Saturday, January 29, 2011

Pork Medallions in a Creamy Porcini Sauce

Wild, earthy mushrooms, black pepper and whiskey - I love those flavors together. This pork dish is my own creation, inspired by my Filet with a Whiskey Reduction as well as my Filet Au Poivre.

  • 2 boneless pork chops or 1 small pork tenderloin, cubed into medallions
  • Salt, freshly ground black pepper, dried thyme
  • Olive oil
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 6 dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1/4 c whiskey
  • 1/4 c brandy
  • 1/4 c light cream
  • Place mushrooms in a cup of hot water; let sit to rehydrate. Remove from the water and chop, reserving the water.
  • Season pork medallions generously with black pepper, then thyme, then salt (just a few pinches salt)
  • Heat about 2 tbsp olive oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat
  • Add pork and cook approximately 2 min per side until all sides are golden brown, about 10-12 minutes. If the pork is still not cooked through. Transfer the pan to a 400 degree oven until just cooked, remembering it will continue to cook as it rests. Transfer the pork to a dish and keep warm.

  • Add another tbsp oil to the pan
  • Add shallots and mushrooms, saute 2-3 min
  • Add the whiskey and brandy, let simmer for 3-4 minutes, stirring to scrape up the brown bits.
  • Add a small amount of the mushroom water (maybe 3 tbsp); reduce heat and add the cream; bring to a slow simmer. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Optional: whisk in 1 tbsp butter.
  • Serve sauce over pork.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Barley Pilaf with Porcini Mushrooms

Barley is a wonderful grain as it is packed with fiber (so it fills you up), is low in fat, and is cholesterol free. But alone it's a little boring, in my opinion.

I came across a recipe for Barley Mushroom Pilaf on Looked interesting, but I'm not a fan of rosemary so I changed it a bit. See the link above for the original recipe.

  • 6 dried porcini mushrooms, rehydrated in a small amount of boiling water (4 minutes) then chopped
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 c pearl barley
  • 3 c chicken or vegetable broth (I used 2.5 c low chicken broth, and .5 c of the water after rehydrating the mushrooms
  • 2 chopped green onions
  • 2 pinches dried thyme
  • Pinch of salt; freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese


  • Heat olive oil in a saucepan
  • Add rehydrated mushrooms, saute 2-3 minutes
  • Add green mushrooms, barley, salt, pepper, and thyme. Stir until everything is nicely mixed and coated.
  • Add broth and water; reduce heat to low, cover, simmer for 45 minutes (mine was done in about 35)
  • Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese

This is a very earthy, delicious, and filling side dish -I'll be making this one again!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Chicken-Parsnip Soup

Sunday used to be my day to spend in the kitchen, and I would always make a soup. I'm trying to get back to that, at least the soup part, anyway.

I stumbled across
this recipe for Chicken-Parsnip Soup when browsing the Cooking Light web site. I liked that it was a different, non-traditional chicken soup, and using garbanzo beans was interesting to me. The result - one of my new favorite soups! Flavorful, light, but filling at the same time.


  • 1 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 parsnips, thinly and diagonally sliced
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 4 oz gourmet mushrooms (I used about 5 white mushrooms, sliced - I think the flavor of porcini or shiitake mushrooms would be too heavy for this soup)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2.5 cups fat free, lower sodium chicken broth (I used 4 cups low sodium and omitted the water)
  • 1 cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 c shredded skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast (I didn't do this; instead I seasoned a boneless, skinless chicken breast with a touch of Kosher salt, pepper, and thyme and roasted it until done, then shredded it)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp hot sauce (I omitted this)
  • 1 thyme sprig (I used a pinch of dried thyme as well as the thyme I used to season the chicken breast)
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley


  • Heat oil in a large pot
  • Add shallots, garlic, mushrooms, and parsnips; saute 3 minutes
  • Add broth, chickpeas, chicken, pepper, salt, and thyme. Bring to a simmer and cook 10 minutes or until parsnips are tender.
  • Remove from heat and stir in parsley.