Posts Tagged ‘Mushroom’

First of a Trilogy

There is this new restaurant (well it’s not exactly new, we’ve started frequenting it recently) that Amit and I frequently go to for lunch. It’s called the Center Bistro and its in the building right next to our lab. We went to eat there twice the week before last and both the dishes I ordered were so awesome that I had to make a variation at home. One dish I tried was a pasta dish with a chipotle sauce. I simply loved it. It was just right with all the flavors coming together and creating a heavenly experience for your taste buds. And then there was the spicy garlicky shrimp. It was fabulous and it seemed to be a pretty easy to make dish. So this post is dedicated to these two dishes that I had at Center Bistro.

I decided to combine the two dishes and make a pasta topped with the shrimp. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Oh and talking about this restaurant, I love it, firstly because the dishes they serve are so different from any I have had at any other restaurants. And they do change their menu once in a while so if you do frequent the place regularly, just when you wish for something new, they change-up their whole menu. Add to it, the fact that they have the Chef’s specials every day.

I also need to mention that shrimp is by far my most favorite. I love seafood much more than any meat and among all the variety of seafood available, I love shrimp, really love it. I think you get my point. I bought about two pounds of shrimp and I do not like to keep it in the refrigerator for too long. So it was a fiesta of shrimp dishes at home for about 3 days! I tried three new recipes and all three according to Amit are blogworthy or “bloggable”.

Without much more ado let me get straight to the first of the trilogy starting with my recipe of Rotini Pasta with Chipotle Cream Sauce and Spicy Garlicky Shrimp. This is a very quick to make recipe and takes about 35-45 minutes to prepare. I adapted it from a recipe I found online and have linked it at the end of this blog.


  1. 1 1/2 cup rotini pasta (I used whole grain pasta)
  2. 5-6 portabella mushrooms (sliced fine)
  3. 1/2 cup thinly sliced onions
  4. 1/4-1/3 cup white wine
  5. 1+1 tablespoons butter
  6. 1/2 onion (chopped fine)
  7. 1 to 2 chipotle peppers (canned) in adobo sauce, seeded and minced
  8. 1/4 pint heavy cream
  9. 1/4 cup milk
  10. salt to taste
  11. 1/4 teaspoon fresh tarragon (chopped fine)
  12. 1/2 pound shrimp (deveined, shelled, tail on)

For the Shrimp Marinade

  1. 2 teaspoons garlic paste
  2. 2 teaspoons ginger paste
  3. 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  4. 2 teaspoons fresh chopped tarragon
  5. 2 teaspoons olive oil
  6. salt to taste


  • Cook the pasta and set aside.
  • Marinate the shrimp in the ingredients listed under ‘For the shrimp marinade’ except the olive oil.
  • In the meanwhile prepare the chipotle sauce: melt 1 tbsp of butter over medium heat. Add the finely chopped onion and saute till it is slightly brown.
  • Next add half the minced chipotle peppers and the cream.
  • Mix the milk in and add more chipotle pepper depending on how spicy you would like the sauce.
  • Next add the salt and the tarragon and bring to a simmer. The sauce is now ready (keep it warm till ready to serve).
  • Heat the other tablespoon of butter and add the thinly sliced onions. Let the onions cook slowly over a medium heat.
  • Once the onions are pink in color add the sliced mushrooms and let it cook till the mushrooms and onions start drying out.
  • Add the white wine a little at a time cooking the mushrooms and onions in the wine.
  • Once it is cooked, add the cooked pasta and mix throughly. Set this aside.
  • Heat the olive oil and add the shrimp to it. Cook thoroughly till the shrimp are cooked through. Make sure that you do not overcook the shrimp.
  • When ready to serve, spoon the pasta into the serving plate. Pour the sauce over the pasta and place the shrimp over the sauce.

This recipe serves about 2-3 persons. Another word of caution is that the chipotle peppers can be very spicy therefore be very careful with adding the peppers to the sauce. Amit and I loved this recipe and the sauce being so easy to prepare can be served as is with the pasta with or without the shrimp. And here’s the original recipe for the pasta and chipotle cream sauce


Mushroom Soup

Posted: October 24, 2010 in Mushroom, Soups
Tags: , , , ,
Mushroom Soup for a dear friend…

I am so totally into making soups nowadays. And I remembered one of my friend’s (Chinka) saying that mushroom soup is one of her all time favorite soups. And I love cream of mushroom soup too. So I decided to try out one of the recipes I found online. I modified it a little to reduce the amount of calories and fat. This recipe takes about 45 minutes to an hour to prepare. You can substitute the home-made vegetable stock with store-bought vegetable stock. This would reduce the amount of time required by about half hour.


  1. 10 ounces mushrooms (cleaned and chopped into small pieces)
  2. 5-6 ounces dried porcini / cremini mushrooms
  3. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  4. 1 tablespoon butter
  5. 1 cup chopped onion
  6. 1 chopped potato
  7. 2 carrots chopped
  8. 1 sprig fresh/dried thyme
  9. 1 teaspoon minced thyme leaves
  10. 2 cups chopped leeks (white and light green parts)
  11. 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  12. 1/2 cup white wine
  13. 1 cup cream
  14. 1/2 cup milk
  15. 1/2 cup fresh parley (chopped)
  16. 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  17. salt to taste


  1. Steps 1 –   give directions on how to make the vegetable stock. You can replace this with store bought vegetable stock, if you are in a hurry.
  2. Heat 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and add the onions to the saucepan. Fry the onions for a couple of minutes. Then add the porcini / cremini mushrooms, potato, the sprig of thyme, salt and pepper along with 2 cups of water.
  3. Cover and cook till the vegetables are soft.
  4. Now add another 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Let it simmer (covered) for about 30 minutes.
  5. Strain the stock from the vegetables and you should get about 4 – 41/2 cups of stock. If not add some water to the vegetables and strain till desired quantity is reached.
  6. Heat the remaining olive oil and butter in another pan and add the chopped leeks.
  7. Cook the leeks for about 10-12 minutes on low flame or till the leeks turn slightly brown.
  8. Now add the chopped mushrooms to the leeks and let it cook till they brown and are cooked throughly.
  9. Next add the flour and stir the mixture for a couple of minutes.
  10. Add the white wine and mix the ingredients making sure that any vegetables or flour stuck to the pan is removed.
  11. Now add the vegetable stock, minced thyme leaves, pepper and salt to taste and stir till the flour is completely mixed without leaving any chunks.
  12. Simmer the soup for about 10 – 15 minutes.
  13. Add the cream, milk and fresh parsley and heat throughly (do not boil).
  14. Serve hot with a salad, breadsticks or just the soup.

The above amounts result in 4-5 servings. This is a less creamy soup because I was looking for a healthier version of the cream of mushroom soup. The soup tastes awesome and if you are in a hurry you can make it with the vegetable stock (you may want to soak the porcini mushrooms in hot water for about 15 minutes and add this water along with the vegetable soup). It is a pretty quick and easy to make soup. I made the stock the previous night and had a nice hot soup ready in about half hr on the next day. The original recipe can be found at I have made a few changes to the recipe to suit my taste. Hope you enjoy my version of the mushroom soup.