Mise en place ~ Seared mushrooms, roasted peppers, onion jam

A recipe I have used for the past several weeks that I love is the caramelized onion jam.  It came directly out of that Whole Living Magazine article I raved about in this post

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Caramelized Onion Jam

From Whole Living Magazine

Makes 1 1/2 cups

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 lbs onions thinly sliced (this is about 4 med sized onions)
  • 1/2  cup of water or low sodium chicken stock
  • 1 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tea sugar
  • Course salt

In a medium pot, heat oil over medium heat and cook onions, covered, stirring occasionally until translucent, about 15 minutes.  Add water, vinegar, and sugar and cook uncovered, stirring, until onions are caramelized, about 30 minutes more.  Season with salt.  Let cool completely.  Can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

I also was thrilled with the idea of cooking mushrooms and having them ready to drop into whatever meal I wanted.  The boys and I LOVE mushrooms (Don and Cyan give theirs to us… so the more the better!) so I set about to make a recipe for seared mushrooms.  In Whole Living they added liquid to the mushrooms making more of a braise.  For me, I am usually adding my mushrooms to liquid sauce or soup, so I didn’t want the extra liquid.  This is what I came up with.

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Seared Mushrooms

  • 1lb of whole mushrooms, sliced (I used oyster, button, and baby portabellas)
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 tea course salt

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Place a bit of olive oil in a hot pan and add enough mushrooms to cover the bottom of the pan.  Sear on one side and then flip the mushrooms until seared on both sides and soft.  Working in batches, cook the rest of the mushrooms this way adding olive oil and salt to each batch as you go.  Place in a jar and allow to cool completely before you put them in the fridge.  Use within 1 week.

The last cooking ahead recipe I have for you today is roasted red peppers.  Using this guide I happened to find (no pictures… just cool info) I decided to store my peppers in extra virgin olive oil instead of water and vinegar.  I am so glad I did!  Their flavor is much better and if I remember not to oil the pan when these are added it saves me even another step for a future meal.  :)

Roasted Red Peppers

  • 4 red bell peppers, cored and cut in half
  • 1 tea course salt
  • olive oil, enough to cover

Place halves of peppers face down on a broiling pan.  Place in the broiler until the skins are black.  As soon as you pull them out of the oven, transfer the peppers to a large paper bag and close, leaving for 10 minutes.  (This steams the peppers so the skin falls right off.)  As soon as they are cool enough to handle, peel off the skins and slice into very thin strips.  Place in a jar and add a dash of salt each time you add a layer.  Cover with olive oil and allow to cool completely.  I have always eaten these within a week, but I am guessing that they can be stored for longer.

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I used about a half cup of these and added them to my Roasted Tomato Sauce I already had in the fridge.  Then I tossed in a scoop (ie: Large standard spoon, heaping) of Caramelized Onion Jam and 2 scoops of Seared Mushrooms…  I put it on top of spaghetti squash with baked (from freezer) turkey meatballs.  It was SOOOOooooo good!!  (My turkey meatball recipe was adapted from here.)  My kids ate it all and had seconds.  That hint of super sweet red bell pepper was a perfect layer of flavor.  I could have just eaten the sauce by itself! 

Happy cooking!

1 comment

Frannie said...

yeah! thanks for these recipes Val! this Mise en place is revolutionary (for me at least!). AND I'm on day 5 of my 30 days of paleo and feeling...well, better than I have in years. thank you for all your sharing!

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