Thursday, December 20, 2012

15 Minute Meals: Mushroom Farfalle

I am not stepping foot in another grocery store until the New Year, I swear to God.  I think I've spent upwards of $300 on groceries in the last week or so.  My cupboards, fridge & freezer are stocked with everything needed to do the Christmas baking, make the Christmas dinner, snack in between meals, and also feed the hungry hounds until the big day (and I am not referring the actual dogs in the house!)  I also did one of those "just for me" type shopping trips where I bought ingredients that I was getting low daughter remarked that I didn't buy anything "normal" that time.  Ha!

Last night was a bit hectic.  I wanted something quick but nutritious for dinner, so I looked through the 15 Minute Meals recipes I had saved, searching for something for which I had most of the ingredients.  I mean, come on, after $300 I should have everything, right?  Maybe not quite everything, but almost.  ;)

310.  Mushroom Farfalle & Blue Cheese Hazelnut Spinach Salad (Jamie's 15 Minute Meals, page 196)

I can't wait until my copy of the book arrives!  But until then, the picture-less Notepad file will have to do.  I did not really have a chance to get my "15 minute meals head" on as my kitchen was full of kids & dogs, but I did the best I could and got the pots, pans, and ingredients I needed out onto the counter and stove top.  I realized that I had eaten the last of the baby spinach for lunch, so the salad had to be romaine instead.  And I've never bought blue cheese in my life, so freshly grated parmesan would have to do.

First things first, I soaked some dried porcini mushrooms in boiling water, while I got some garlic & red chili sauteing in a little olive oil.  I tore in some fresh chestnut mushrooms with my hands, substituted some fresh rosemary for the thyme indicated, and then added the porcinis, reserving the liquid.  I let this cook for a few minutes while I got some farfalle boiling in salted water.  Then, onto the salad.

I had already bashed up some hazelnuts that morning, so I just needed to tear some romaine into a bowl, grate in an apple and add the cheese & nuts.  I went back to the mushroom pan, and added a bit of the porcini water to loosen things, then put it all in the food processor to puree.  This went back in the pan, and when the pasta was al dente, I added it to the mushroom sauce with a ladle or two of the starchy water, and grated in the zest of a small lemon.  I chopped some fresh parsley and sprinkled it over the top, along with a few big tablespoons of low fat cottage cheese, and seasoned with salt and pepper.

I quickly dressed the salad with the juice of the lemon and a little olive oil, and it was time to eat.  But when I went to find myself a plate, do you think there was anything clean in the cupboard?  Damned kids.  I ended up eating this out of tupperware.  But it was tasty.  Apparently it comes in at 580 calories per person, if you follow the quantities laid out in the recipe.  I don't know how long it took me, but it couldn't have been more than 20 minutes.  My non-picky son came in a little later, ate the other portion, and said it was good but a bit spicy.  Hey, who needs bland food?  Not me!  He thought the salad was a tad different but he ate it with no complaints.  I really like the combination of apple, cheese & nuts in a salad.  I will have to remember to do that more often!

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