Posts in eat
creamy mushroom soup

it has been uncharacteristically cold in southern california. we have had not days, but weeks of rain. there is actual snow visible in the mountains. and the soup cravings continue.

we have another wave of rain coming this weekend and i find few things more comforting than a big bowl of creamy soup. and this creamy mushroom is luscious and packed full of flavor. mushrooms are jammed full of what they call “umami” or savoriness. even though the soup is mostly veggies and a bit of dairy, it will shock you at how “meaty” and satisfying a bowl can be.

creamy mushroom soup

serves: 4

prep time: 15 minutes

inactive time: 1 hour

active time: 45 minutes

total time: 1 hour 45 minutes

ingredients: 2 tbs olive oil. 4 oz cremini mushrooms, chopped. .5 cup dried porcini mushrooms. 3 shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced. 1 leek, white and light green parts thinly sliced. 1 small yukon gold potato, peeled and diced. 1 medium brown onion, diced. 1 garlic clove, minced. 5 sprigs thyme, leaves removed. .25 cup marsala wine. 3 cups water. 1 cup whole milk. 1.5 tsp kosher salt. .5 tsp freshly ground pepper. immersion blender or food processor. your favorite crusty bread for serving.

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start by soaking your dried mushrooms in the milk for 1 hour. while your mushrooms are soaking, prep the rest of your vegetables. once your mushrooms have soaked, strain them through a fine mesh strainer. reserve the milk, and roughly chop the soaked porcini mushrooms. in a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. add in the onions and leeks. season with a third of the salt and pepper and cook until softened and lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

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add in cremini and porcini mushrooms, the potato and the thyme.

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stir well and allow the cremini mushrooms to begin to sweat. 3-4 minutes. pour in the marsala and stir well. allow the liquid to cook down.

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pour in the water and another third of the salt and pepper. bring the liquid to a boil and then reduce it a simmer and allow it to cook for 20 minutes. remove the soup from the heat.

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use your immersion blender or food processor to purée the soup till smooth.

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add in the shiitake mushrooms and the remaining salt and pepper and bring the soup back to a boil.

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pour in the milk and once again bring it to a boil. turn off the heat.

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serve with crusty bread and enjoy.

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xo, a

creamy mushroom soup

serves: 4

prep time: 15 minutes

inactive time: 1 hour

active time: 45 minutes

total time: 1 hour 45 minutes

ingredients: 2 tbs olive oil. 4 oz cremini mushrooms, chopped. .5 cup dried porcini mushrooms. 3 shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced. 1 leek, white and light green parts thinly sliced. 1 small yukon gold potato, peeled and diced. 1 medium brown onion, diced. 1 garlic clove, minced. 5 sprigs thyme, leaves removed. .25 cup marsala wine. 3 cups water. 1 cup whole milk. 1.5 tsp kosher salt. .5 tsp freshly ground pepper. immersion blender or food processor. your favorite crusty bread for serving.

start by soaking your dried mushrooms in the milk for 1 hour. while your mushrooms are soaking, prep the rest of your vegetables. once your mushrooms have soaked, strain them through a fine mesh strainer. reserve the milk, and roughly chop the soaked porcini mushrooms. in a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. add in the onions and leeks. season with a third of the salt and pepper and cook until softened and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. add in cremini and porcini mushrooms, the potato and the thyme. stir well and allow the cremini mushrooms to begin to sweat. 3-4 minutes. pour in the marsala and stir well. allow the liquid to cook down. pour in the water and another third of the salt and pepper. bring the liquid to a boil and then reduce it a simmer and allow it to cook for 20 minutes. remove the soup from the heat. use your immersion blender or food processor to purée the soup till smooth. add in the shiitake mushrooms and the remaining salt and pepper and bring the soup back to a boil. pour in the milk and once again bring it to a boil. turn off the heat. serve with crusty bread and enjoy.

