Mushroom Stuffed Pork Chops and Mushroom Risotto

The Ample Bites tribute to National Mushroom Day (Monday, April 16th) continues with a meal that includes Mushroom Stuffed Pork Chops and a Mushroom Risotto. Both dishes are easy to prepare and the mushroom flavors are featured prominently.

Mushroom Stuffed Pork Chops
Mark Kelly

Serves 4

4 thick-cut bone-in center cut pork chops
12 oz black coffee, room temperature or colder
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
4 Tbsp Kosher salt
1 Tbsp honey
Cold water

1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
8 oz mushrooms (preferably fresh wild or Crimini), finely chopped
4 basil leaves, shredded
4 oz fresh goats milk cheese (Chevre)
1 small red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large bowl or large zip-top plastic bag combine the coffee, thyme, rosemary, salt and honey. Dissolve the salt and then add the pork chops to the brine mixture. Add water as necessary to completely cover the pork chops in the brine. Place in a refrigerator for at least 3 hours.

Remove the pork chops from the brine, rinse them and pat them dry. With a sharp knife cut a pocket in the side of each of the pork chops. Place the pork chops on a plate and allow them to come up to room temperature before grilling. Drizzle with olive oil and season both sides with salt and pepper.

In a small bowl, combine the mushrooms, onion and garlic with a dash of olive oil and salt and pepper. In a small skillet soften the vegetable mixture. Let the vegetable mixture cool before adding the basil and Chevre. Fold the basil and Chevre into the vegetable mixture and stuff one quarter of the mixture into the pocket in each pork chop and secure the opening with a small skewer or toothpick.

Preheat the grill to 500F for at least 10 minutes. Place the pork chops over indirect medium-high heat and cook for 4-5 minutes rotating 90 degrees halfway through. Flip the pork chops over and grill for another 3-4 minutes to medium. Remove from the grill, drizzle with olive oil and serve immediately.

Mushroom Risotto
(Adapted from Williams Sonoma, Risotto)

Serves 4

5-6 cups low sodium chicken stock
1/4 oz dried oyster or porcini mushrooms
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves minced
1/4 lb of assorted fresh mushrooms (preferably wild mushrooms), cleaned and thinly sliced
1/4 lb fresh white button mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced
2 Tbsp minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tsp minced fresh thyme
1 1/2 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine, at room temperature
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a saucepan, bring the stock to a simmer. Remove from the heat and add the dried mushrooms. Steep for about 20 minutes. Drain the mushrooms through a fine-mesh sieve lined with paper towel, gently pressing the mushrooms to force out the stock. Reserve the stock. Return the stock to the saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Maintain at a gentle simmer over low heat. Chop the mushrooms and set aside.

In a Dutch oven heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute until softened, about 2 minutes. Add all the fresh mushrooms and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped porcini, parsley, thyme and 1/2 cup of the simmering stock and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the mushrooms to a bowl and set aside.

Add the rice to the same pan and stir over medium heat until each grain is translucent with a white dot in the center, about 3 minutes. Add the wine and stir until it is completely absorbed.

Add the simmering stock a ladleful at a time, stirring frequently after each addition. Wait until the stock is almost completely absorbed (but the rice is never dry on the top) before adding the next ladleful. Reserve 1/4 cup stock to add at the end.

When the rice is almost tender to the bite but still slightly firm in the center and looks creamy, after about 18 minutes, add the mushroom mixture and a ladleful of the stock. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are heated through and the rice is al dente, 2-3 minutes longer. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and the reserved 1/4 cup of stock. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve at once.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2012

Veal, Mushrooms and Pasta!

Here are a mushroom dish and a side for National Mushroom Day. Enjoy!

