A few weeks ago my legal team and I met at one of the team members homes. Surrounded by vineyards and rolling hills it was an idyllic place for a Sunday meeting. We had now been in trial for almost 2 months. Anything other than a sterile office and fluorescent lighting.
Our host was quite gracious, he prepared a roasted chicken, vegetables and a wonderful salad. Of course there was wine from his vineyard. Trial has finally come to an end for me. And I can once again cook and give my family the attention they deserve. What better to cook than a roasted chicken. Roasted chicken for me is a comfort food. Hot it warms my insides. Cold it reminds me of a day at the beach in the South of France. Years ago when I was twenty something and backpacking around Europe I met these two Aussie girls. We traveled from Provence to the South of France. One day we grabbed a roasted chicken, tomatoes, baguette and cheese and headed off to the beach. Three gals in the 20's, sitting by the Mediterranean enjoying a simple lunch. With memories like these I could eat roasted chicken every day.
With time on my hand for the first time in many weeks I roasted my chicken. I relished that I had the time to pull out roasting rack, and properly season the chicken. Now that the chicken was roasting what was I going to do for sides. Roasted asparagus of course. And mushrooms.
Wanting to do something special, I pulled out my Friday Night Dinners, by Bonnie Stern, a Canadian cook. Bonnie feels that Friday night dinners are all about enjoying a good meal with family and friends in a relaxing and comfortable atmosphere. When I saw her recipe for cremini mushroom gravy, I knew it was just what I was looking for. What I did not realize is what a kaleidoscope of flavors this recipe would have.
Soy sauce, hot sauce lemon juice and Port all together in one dish. I had never encountered such a recipe before. My tastebuds were bursting with happiness as I was testing this out on the stove top. Hot sauce is one of the condiments I can add to almost anything. For me I chose to accent the hot sauce and throw in a few extra splashes. What can I say, I donned the proper suit for weeks on end. Trial is over. It was time to let my energy explode and enjoy a meal. My husband said we were having Thanksgiving in March.
Oyster Mushroom Gravy (adapted from Bonnie Stern's Friday Night Dinners)
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pound oyster mushrooms
1/4 cup flour-I only put in a few tablespoons and played with the consistency
3 cups chicken stock from the pan
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sherry (her recipe called for Port or brandy)
2 tbsp lemon juice (fresh of course)
4 tbsp hot red pepper sauce (she only used 1/2 tsp)
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook gently for 5-10 minutes, or until the liquid has evaporated. Sprinkle with flour and cook for three minutes
Add stock and whisking bring to a boil. Add soy sauce, sherry, lemon juice and hot pepper sauce.
Reduce heat and cook gently for 10 minutes. You do not want this to be to thick.
Dinner in the Garden
3 days ago