Skip to main content

Macaroni in France



First came mushroom duxelles, the quintessential French stuffing. I picked the easy to make recipe from a food column many years back - just chop mushrooms very finely. Heat olive oil, add 2-3 cloves finely chopped garlic and 1 finely chopped onion. Sweat them a bit, but don't let the onions brown. Now add mushrooms, salt and pepper. Cook on a low heat until all water dries up (usually 5-7 minutes), and let the mushrooms rest in the warm pan for a while.

I find it very useful to make a batch and stack it in the fridge for instant hunger pangs. Think mushroom on toast, or quick mushroom sandwiches with cheese. Or, my all time favorite pairing of this French flavor with the most basic of Italian pastas - the elbow macaroni.

All you need to do is boil the macaroni, and mix with the duxelles. The mushrooms already have plenty of olive oil and flavor, but top with parsley or oregano if you are feeling adventurous. Perfect for lunch!

Comments

I'm a little confused by the direction to wait 5-7 minutes until the water evaporates. My understanding of "to sweat" is to cook over a low heat in a small amount of heat. Although you dont mention it as an ingredient until later, it seems the fat in this recipe is olive oil. Where exactly is the water coming from? The mushrooms themselves? But not all mushrooms sweat an appreciable amount of water.

I just want to check to be sure I dont need to add water to the pan at some point.

Popular posts from this blog

Mystery Fruit

This only happened a few times every year, just when the rainy season kicked in. A street hawker will come by, straw basket on head. He will yell "kaul chapni" and I will run out to buy a bundle of these. Stuck together like flowers, they looked like a bouquet. Every hole contains a little fruit. You break out the package, peel the tiny fruit that pops out and eat it. Done slowly, it can take you an hour to eat an head. Or did, when I was about 12 years old.

That was the last time I saw this fruit. I've never seen it again, didn't even know what it was called or where it came from. Three weeks back, Vikram Doctor wrote about a store in Khar that sells Sindhi foods. He described this fruit and I knew it came from my vivid childhood memories. And finally, I knew we were talking about lotus fruit.

Now talk about coincidences. Last weekend, I was passing by a lane in Bandra and for the first time in many, many years I saw the straw basket filled with my mytery fruit. It…

Of Brun and Bun Maska

There is more to Bombay's breads than the pao that goes into pao bhaji and vada pao. There's Brun. and there's bun. We will get there. First, you have to get to know the city's Parsis. And Iranis, who are also Zoroastrians, but came to city a little later, in the late 19th or early 20th century. And when they came, they brought with them these little cafes that dot the city.

I am no expert on Irani chai cafes. And I can't tell you whether Yazdani Bakery will provide you the best experience or Kyani's. But I can tell you a few things you need to ignore when you get there. Appearances don't matter; so ignore the fact that the marble/glass top tables and the wooden chairs look a bit dilapidated. Also ignore the rundown look the place sports.

Instead, get yourself settled. And order a bun muska. This one's familiar to you as a first cousin of the soft hamburger bun. It's similar, but just a tad bit sweeter. Maska, of course, is the generous dollop of b…

A Bowlful of Comfort

I have a friend who is quite the globetrotter. Lunches at her place, often right after her trips, are a treasure trove of global flavours. But the last time we met, she was just back from Tamil Nadu and out she brought a bowl of curd rice. I love curd rice and have eaten a lot of it over the years but my friend's version was so full of flavours and textures, it was a revelation. Obviously, I asked for the recipe.

The genius of this curd rice lies in adding the tempering or the tadka twice, once to mix in the rice so it absorbs all the flavours. Then you make a second batch to top the rice with just before you serve, so it adds crunch to the usually mushy dish. The recipe also has a few other elements added in for texture, freshness and flavour.

I over-ate at lunch at my friend's and I over-ate again when I made this for myself for lunch. Plus, all the ingredients you need are likely in your kitchen already so you may as well go make it now.

Ingredients
1/2 cup rice
1 cup plain…