Mozzarella Porcini Fondue

Gooey, stringy mozzarella blends beautifully with white wine and cream. The nutty flavor of porcini mushrooms adds a subtle note that is enhanced by the mellow cheese. Dip cubes of crusty sourdough bread into this fondue for a rich snack after skiing, during a Sunday afternoon football fest, or a special supper. Try to find Maplebrook Handmade Mozzarella, it has just the right moisture content and consistency. Continue reading

Chicken Braised in Oatmeal Stout with Colcannon

Oatmeal stout adds special aromatics and hints of chocolate, coffee, and toffee, and pairs with thickly sliced mushrooms and leeks. Braising chicken with these elements produces meat that and is tender and juicy swimming in a delicately flavored sauce. Colcannon is a popular Irish dish that combines potatoes, kale, and scallions. It can be a meal by itself, but is also a wonderful companion for this braised chicken. Continue reading

Braised Shoulder of Pork with Porcini, Barley Risotto & Cider Reduction, Served with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Carrots

Sounds expensive, but this is a very economical means to an extravagant end result. A shoulder of pork is one of the least expensive cuts of meat; it is also one of the most flavorful. The cider reduction drizzled on the pork makes it shine and adds a nice, sweet balance to the earthy flavor of porcini. By the way, a cider reduction is nothing more than warmed cider jelly. Freshly pressed cider is boiled down until it is syrupy and the flavor concentrated There is so much natural pectin in apples that it sets up on its own. You can also spread it this on toast or popovers if you like. Continue reading

Kapusta [Sauerkraut] with Apples, Onion, and Caraway

Nothing you can purchase in a store tastes like homemade kapusta. Nothing. The irony is that the basic preparation contains only 2 ingredients: cabbage and salt, and very little salt at that. Commercially prepared sauerkraut contains additives that combine to produce something that isn’t quite right. The real thing tastes as if it’s been marinated in white wine, is crisp, and has a tang that compliments a wide range of foods. Besides showing up on a Reuben or served alongside sausages, it can combine with other fruits and vegetables in soups, salads, in dumplings, pastries, and stews. Continue reading