Monday, April 30, 2012

Monday, Menu-day

Monday again.  We have a few dinners out this week.  It makes menu planning easier.

I found vacuum packed mushroom ravioli at Aldi.  It got me thinking about a dish I used to get at Millennium, a now closed, but fondly remembered restaurant.  Tonight I boiled the ravioli and created a Creamy Baby Bella Sauce.  While the dried ravioli is not nearly as luscious as the hand filled wild mushroom ravioli at Millennium; this sauce is very good:

Creamy Baby Bella Sauce
8 ounces cremini (baby portabella) mushrooms
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon butter
1 - 2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon flour
1 1/2 cups milk
pinch salt

Wash mushrooms under running water*and tumble onto a clean kitchen towel as each one is cleaned.   Snap off stems and discard.  They are edible, but too fibrous to enjoy.  Pat caps dry with towel.  Slice 1/4" thick.

Heat a pan over medium flame.  Add oil and butter.  Swirl to combine.
Add the mushrooms and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally until mushrooms are tender.

Sprinkle with flour and stir to wet the flour with the oil.  Cook and stir 2 minutes to cook the flour.

Add about half of the milk.  Stir and cook until it starts to thicken, stir in remaining milk.  Cook and stir until it bubbles and thickens.  Stir in a pinch of salt and serve.

Why 2 additions?  If we add all the milk at once it would take a long time for it to come up to a boil and it would thicken oddly.  The flour could become grainy, or worse, lumpy in all that liquid.  Adding it in batches helps create a silky smooth sauce.  There is probably some food chemistry related reason.  I just know it works.

* FOOD MYTH: Washing mushrooms causes them them to soak up water and become rubbery.  FALSE!  Don't believe me?  Ask Alton Brown.  He did an episode of Good Eats where he weighed several piles of mushrooms then cleaned them by various methods and re-weighed them afterwards.  Neither rinsing under running water or soaking in water 5 minutes caused any measurable weight gain.  So wash your mushrooms and avoid grit in your sauce.

This Weeks Menus

Monday  Mushroom Ravioli with Creamy Baby Bella Sauce and Roasted Broccoli

Tuesday  Just Like Thanksgiving Turkey Meatloaf, Mashies, Veg
Note to self: make extra mashies for Wednesday
This is a new-to-me recipe found at  I'll let you know how it turns out.

Wednesday  Shepherd's Pie
This uses up leftover mashies from Tuesday and leftover beef tips which I made last week when it was too cold to grill Walt's 'birthday' steaks.

Thursday  Dinner out
Meet the parents.  Our son is newly engaged and we get to meet her parents.  She's such a sweetheart that I'm sure we'll love them.

Friday  Walt is attending a men's event at church - so I'll be free to eat what I like...

Saturday  Dinner with friends

Sunday  Omaha Steaks on the grill, Saddleback Potatoes
Second attempt!  Last week it was too cold to grill those steaks Walt got with a birthday gift card.  We've never indulged in Omaha Steaks before, so we're excited to try them. The anticipation is killing us...

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