Tag Archives: mushrooms

Cauliflower “Cream” of Mushroom Soup

9 Feb

IMAG2143Is it possible to make a thick, creamy, mushroom soup that won’t go straight to the hips? Absolutely! Here’s my slow cooker recipe for a creamy but cream-less mushroom soup – the thick texture comes from pureed cauliflower. But don’t worry, you can’t taste the cauliflower at all in this yummy soup.

You can also simmer this soup on the stove for several hours, but I like to make mine in a slow cooker so I can leave the kitchen without worrying that I’ll burn my apartment down.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 pound mushrooms, sliced (I used 30 white button mushrooms)
  • ½ large onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 5 cups fat free chicken broth (or vegetable broth for a vegetarian version)
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Cook cauliflower until softened. I like to stir fry it until slightly browned, then add a bit of water to the pan to let the cauliflower steam until it is soft.
  2. In a medium saucepan, make a roux by melting the butter on low heat. Add the flour and stir about 2 minutes. Then add 1 cup broth.
  3. Put cauliflower, roux, and the remaining ingredients into a 5-6 quart slow cooker.IMAG2132
  4. Cook for 5-6 hours on Medium, or 4-5 hours on High. You should be able to smell the mushrooms well before the soup has finished cooking.
  5. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Makes 8-10 servings.

 

Upscale food, casual atmosphere: Highland Kitchen, Somerville

18 Aug

My boyfriend and I dined at Highland Kitchen on a Sunday night – it was hopping. Tables were packed, and there were plenty of patrons mingling around the bar. I ordered the drink special of the night – the Pimm’s Cup and braced myself for a long wait. We snagged a table after waiting just 10 minutes because it was just the two of us. 

Sitting just inches from the table next to us, it was cozy.  Expect to find tables for two really close to the next table. The ambience at the Highland Kitchen is, well, loud. The music wasn’t all that loud, but perhaps the low ceilings and the fact that the restaurant is one big room filled to the brim with chatty diners made it seem that way. It was about as easy to listen in on the awkward first date at the neighboring table as it was to hear my boyfriend. At least the close proximity allowed me to peer at what others were eating – the Caesar salad with grilled chicken was quite a large portion. Grilled pork short ribs was an impressive tower of meat over grits, served with green beans.

 

pork belly tacos

We started with the pork belly tacos – succulent fatty pork meat topped with queso and cilantro, on soft corn tortillas. Absolutely yummy.

The Shrimp, Chorizo, and Fried Yucca appetizer came with four perfectly cooked shrimp and plenty of chorizo in a buttery wine “mojo sauce”. The green olives paired well with the chorizo, and fried yucca rounded out this garlicky dish.

 

wild mushroom ragout

For our entrees, I had the wild mushroom ragout with triangles of polenta that were creamy on the inside and crispy on the outside (above). This is possibly the best polenta I’ve had in Boston. The ragout itself was flavourful, speckled with spring peas, crunchy asparagus and lima beans to balance the creamy polenta and delicate mushrooms.

curried goat stew

He had the spicy curried goat stew – tender pulled goat meat, yucca, squash, and very sweet fried plantains served with jasmine rice.

Our food came out quickly, though we never felt rushed. Service was friendly and attentive, and our water glasses never more than half empty.

The Final Word: The Highland Kitchen serves the kind of food you’d find at much fancier and more upscale places, at much higher prices. It’s not the kind of ambiance that’s good for a romantic date, or a first date (unless you expect to find your date so boring you want to drown them out with the noise); it’s the place to enjoy a few drinks with friends and revel in amazing food.

Info: Highland Kitchen, 150 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA 02143
Highland Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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