Archive for the ‘Madeira’ Tag

Wild Mushroom Cobbler   12 comments

My love of mushrooms is well documented, and on our last vacation we found a wonderful treat at the Brick & Fire Bistro in Eureka, CA. Their Mushroom Cobbler is a definite must if you ever find yourself hungry in Eureka.

Velda put the flavor analyzer to work … and has crafted a recipe for you to enjoy this homage even if you aren’t Eureka-bound.


  • 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, or any dried mushroom of choice
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 2-3 medium shallots
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 pound fresh crimini mushrooms
  • 1/4 pound fresh oyster mushrooms
  • 1/4 pound white mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • pinch of dried thyme
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup San Antonio madeira or red wine
  • 1 package Sprouts mushroom sauce (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup cream or evaporated milk

Biscuit topping

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons chilled butter
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/3 cups buttermilk


Pour 1 1/2 cups boiling water over the porcini mushrooms to cover them. Let soak for at least 30 minutes.

Slice the red onions and shallots thinly. In a large, non-stick skillet, heat a tablespoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of butter. Add the onions and shallots and cook over low to medium heat for about a half an hour to an hour, until the onions are carmelized.

Clean, trim, and slice the fresh mushrooms into smallish bite size pieces. Mushrooms shrink when cooked! When the dried porcinis are soft chop them into pieces that are small bite size. Reserve the soaking liquid, add water to equal 1 cup.

In another non-stick skillet(or wait til onion/shallot mixture has carmelized, remove them/set aside and use the same skillet), heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter. Add the chopped garlic, stir for 30 seconds til fragrant then add the fresh mushrooms. Saute the mushrooms, stirring often, until they start to release their liquid. Add the chopped porcinis, a pinch of thyme, a pinch of cayenne, and keep cooking over medium heat until the excess liquid has cooked away and the mushrooms have changed color. Sprinkle the flour over mushrooms and stir for 1-2 minutes (the mixture will thicken)

Add the madeira and the soaking liquid from the dried mushrooms. Combine the mushrooms with the carmelized onions and simmer them all together for a few minutes until thickened, Add cream, stir, taste and adjust salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Pour the mushroom mixture, spreading evenly, into a large gratin dish coated with cooking spray.

Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl or use a food processor. Add the chilled butter, cut into chunks and cut in with pastry blender or do several pulses in food processor until the mixture has the texture of coarse meal. Add the parmesan cheese and process a few seconds.

Stir in the buttermilk, just until the dough forms. The dough will be thick and sticky. Do not over mix it.

Spoon the biscuit dough onto the mushrooms, distributing it more or less evenly over the top. Add salt pepper and more parmesan if desired. Bake the cobbler in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 25 minutes or until the biscuit topping is golden brown. ((Warning: will boil over and make your house smoky if baking dish is too small))

Can be baked in individual ramekins for appetizers or gratin dish as side dish.

Posted August 14, 2013 by henrymowry in Recipes

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Velda’s Celery Root Soup   4 comments

This is a wonderful soup, but the presentation makes it better!

This is a wonderful soup, but the presentation makes it better!

One of the few good things that came from my recent work trips to Chicago was a discovery of what has become my favorite, favorite soup.  Wikipedia tells me that the common name is incorrect:  Celery Root Soup is properly called Celeriac Soup.

Celery RootCome to find out, the main ingredient isn’t really celery, it’s a cousin of celery called celeriac.  It’s commonly grown in Europe and Africa … and you should find some at your well-stocked local grocery.

I asked Velda to re-create what I found at the South Water Kitchen in Chicago, and she’s improved upon my memory.  This is a wonderful soup.

Velda commented that the immersion blender that she bought when she began making  this soup was the best kitchen tool she’s purchased.  And, BELIEVE ME, her cupboards are stuffed with kitchen gadgets.  If she says her immersion blender is a good tool, I’d pay attention.


  • 1 large celery root, peeled & cut into 1″ cubes
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 of an onion, minced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 3 cups of vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 t Thyme
  • 1 t salt to taste
  • 1/2 t fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup sherry or Madeira
  • optional: 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Olive oil, truffle oil, grated Parmesan and Durkee french fried onions


Saute onion, shallot and garlic over medium heat in olive oil until soft but not brown.  Add celery root and celery.  Add 1/2 cup sherry or Madeira.  Cover with broth, simmer 20 minutes until tender.

Add thyme, salt & pepper to taste. Puree using a stick blender or food processor.  Add milk, cream and butter.  Continue to puree until smooth. Add more milk to get to desired consistency.

Top with drizzled olive oil, a few drops of truffle oil, grated Parmesan and Durkee french fried onions.

A sliced celeriac with the shoots removed.

A sliced celeriac with the shoots removed.

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