Mushroom Shepherd’s Pie


2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 large carrots, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2.75 lb fresh mixed mushrooms, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1/2 tsp dried thyme, ground or chopped fine
2 tablespoons red or white wine
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tbsp flour
1/2 cup – 1 cup (235ml) mushroom stock

Potato Lid:

1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and cut into larger 1-inch chunks
1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
6 Tbsp (85g) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch chunks
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup (55g) crème fraîche or sour cream
1/2 cup (118ml) milk, if necessary to get desired texture
chopped parsley, to top (optional)


Prepare the lid: Place the potatoes and parsnips 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 12-15 minutes, until both are easily pierced in the center with a knife. Drain, scoop into a bowl and mash with a fork or potato masher. Add the butter, salt and pepper and stir. Add the crème fraîche and milk and stir to combine. If the potato mixture is thicker than you’d like and would be difficult to spread, add more milk, 1 tablespoon at a time. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.

Heat the oven to 400 F.

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, pinch of salt and pepper, and sauté until the vegetables begin to brown ever so slightly, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the fresh mushrooms, a pinch of salt, fresh thyme, and increase the heat to high, cooking the mushrooms until they brown and soften, releasing their juices, about 5-10 minutes. Sprinkle with flour and cook 1 minute.

Add the sherry and scrape up any stuck bits. Add the tomato paste, and stir to combine. Add the stock slowly, stirring (start with 1/2 cup stock and add more if mixture seems to dry). Simmer over medium heat until mushrooms are coated in a thick sauce. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if desired.

Bake the pie: In an oven-safe 2-3 quart baking dish, scoop the mushrooms into an even layer. Top with potato mixture, using the back of your spoon to spread it evenly over the top, all the way to the edges to form a seal. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until lightly browned on top. Garnish with additional thyme and parsley, if desired.

Dutch Pancake

  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup flour
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Combine eggs, flour, milk, sugar and nutmeg in a blender jar and blend until smooth. Batter may also be mixed by hand.
  3. Place butter in a heavy 10-inch skillet or baking dish and place in the oven. As soon as the butter has melted (watch it so it does not burn) add the batter to the pan, return pan to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, until the pancake is puffed and golden. Lower oven temperature to 300 degrees and bake five minutes longer.
  4. Remove pancake from oven, cut into wedges and serve at once topped with syrup, preserves, confectioners’ sugar or cinnamon sugar.

Quinoa & Vegetable Stew


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium-size onion, chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers, cut into small cubes
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 pound sweet or red potatoes, cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup white quinoa, washed thoroughly
  • 1-2 cup fresh or frozen corn
  • 1-2 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup frozen pearl onions
  • 1 (14 oz. ) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 avocado, cut into small cubes
  • handful of fresh cilantro
  1. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven (or any other large, heavy bottom pot). Add in the onion and bell pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, 7-8 minutes.
  2. Stir in the garlic, paprika, coriander, and cumin. Cook, stirring constantly for 30 seconds or so.
  3. Add in the broth, tomatoes and potatoes. Bring it to a boil. Turn down the heat to medium-low and let it simmer 10-12 minutes.
  4. Stir in the quinoa and let it simmer for 8-10 minutes until both the potatoes and quinoa are cooked.
  5. Stir in the frozen vegetables and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Ladle it in large bowls and garnish each bowl with avocado and cilantro before serving.

Shortrib Beef Barley Soup

  • 2 pounds (1kg) boneless beef chuck roast, cut into 1 1/2–inch steaks, or 3 pounds (1.3kg) bone-in beef short ribs
  • 20 ounces carrots, diced
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 4 celery stalks, diced
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 bouquet garni boullion
  • 2 Kub Or bullions
  • 1 cup (7 ounces; 200g) pearled barley
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3ml) fish sauce
  1. Add onion and garlic with half of carrot and celery to pot and cook, stirring until lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Add stock and boullion to pot, return to boiling.

  2. Score the beef shortribs into bite-sized pieces and add to pot. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to maintain a low simmer and cook until beef is tender, 1 to 2 hours; skim any foam that rises to the top.

  3. Add barley, other half of vegetables, and fish sauce, if using, and simmer until barley and vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. If soup is too dry, top up with water to achieve desired consistency.

Modified from original recipe

Plum torte

  • 1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking powder
  • Large pinch of salt
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 tbsp applesauce
  • 2 large eggs
  • 12 smallish purple Italian purple plums, halved and pitted
  • 1 teaspoon or tablespoon ground cinnamon
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Sift or whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. In a larger bowl, cream butter and 1 cup sugar together with an electric mixer until fluffy and light in color. Add the applesauce and eggs, then the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.
  2. Spoon batter into an ungreased 9-inch springform pan (but if you’re worried, you can always lightly coat it first with butter or a nonstick spray) and smooth the top. Arrange the plums, skin side up, all over the batter, covering it. Sprinkle the top with cinnamon, then remaining sugar.
  3. Bake until cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into a center part of the cake comes out free of batter (but of course not plum juice), about 45 to 50 minutes. Cool on rack.

Zucchini Basil Soup

  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed and to serve
  • 1 small onion or half a large onion, finely diced (about 8 ounces; 225g)
  • 3 medium ribs celery, finely diced (about 6 ounces; 170g)
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 3/4 ounce; 25g)
  • 1 1/2 pounds (700g) zucchini, split lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch disks
  • 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 3 cups (1.2L) water or broth
  1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add leek and celery. Season with salt and cook, stirring, until vegetables are softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add zucchini and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add water or broth and bring to a boil.
  2. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until zucchini is tender, about 10 minutes. Add basil and blend soup using a handheld immersion blender or a countertop blender until it is as rough or as smooth as you like it.

Portobello Mushroom Marinade

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 4 portobello mushrooms, stems removed and scrubbed clean

Marinade for 30 minutes in a ziploc bag.