Friday, September 3, 2010

Curried Mushroom, Broccolli, and Onion over mashed Root Veggies

I tend to be the kind of cook, often, who throws things in the pan, crock pot, bowl, what have you. I love cookbooks, don’t get me wrong. And I love trying new dishes. But I often think of the recipe as a launching point for future experiments. I suppose there is probably something in my DNA that tells me not to follow instructions or something. I look at the recipe, think about what they did, the flavor profile, what it would be like. And then I imagine it’s possible futures. Or I go to the famer’s market and decide what inspiration I get by the vegetables I see. Their particular gleam that week. How they shout at me. What sounds good. What am I craving?

My most recent dish was inspired by my trip to Pies and Pints, a local pub that serves savory pies and, well, pints. Duh. But also some pretty magnificent sweet potato fries. I was with a friend and we were both discussing how the sweet potato is simply underutilized in most cuisine. He explained to me how he used it to make a cream sauce alternative. (He can’t have dairy.) So when I was headed out to make my big dish for the week, I knew I wanted to use a sweet potato. But I was also craving something with a southeast asian flavor.

O how I love to blend comfort food with asian flavors!

So I bought some mushrooms, broccoli, and onion to put in a curry. I had planned to make a coconut red curry, but I was wrong about what I had in the kitchen back home. I had to invent on the fly. I didn’t write anything down. I have a general memory of sautéing garlic before tossing in the broccoli. Everything else came from my parent’s spice cabinet. Dry yellow curry, ginger. I used tamari. A dash of brown sugar. Tossed in some chopped red bell pepper at the end so that it would end a bit al dente (mushy red pepper just gets gross after a time).For the root vegetables (sweet pototo, Yukon gold, red potatoes, and some parsnip), I simply boiled and mashed them with real butter and some milk. When I tossed the sautted veggies over the root veggies all the curry juice melted into the mashed veggies spreading the flavor around. The flavor was nice, not spicy, but a nice curry flavor. If I didn’t again, I’d throw in some cayenne for kick. I just love mushroom and broccoli together because they both take in flavor so well, both still retaining a sort of earthy undertone.

I took the before picture, but forgot to take the after picture. Oh well…

It was part of the inspiration for the quiche I also made. Mushroom, onion, and swiss. Usually I use strong cheese in my quiche, feta or chevre or even cheddar. But I must say the swiss cheese is so nice next to the strong onion and mild mushroom flavors. Meant to take a photo, but forgot.

Here, also, are my friends visiting from Boise at the aforementioned Pies and Pints.

And here is the giant Guiness Cake that we shared.

Happy eating!