While I cook often, I don't have the space to entertain as much as I would like. Joanna and Luke have a beautiful apartment, with grown-up features like a dining room table, a Christmas tree, and a lovable hound named Clementine.
Joanna made several dishes, including these subtlety spiced lemongrass soup shots.
Erin and Mia made rosemary tomato focaccia.
Joanna also made these delicious "winter rolls" filled with butternut squash, cilantro, red onion, rice noodles, and pistachios. Dipped in a spicy cranberry sauce, these rolls were the clear favorite of the day. (Update: Joanna posted her recipe for these excellent rolls over at the Kitchn.)
I was taken with the Mushroom and Farro Pie featured in the November 2008 issue of Gourmet Magazine, and it turns out I wasn't alone. Smitten Kitchen tried the recipe a few weeks ago and confirmed my initial hesitation -- the pie came out a bit bland. Mild grains cooked in water as a main ingredient didn't seem too exciting to me, so I came up with my own version of this gorgeous dish.
Mushroom and Wild Rice Pie
Inspired by Gourmet Magazine
3/4 C wild rice
3 C vegetable broth
1 Tbl butter
1 Tbl olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 leeks, finely chopped (1 1/3 C)
1/2 lb cremini mushrooms, sliced
1/2 lb portobella mushrooms, sliced
1/4 C dry white wine
1 Tbl Balsamic vinegar
1 C goat cheese
1 (1-lb) package frozen all-butter puff pastry, thawed
1 egg yolk, beaten with 1 tsp water and a pinch of salt
Prepare the wild rice as package directs, using broth in place of water.
While wild rice cooks, melt butter with oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat, then cook garlic and leeks, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes. Add mushrooms, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until just softened, about 5 minutes. Add white wine and Balsamic vinegar and simmer 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl and stir in wild rice, then cool completely.
Stir in goat cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. (This filling can be made the night before.)
Roll out 2 pieces of puff pastry on a lightly floured surface into an 11-inch squares. Stack squares on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet with a second sheet of parchment between them, then cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 30 minutes.
Put a large baking sheet on rack in middle of oven and preheat oven to 400°F.
Set aside top square of pastry on parchment. Spread cooled filling evenly over pastry on baking sheet, leaving a 1-inch border. Brush border with some of egg wash, and, using parchment, invert second square on top, lightly pressing to seal border. Brush top with remaining egg wash, then crimp border with a fork and trim with a pizza wheel or sharp knife.
Cut a few small steam vents in top of pie and decoratively score pastry. Slide pie on parchment onto preheated baking sheet in oven and bake until puffed and deep golden brown, about 45 minutes.
I think the pie turned out well. Though, it still looked more impressive than it tasted. Next time I think I will reduce the rice by half and double the mushrooms. Adding some wilted spinach to the filling would be nice as well.