restaurant. Once you have a bite, it’s hard to stop.

Written by baltimoregon

January 14, 2010 at 1:17 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , ,

Luscious Lamb Ragu

with one comment

DSC06118

Lamb Ragu

Already defrosting-ground lamb, bought on a whim from Afton Field Farm at rainy closing time at the Saturday market, inspired this simple, stick-to-your-ribs meal. Beef, pork, or even rabbit, yes, but you might not think to put lamb in your meat sauce. But it’s delicious, albeit with that slightly gamey, lanloiny, earthy lamb flavor. We had Mark Bittman’s vote of confidence in this endeavor. We used leek instead of onion, added garlic and fresh oregano to the mix and used milk because we didn’t have cream on hand. Pecorino Romano would have been nice–keep the lamb in the sheep’s milk of its mother, or something–but our Parmigiano-Reggiano had to do. Dan loved it. Meat and tomatoes, over pasta. Nothing makes that boy happier. And after a rain-soaked day, it was just what I needed.

DSC06092

Paints and raincoat soaked through.

DSC06095

Will it ever be dry and sunny again?

Written by baltimoregon

November 9, 2009 at 6:50 pm

Really Raw Tomato Sauce

leave a comment »

 DSC00040I went all of July without blogging. I’m embarrassed. It’s the first month I’ve skipped since this project began, with the move, last September. I meant to explain my absense. But the days, and meals, got away from me. I have the pictures to prove it. I left Corvallis June 30 and won’t return until this weekend. Since then, I’ve eaten my way through Vancouver and Halifax in Canada, Maine, the South Shore of Boston and New York, and all over South Africa. But I still miss the simple pleasures of the kitchen. I missed farmers’ market and garden produce during one of Oregon’s most bountiful, albeit alarmingly HOT, months. Will any of my neglected tomato plants wait to ripen for me? Did those bush beans, so sloppily sown, ever sprout?

 

Ripe romas, 15 for $1. Does it get any better?

Ripe romas, 15 for $1. Does it get any better?

After rich restaurant meals in foreign cities, I’m taking comfort in fresh, simple flavors. I’ve only now thrown myself, headlong, into the pleasures of summer tomatoes this week visiting family in Charlottesville, Va. Ah, the joys of delayed gratification: months of forgoing tasteless, but still tempting, winter tomatoes now yields its reward. Tomatoes this fresh and sweet don’t need adulteration. A little garlic, olive oil, a pinch of salt, a chiffonade of basil, that will do. I’ve craved these raw tomatoes. My husband was suffering from pasta withdrawal. So Spaghetti with Raw Tomato Sauce was the only thing to make. Make endless variations with different cheeses and herbs. And the roma tomatoes I bought 15 for $1, madae this dish quite economical.

I fell in love with the preparation several years ago after reading Gael Greene’s description of the simple dish in her memoir. And she’s right: “only the best summer tomatoes will do.”

Written by baltimoregon

August 6, 2009 at 8:10 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , , ,

Oregon’s Olive Garden

with 4 comments

Why do college undergraduates flock to chain-style restaurants that are no cheaper than the independent joints more in walking distance from their campuses?

We made the mistake of going to Pastini Pastaria, an Oregon-only Italian chain, on Friday night, when it was flooded with Oregon State students just back from winter break. It’s family-owned still and only recently expanded from the Portland area to Bend and Corvallis, but is starting to take on that generic Olive Garden feel.

We did see Craig Robinson’s wife and two children sit down to dinner there as we were on our way out. It’s the place to be seen. But we like our pasta at home better.

Written by baltimoregon

January 12, 2009 at 12:57 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with ,

%d bloggers like this: