Some people are battling the back to work blues today, but not Elizabeth. That’s because one of her favorite food bloggers, and people on the planet, is here all the way from New York City. Deb Perelman is a self-taught home cook, photographer, and the creator of the food blog, Smitten Kitchen. She’s also a New York Time’s best-selling cookbook author. Just last month she released her second book, Smitten Kitchen Every Day: Triumphant and Unfussy New Favorites. Deb is in Minneapolis for her book tour and stopped by our kitchen to make a recipe from her new cookbook, Wild Mushroom Shepherd’s Pie.
6:30pm – Shir Tikvah Congregation | 1360 West Minnehaha Parkway | Minneapolis, MN | 55419
Wild Mushroom Shepherd’s Pie / SMITTEN KITCHEN EVERY DAY by Deb Perelman
makes 6 to 8 servings
½ cup (15 grams) dried mushrooms, such as porcini or a mix
1 cup (235 ml) boiling water
2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 3 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds (roughly 1 kilogram) fresh mushrooms, in chunks (I use a mix of shiitake, elephant ear, and cremini; all cremini is also fine)
2 tablespoons (30 ml) dry sherry
1 tablespoon (15 grams) tomato paste
1 cup (235 ml) vegetable, chicken, or beef stock
1 ¾ to 2 pounds (800 to 900 grams) russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large pieces
6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, in chunks
1 teaspoon kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup (55 grams) crème fraîche or sour cream
2/3 cup (115 ml) milk or buttermilk
Smoked or regular paprika and/or 1 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
prepare the mushrooms
In a small bowl, combine the dried mushrooms and boiling water. Set aside for 30 min- utes (while you continue with the other steps), then drain, reserving the soaking water, and chop the rehydrated mushrooms into small bits. If the soaking water has any sand or grit at the bottom, pour it through a fine-mesh strainer.
meanwhile, prepare the lid
Place the potatoes in a medium pot, and cover them with a couple inches of salted water. Bring to a boil, and then simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes, until the potatoes are easily pierced in the center with a knife or skewer. Drain, and either rice the potatoes into a large bowl, or place them in the bottom of a large bowl and mash with a fork or potato masher. Add the butter, salt, and pepper, and stir. The heat from the potatoes should melt the butter. Add the crème fraîche and the milk, and stir to combine. Taste, and adjust the seasonings if needed.
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
cook the vegetables In a large pan (4-quart, or an 11-inch deep skillet or braiser), heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, salt, and pepper, and sauté until the vegetables begin to color, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook for 1 minute more. Add fresh mushrooms, salt, and pepper, increase the heat to high, and cook the mushrooms until they brown and soften, releasing their juices, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the sherry, and scrape up any stuck bits. Add the tomato paste, and stir to combine. Add the rehydrated mushrooms and their liquid, plus the stock. Season again if needed, and simmer over medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until the mushrooms are coated in a thick sauce.
bake the pie If your skillet is oven-safe, you can bake the pie in it. If not, transfer the mixture to a 2-to-3-quart bak- ing dish. Scoop the potatoes in large spoonfuls all over the top of the mushrooms, then use the back of your spoon to spread them smooth all the way to the edges, forming a seal.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until lightly browned on top. Garnish with a dusting of paprika and/or parsley. Scoop and serve.
do ahead This keeps for 5 days in the fridge and longer in the freezer. Rewarm it in a 350-degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes.
Excerpted from Smitten Kitchen Every Day: Triumphant and Unfussy New Favorites. Copyright © 2017 by Deborah Perelman. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission from the publisher.