Soup's On! Wild mushroom & walnut

For my first post as a member of The Salted Cod, I wanted to start by sharing my favorite and most impressive soup.

Mushrooms and walnuts are two of my favorite foods. In this soup, they get to slow dance together all night long.

1 c. chopped carrots
1 c. chopped celery
1 c. chopped onion
1 c. chopped leek
2 c. chopped crimini mushrooms
3 tbs. butter
black pepper
2 cloves garlic
2 bay leaves
1 pinch dried thyme
1 pinch dried sage
1 c. dried porcini mushrooms (1 package)
1 c. chopped walnuts (I always add more)

First step: soak a cup of dried porcini mushrooms in 2 cups hot water for 30 minutes to re-hydrate them.

Then saute a chopped cup of each of the following in some butter, salt and pepper: crimini mushrooms, celery, leek, carrot and onion. add 2 bay leaves, couple garlic cloves, a pinch of sage and a pinch of thyme (dried is fine) After the veggies have just started cooking add 8 cups hot water, the porcinis and their soaking liquid. simmer that for about an hour.
Remove bay leaves.

Then, in small batches, transfer soup to blender, and puree. Make sure you use really small batches. note: when blending hot foods, steam builds up in the blender and the pressure can cause the lid to pop off. To avoid burns, I wrap my hand in a dish towel and hold the lid on that way.

After all the soup is pureed, transfer back to the large saucepan. slowly reheat the soup, and add the cup of chopped crimini mushrooms and the cup of chopped walnuts. If you really dislike walnuts, this soup is probably fine without them. I happen to love them and think they bring a great flavor and texture to this soup.

Enjoy, my new friends!
I hope you don't hate it.


Sweet Crêpes

Snowed in today, what's for breakfast? There's been a jar of nutella in the closet I've been eyeing for a while.

I got the idea for these nutella banana crêpes from a good breakfast I had at Z Square in Harvard square a while back.

I adapted the following crêpe batter recipe from The Joy of Cooking.

3/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Sift all dry ingredients then add and mix

2 eggs
2/3 cups of milk
1/3 cup water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

I found the batter to be too thick as my first two crêpes failed miserably. I added another 1/4 cup of water and turned the heat up and I got much better results.

Plate your crêpes with nutella and sliced banana roll it and enjoy. Great crêpes but actually quite filling and very, very sweet.


Tunch the soup queen

Just wanted to let everybody know that we have a new contributor who has signed on to the Salted Cod. "Tunch the soup queen!"

Tunch will be contributing from beautiful western Massachusetts. Tunch has been dubbed "the soup queen" because of her obsessive love for inventive homemade soups.

She is also known to occasionally hit the road and go on tour across the USA. If we're lucky we might be able to get mobile posts from some great American holes in the wall while she is on the road.

Welcome aboard soup queen!


Cucumber Maki

This is my first attempt at sushi, very basic cucumber maki roll (my avocado disappeared from the fridge!)

I stocked up at the Super 88 in Allston, I didn't spend more the $10 on this. All I really needed was a bamboo rolling mat which I picked up for 98 cents and some easy to use premixed sushi rice seasoning. The pre-mixed saves you the time of mixing sugar and vinegar, with this you can just add a few tablespoons in.

In a nut shell, cook your short grain or sushi rice, let it cool, mix the rice seasoning, spread it onto the nori sheet, add your cucumber and roll. I ended up with 4 rolls from 2 cups of rice.

I have yet and probably never will master cooking rice. It seems so simple but it's either dry or too wet and never compares to sushi house quality rice.

Acceptable results with this first attempt, as it made for a nice lunch at work.

Thank you Melissa for having a camera at work!



We didn't think we would be visiting any farmers markets for a few months as we are smack in the middle of a New England winter...

Enter the AS220 Winter Farmers Market!

AS220 is a non profit community arts center that hosts a weekly indoor farmers market in Providence Rhode Island. When we arrived there were probably half a dozen vendors set up.

Our most notable vendor was local artisan cheese makers Narragansett Creamery. We sampled all varieties available including fresh homemade ricotta which was excellent. We purchased a nice block of fresh farmers cheese or queso blanco. It's a rather mild and salty cheese which is great for melting in quesadillas. Lucky for us at the next vendor was actually selling homemade corn tortillas made on Atwells Ave. We also picked up a huge bag of pecans for $2.

Other items available products include root vegetables, hearty winter greens, local shellfish, Rhode Island roasted coffee and pet treats.

Speaking of quesadillas, AS220 is also home to Taqueria Pacifica. A hip west coast style Mexican joint and former taco truck. We had some great horchata (rice drink flavored with almond and cinnamon) to go along with our breakfast quesadilla. Two eggs, sweet potato's, cheese and mushrooms stuffed inside one massive tortilla. Topped with salsa verde, this really hit the spot.

We can't really say enough about the AS220, lots of local art and artists, a winters farmers market, a taqueria, a print shop, and small bar and stage for bands as well. They also offer a wide variety of classes to the local community. We'll be there next month learning to silkscreen t shirts!

Tonno e fagioli

This is the perfect light summer dinner on a warm Tuscan night.
Unfortunately it was about ten degrees outside and snowing when I decided to make this. Delicious none the less.

Pure simplicity.

-Italian tuna packed in oil
-White beans
-Very thinly sliced red onion

Top with a bit of good olive oil and sea salt.

Get a away for a minute.