last week, amidst the madness of packing up the installation for shipping to switzerland (we shipped out just before the icelandic volcano eruption, phew!) our friend edwin ushiro invited us to his home for a potluck dinner party. since we’d been hibernating and just working on the installation for the past few weeks, i jumped at the chance to cook something fun and to be around other people again!
oh… btw, i love potlucks! they’re a great way for a big group to have a nice dinner together without being too much of a strain on the gracious host. i love trying a little bit of everything and there is usually a surplus of desserts and appetizers to take home later. (^_^)
i also like to try out new recipes at potlucks so i have a good audience to give me feedback. for this one i decided to make a pork and wild mushroom ragout recipe from an issue of Bon Appetit magazine. (i made the recipe once before and adapted it so i could make it in my old-new $5 crock pot i got from a garage sale.)
i woke up early and started chopping: pork tenderloin, proscuitto, mushrooms, carrot, onions, garlic & basil. i was excited to use my primary colors pyrex mixing bowls. i’d been searching for a set on ebay and etsy and finally found a deal at the PCC flea market.😉
the original recipe called for dried porcini mushrooms, but i used a mix of wild mushrooms that included shiitake, oyster, & black mushrooms in addition to porcini.
Pork & Wild Mushroom Ragout (6-8 servings)
- 1 oz. dried wild mushrooms
- 1-1/2 cups boiling water
- 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 8 oz. sliced crimini mushrooms
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- coarse kosher salt
- fresh ground pepper
- 1-1/2 cups dry white wine, divided
- 1 lb. pork tenderloin, cut into 1/2″ cubes
- 2 oz. proscuitto, chopped
- 2 links fresh, mild italian sausage, without casings
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, peeled & finely chopped
- 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
- 1-28oz. can crushed tomatoes with puree
- 1 can tomato paste
- 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 1 tbsp – 1 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- place dried mushrooms in medium bowl, pour boiling water over and let stand 45 minutes. using a slotted spoon, remove mushrooms and chop coarsely. reserve liquid. set aside.
- heat 1 tbsp oil in large skillet over medium heat. add crimini mushrooms and garlic. sprinkle with salt & pepper and saute 2-3 minutes. add 1/2 cup wine and simmer until mushrooms are soft. about 4 minutes. add to slow cooker.
- heat 2 tbsp oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. sprinkle pork with salt & pepper. add pork and saute until browned. add pork to slow cooker.
- reduce heat to medium. add proscuitto and stir 1 minute. add sausages and cook until brown, breaking up into small pieces with the back of spoon, about 3 minutes.
- add onion, carrot & celery. stir until onions become semi-translucent. add remaining 1 cup of wine; bring to a boil, scraping up any brown bits. simmer until most liquid is absorbed. let cool slightly and add to slow cooker.
- add tomatoes, 1 cup broth, spices, bay leaves and wild mushrooms to slow cooker. pour in reserved mushroom soaking liquid (without sediment). season with salt & pepper.
- turn slow cooker to low and cook for at least 6 hours. (if you feel the sauce is a little thin after slow cooking, you might want to put it back into a large pot and simmer it until it is a consistency you like. i tried to avoid this by reducing the amount of liquid in the original recipe.)
- before serving, stir in chopped basil and serve over your favorite pasta with grated parmesan.
this recipe makes for a lot of dishes…
voila! back in the dutch oven and ready for the party. i served this ragout with gnocchi from trader joe’s. next time i’ll have the energy to make gnocchi from scratch. nonetheless, i think the dish was a hit since i didn’t have to bring many leftovers home.
ed went back to his hawaiian roots and made tender & delicious kalua turkey… which is cooked slow like kalua pork, but without the pit digging. it was soooo good. i couldn’t wait to eat so i don’t have photos of everything, but our eclectic menu included: ed’s famous super veggie salsa & chips, pigs in a blanket, kalua turkey, sauteed asparagus, rice, potato salad, green salad, ragout with gnocchi, baked ziti, crusty bread, brownies, krispy kreme donuts! & mochi ice cream (4 flavors!) … what a crazy feast!
“first screening” of souther’s iphone animation.
one of ed’s roommates has this amazing simpson’s tapestry/blanket. souther couldn’t resist.