Veal Medallions in Marsala Porcini Sauce
Mark Kelly

Serves 6

1 oz dried porcini mushrooms
1 oz dried chanterelle mushrooms
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed in garlic press
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp minced fresh rosemary
1 veal roast, about 2 to 2 ½ lbs, roasted to rare, rested and cut into medallions
1 pound of fresh light whole wheat pasta
1 small red onion, finely chopped
¼ cup dry Marsala wine
2 ½ cup low sodium chicken broth

Boil 2 cups of the chicken broth and turn heat off. Steep the dried mushrooms in chicken broth for 30 minutes. Drain the mushrooms, reserving the liquid. Chop the mushrooms and set aside. Strain the mushroom broth into a clean bowl through a fine-mesh sieve lined with a paper towel or cheesecloth. Set aside.

In a large heavy skillet, melt the butter with the olive oil over medium-low heat. In a small bowl, combine the garlic, 1 teaspoon of salt, and the minced rosemary and mix into a paste. When the butter is melted and beginning to sizzle, add the garlic-rosemary paste to the pan and cook, until the garlic is fragrant, about 2 minutes. Arrange the veal medallions in the pan and raise the heat to medium-high. Season with freshly ground black pepper. Brown the medallions on both sides and transfer to a warm serving platter and cover loosely with foil to keep warm.

Add the onion to the pan an cook, stirring often, until the onions just begin to soften, about 3-4 minutes. Raise the heat to high and stir in the Marsala wine. Let the wine bubble for about 1 minute, then pour in the reserved mushroom broth and the remaining ½ cup of chicken broth. Cook at a lively simmer until the liquid has reduced by about a half, 3-5 minutes.

In boiling salted water cook the pasta until al dente. Drain and reserve ¼ cup of pasta water.

Mix the medallions with the pasta in the skillet on low heat. Add the pasta water and stir. Spoon the sauce over medallions and pasta and serve immediately.

Spicy Sauteed Kale and Chickpeas
(Courtesy of Rustic Italian, Domenica Marchetti)

Serves 4

3 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb lacinato kale, tough bottom stems removed, leaves and stems coarsely shredded
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 small fresh hot chile, seeded and minced, or a generous pinch of dried red pepper flakes
Sea salt

In a large heavy frying pan over medium-low heat, warm the garlic in the olive oil, stirring often, until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Put about half of the kale in the pan, or as much will fit without spilling. Cover and let wilt for about 2 minutes and uncover and add the remaining kale. Using tongs, turn the greens to coat with the oil and garlic. Cover the pan and cook until the kale is tender, 15 – 20 minutes.

Uncover and stir in the chickpeas, chile, and 1 teaspoon salt. Raise the heat to medium and sauté until the chickpeas are heated through, about 5 minutes.

Serve immediately.

An Evening Visit to Third Street in Geneva

Last night Ample Bites enjoyed an early dinner at Cotto A Legna in Geneva. This relatively new restaurant features wood-fired pizzas and a wide variety of Italian dishes. The wine list is excellent and features some very good Chianti Classico and Super Tuscans. This was Ample Bites second visit to Cotto A Legna and it did not disappoint.

We enjoyed a prosciutto-wrapped shrimp appetizer that was served with an Asian sweet and spicy glaze.

We then shared a salad of mixed greens, smoked salmon, beets and fresh goat cheese that was supposed to be dressed with a light lemon vinaigrette. The salad was very good but either dressing was so light we couldn’t taste it or it was missing entirely.

Finally, we split one of the wood-fire pizza’s for which Cotto A Legna is known. We chose the mushroom pizza to honor the upcoming National Mushroom Day (Monday, April 16th – check back for posts of some outstanding mushroom recipes). The pizza was as good as billed. The crust was thin but just thick enough to be chewy. The light application of sauce and cheese allowed the mushrooms to be the star of the dish.

After dinner we strolled Third Street feeling like Romans or Florentines. One of our stops was the The Spice House, which was located directly across the street from the restaurant. This small store has a huge assortment of dried spices from all over the world. After browsing for a good 15 to 20 minutes, we purchased some dried chanterelle and oyster mushrooms – some of which will undoubtedly be used this weekend. The clerks at the Spice House were very friendly and helpful and the store is well-designed with spice arranged by regions and classifications. Ample Bites will undoubtedly be returning to The Spice House again very soon.