New Beginnings

PA barnHello, loyal readers! I’m back from a long summer break with some big news to share: we’ve moved to Pennsylvania. New job, keeping the family together, blah blah. Fine. Let’s get to the tragic part of this story. My lovingly designed, light-filled kitchen with its 9’x5’ marble-topped island and rocket-powered 8-burner range. . .

(Photo credit Katrina Mojzsez)

Subee’s Kitchen – Before (Photo credit Katrina Mojzsez)

has been replaced with something slightly less Houzz-worthy:

IMG_5375

Subee’s Kitchen – After

So, for the last two months I’ve been a real pill. A lot of whining, not much cooking. However, through this period of mourning, I’ve slowly arrived at acceptance. Yes! There are bigger problems to have in life. Yes! I can redo another kitchen. Yes! Pennsylvania actually has a lot to offer for foodies. (Who knew?)

Mushroom Capital

For example – this weekend is the annual Kennett Square Mushroom Festival. (Because Kennett Square – just a few miles from where we live – is “The Mushroom Capital of the World.”) It sounds like a can’t-miss event: mushroom sampling, mushrooms for sale, culinary demonstrations, a fried-mushroom eating contest, and a mushroom appetizer cook-off. I missed the entry deadline for this year but will be scoping out the competition for next year. I probably would’ve entered my Wild Mushroom “Fondue” – always the first appetizer to disappear from a party, and also great mixed in with pasta for a gourmet version of mac-n-cheese. Here’s our “toast” to New Beginnings??

Wild Mushroom Fondue on Toasted Baguette Slices

Wild Mushroom Fondue on toasted baguette slices

Mushroom Fondue mixed with farfalle pasta (and a little pasta cooking water as needed)

Wild Mushroom Fondue mixed with farfalle pasta (and a little pasta cooking water as needed)

Wild Mushroom Fondue (Click here for the original post with step-by-step photos.)

Serves a crowd as an appetizer, or enough sauce for 1 pound of pasta.

  • 1 cup dried porcini mushrooms (approx. 1 oz.)
  • 1 ½ cup boiling water
  • 2-3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Approx. 2 lbs. cultivated white or cremini mushrooms, washed and sliced
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4-6 large shallots, minced (approx. 1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon dried or 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 cup dry sherry
  • 1 block cream cheese or Neufchatel/reduced fat cram cheese
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (or more, to taste)
  • Freshly grated black pepper
  • Black truffle oil (optional)

Place dried porcini mushrooms in a Pyrex measuring cup. Pour in boiling water to cover (approximately 1 ½ cup). Set aside to reconstitute.

In a large heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, heat butter and oil. Add sliced cultivated mushrooms, stir to coat, and then let cook for 5 minutes without stirring. Stir in the minced shallots and cook until softened. (Approx. 5 minutes more.)

Meanwhile, using your fingers or a slotted spoon, gently scoop out the reconstituted porcini from the soaking liquid without disturbing any grit that may have settled to the bottom of the measuring up. Chop porcini and reserve the soaking liquid.

Add chopped porcini and thyme to the mushroom/shallot mixture.

Add sherry to deglaze the pan (loosen any bits from the bottom) and allow to cook for another minute.

Reduce heat and stir in cream cheese and heavy cream. Once smooth, stir in 3/4 cup parmesan and a few grinds of freshly grated black pepper. Taste for seasoning (important!), adding more parmesan cheese or a pinch more kosher salt if necessary. Stir in a few drizzles of black truffle oil, if using. Serve spooned onto toasted baguette slices or stirred into pasta.

 

41 thoughts on “New Beginnings

  1. Ah ah ah, very funny the before/after. I can do exactly the same with my house morristown/le mans…. And after one year i am still whining!!! So yes I can understand you!!! Sinon comment s’est passe le back to school pour les filles? Et toi? Plein de nouvelles copines? Je pense tres tres fort a toi my friend!! Bon courage et vive le champignon de pennsylvanie. Ici c’est la rillette, tu connais??? Bizzzz Fabienne

    >

  2. Ok, now everything makes sense. I have wondered why we hadn’t heard from you very often. Congratulations on your move and I’m sure your home will be just as lovely as your last, and maybe you will share more photos and more rooms with us, too! 🙂 Happy your back! Lisa@ModernHenHome

  3. So glad to hear from you and that you are trying your best to settle in….Lucas brought home on the 1st day of school yesterday, The TJ Titans Newsletter with a picture of your daughter on the front showing off Leah’s App project. Great Picture. We miss you and I look forward to hearing more of what you are doing in the Great State of Pennsylvania…Remember, I do live there even though I tend to spend a lot of time on Olmstead Road with my Grandsons….Take care, Good Luck…..Diana

  4. congrats on the new beginning, sue! hopefully we can cheers to it in person next time you’re back east. so very many awesome new restaurants for you to check out…

  5. So glad you have something about our lovely state to excite you..who would have dreamed it would be fungus grown in dark, smelly warehouses?! Personally, I’m glad you are here!

  6. Hey, Chef Sue! Glad to hear from you…and about the new kitchen challenges! The mushroom delight will be perfect for guests we expect this week. We’ve gotten so many great cooking ideas from you – starting with parchment paper and the thermopen! Keep the advice coming!
    A. Krispie

  7. Hope it all works out and our very best to you guys. Find a tennis court / or paddle court and we want more mushroom recipes…. ha! Good luck. Keep in touch.

  8. so glad you are back! four years ago, we moved from FLORIDA to pennsylvania into a very “neglected” house… the blood, sweat and lots of tears were my therapy (as a matter of fact, it’s still a work in progress… AND, therapy would have been cheaper)! but it’s been a labor of love and so rewarding as each project is accomplished! each day will get better! (and it sounds like you have great neighbors:) thanks for coming back……………….

  9. So glad you are back blogging!! I really enjoy seeing what you are up to and what you are cooking. Will be fun to hear all about the new adventures in the Philadelphia area. Ran into your mom at the golf course and told her I was missing the blog so was really excited when it arrived on my email today!!! thanks so much and good luck in the new area…………..cindy smith

  10. Congratulations on your move and best of luck in your new home! I can’t wait to see how you transform the kitchen!! PS – I have your garlic lime chicken marinating in my fridge right now – it’s one of our staples:)

  11. You renovated a beauty once you can do it again! So excited you have a whole new house to redo. We missed you and are glad you’re back!

  12. Hello! I was led to your blog through your pretty kitchen pics on Houzz. Beautiful!! Now I’m looking forward to trying out some your great recipes. How is the kitchen renovation going? I hope smoothly! Can’t wait to hear about it!

  13. So sorry to hear you had to leave that gorgeous kitchen but am sure you will work wonders with the new space. Would you mind telling me where you purchased the table in the kitchen that was featured in Houzz? Thanks, RJ

    • Hi, RJ – Thanks for your words of encouragement. The pine farm table in the photo came from an antique store in NJ. However, you can find them just about everywhere, and in all different sizes. Good luck!

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