Creamy Mushroom Soup

creamy mushroom soup

creamy mushroom soup

soup. auntie  Bes, my Filipino help who has been with us for 24 years, makes very good Chinese soup. They could be pork ribs with peanuts or lotus root soup, chicken bones & feet with old cucumbers or carrots or watercress or even green papaya, largely in the vein of Cantonese 例汤 – soup of the day. auntie Bes doesn’t do soup using pork (she only used pork ribs) though this is also common with Chinese soups and these days we don’t use much of Chinese ham (京华火腿) though in the early days when I travel to Beijing & Shanghai more, I did cart some of these back for soup. when I started doing homecooked dinners for friends, if I were doing dishes like braised duck, curry chicken and kakuni (Japaense braised belly pork), auntie Bes’ soup was a perfect fit. But then I also started doing western dinners, and soon afterwards after several visits to and enjoyable meals at La Cicala Spanish Gastrobar, I learned to cook a Basque seafood bisque, using prawn shells with white wine & brandy to create the bisque, with leek, yellow onions & carrots to add vegetable sweetness to the soup. It was quite successful & I used it for several of my homecooked dinners. But that was the only soup I knew how to cook, that is until yesterday. I had another 8-course lunch for 9pax yesterday so I thought I would test out another soup, and I kind of thought mushroom soup would be the most common, easiest to do and acceptable to most. So who do I turn to? you guess it right – Foodwishes.com Chef John’s creamy mushroom soup recipe. It went really well at first try, and all my friends enjoyed the soup very much.

caramelising 3 different mushrooms + leek + yellow onions

caramelising 3 different mushrooms + leek + yellow onions

I bought 250g of cut brown button mushrooms, 200g of oyster mushrooms & 150g of shimeji mushrooms from Sheng Shiong. I added a teasppon of salt & caramelised them in a soup pot according to the video instructions, then added the diced yellow onions & leek. I cooked them further & then fished out a few caramelised mushrooms as toppings for the soup later. I then added the flour and stirred them to thicken a little. Image Next I added the white wine, reduced and then added the chicken stock (made in a crockpot with chicken bones). I then put it on an induction cooker & put to the lowest at 100W & let it cooked for 1.5hrs. I let the soup cooled down, and then blended it in a blender in small batches. Then I brought it to boil in the pot, turned to low fire and added 2 tablespoon of heavy cream and mixed in the soup, and added sea salt & pepper to taste. To serve, I added a dash of extra virgin olive oil & placed couple caramelised mushrooms I reserved earlier as toppings. c.h.e.f andy Ingredients:

  • 600g mushrooms (button mushrooms or with other combinations) – served 8
  • 1/2 large yellow onion diced
  • 1 leek diced
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 5 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 tsp salt (to sweat the mushrooms)
  • 2-3 tbsp heavy cream
  • sea salt & coarse black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. slice the button mushrooms, and diced the yellow onion & leek.
  2. caramelise the mushrooms in a soup pot with 1 teaspoon salt in high then medium heat. add the yellow onion and leek & cook until they soften. take out some caramelised mushrooms for toppings if you like. add a tablespoon of flour to thicken. add 1 cup of white wine and reduce, and add 3 cups of chicken stock. bring to boil & then turn fire to low & cook for 1.5hrs. let the soup cool or add more cold chicken stock or water, then blend it in a blender in batches. bring the blended soup to boil adding stock or water as necessary to taste according to your own preference. turn fire to low and add 2 tablespoon of heavy cream and mix well. serve with dash of extra virgin olive oil & caramelised mushroom toppings.

Recipe = Pistachio Crusted Rack of Lamb

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pistachio crusted rack of lamb

never cook lamb before. always had the impression that it was terribly hard! unlike a beef steak which you can just throw in the pan, lamb is like “who can cook lamb?” – unknown, undoable..

in fact, when eating out, I hardly ever order beef, since I can make a rather good steak myself with no effort & at fraction of the cost (just like I will only order squid-ink pasta since it is about the only pasta I don’t make myself); so its lamb or fish everytime (dining out) except at some famous grills, Japanese or fine dining restaurants..

I have a friend though always posting lamb pictures & obsessed with meat thermometers (which I now have 2 thanks to this friend for one, and still have not used any!) Well, I only started cooking much since March2012, so thermometers will have a future with me, I think..

so I gotten myself this packet of lamb, which contained 2 frenched lamb racks, and on the first occasion when enough guinea pigs volunteered to dine at my place, I gave it a go and cooked my first ever lamb rack.  I always like Foodwishes.com Chef John’s cooking videos, and this pistachio crusted rack of lamb recipe is no exception. It is really very easy to make, much easier than the 2-hr slow-cooked Spanish beef ribs which requires preparations & cooking for the vegetable ratatouille for sauce & garnishing.

So I seasoned & browned the lamb rack, prepared the pistachio & the mix (add breadcrumbs, olive oil, melted butter) for the crust, rubbed dijon mustard on the lamb rack so that the pistachio crust sticked, and when my friends were here, while we were devouring the other dishes, I just put the lamb rack into a 210degC oven for 23minutes; and voila, I had a very impressive-looking & tasty pistachio crusted lamb which everyone really enjoyed! actually it was medium & I would have preferred medium rare, will try 21-22minutes next time.

pistachio crusted rack of lamb

pistachio crusted rack of lamb

pistachio crusted 1/2rack of lamb

pistachio crusted 1/2rack of lamb updated on 22.1.2015

Looks like I won’t be eating lamb anytime soon when dining out.

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients:

  • 1 frenched lamb rack (standard 8 ribs, about 600g, good for 4)
  • 1 cup of pistachios
  • 2 tbsp breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • sea salt & coarse black pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard

Directions:

  1. Prepare the lamb rack – cut/trim away the fat (to reduce the strong gamey taste/smell), cut about 2cm every 2 ribs w/o cutting into the loin (this for easy serving of the lamb rack afterwards), season with sea salt & coarse black pepper & pan seared including the ends over a very hot pan. put aside on an aluminium lined baking tray & reserve.
  2. Prepare the pistachio crust mix – cut about 1 cup of toasted pistachios into small bits. in a large bowl add 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs, 1 tablespoon olive oil & 1 tablespoon melted butter, & mix.
  3. Cook the lamb – coat the lamb loin with 2 tablespoon of dijon mustard. This will enable the pistachio crust to stick. now coat the pistachio mix on the lamb to form a crust. Preheat oven to 210degC and place the lamb in the oven for 22minutes (or longer if you like it more done). serve