sautéed apple & kale salad

when i started catering almost three years ago i had NO CLUE what i was doing. sure, i could cook, but cooking for the masses is a different story. and even more than that, cooking for the masses, taking it somewhere else, unpacking it, serving it and then cleaning everything up to go back and clean up the original space on top of cooking delicious food is OVERWHELMING. but, wes followed my crazy lead and we did it anyway. and through out the years, we’ve gotten quite good at it.

in the beginning, the hardware house didn’t really have a “menu.” every single event we were coming up with new dishes tailored to the client. but now, we actually have a bank of delicious dishes to choose from and i am currently working on finalizing proper menus for brunch, lunch and dinner options.

i realized as i went through the best of the best that there were so many delicious dishes i hadn’t shared yet. this salad is a brunch best. we specialize in beautiful brunches and in california, even brunch has a salad. this salad is hearty, healthy, gluten free & can quickly be made vegan by omitting the goat cheese.

sautéed apple & kale salad

serves: 2 dinner size or 4 side salad servings

prep time: 10 minutes

cook time: 15 minutes

total time: 25 minutes

ingredients: 8 oz finely chopped kale (if you find kale to rough you can always pick up the baby version, it is much more tender). 1 pink lady apple (or other sweet/sour pink apple). 1 red onion, halved and sliced .25 inch thick. .5 cup goat cheese crumbles. .25 cup roasted & salted pepitas (pumpkin seed kernels). 3 tbs olive oil. 3 tbs lemon juice (about the juice of 1 juicy lemon). 1 tbs whole grain mustard. 1 tsp kosher salt. .5 tsp freshly ground pepper.

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start by pouring 1 tbs of the lemon juice over the kale and toss with the goat cheese. preheat a pan over medium heat. combine the remaining lemon juice, the olive oil, half the salt and pepper and the whole grain mustard in a small bowl.

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whisk together until everything is combined.

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when your pan is hot, add in the onions and 2 tbs of the vinaigrette.

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cook your onions until they begin to soften and turn translucent, about 5 minutes. add in the apples and season with the remaining salt and pepper.

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cook until the apples are browned and tender, stirring every couple minutes. about 8 minutes. while you are cooking your apples down, add the pepitas and the remaining vinaigrette to the kale and toss well.

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when your apples and onions are cooked, add them straight from the hot pan onto the kale salad.

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toss well allowing the hot apples and onions to melt the goat cheese a bit and slightly wilting the very hearty kale.

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serve immediately or you could allow it to cool completely and chill it for a more refreshing summer version.

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xo, a

sautéed apple & kale salad

serves: 2 dinner size or 4 side salad servings

prep time: 10 minutes

cook time: 15 minutes

total time: 25 minutes

ingredients: 8 oz finely chopped kale (if you find kale to rough you can always pick up the baby version, it is much more tender). 1 pink lady apple (or other sweet/sour pink apple). 1 red onion, halved and sliced .25 inch thick. .5 cup goat cheese crumbles. .25 cup roasted & salted pepitas (pumpkin seed kernels). 3 tbs olive oil. 3 tbs lemon juice (about the juice of 1 juicy lemon). 1 tbs whole grain mustard. 1 tsp kosher salt. .5 tsp freshly ground pepper.

start by pouring 1 tbs of the lemon juice over the kale and toss with the goat cheese. preheat a pan over medium heat. combine the remaining lemon juice, the olive oil, half the salt and pepper and the whole grain mustard in a small bowl. whisk together until everything is combined. when your pan is hot, add in the onions and 2 tbs of the vinaigrette. cook your onions until they begin to soften and turn translucent, about 5 minutes. add in the apples and season with the remaining salt and pepper. cook until the apples are browned and tender, stirring every couple minutes. about 8 minutes. while you are cooking your apples down, add the pepitas and the remaining vinaigrette to the kale and toss well. when your apples and onions are cooked, add them straight from the hot pan onto the kale salad. toss well allowing the hot apples and onions to melt the goat cheese a bit and slightly wilting the very hearty kale. serve immediately or you could allow it to cool completely and chill it for a more refreshing summer version.