Mushrooms add a nice, low, deep, earthy flavor to a dish.

Mustard Chicken and Mushroom Risotto


This is a good show of how much I've learned over the last 2 years:

  1. The chicken breasts were seasoned with Lawry's, pan-seared on a hot pan with a bit of oil for browning, and then finished in a 400° oven
  2. While the chicken finished in the oven, I prepared the risotto, mostly from this recipe from (though I've learned from Emeril's recipe, and these risotto techniques from The Awl
  3. A cup of milk deglazed the pan, 1/4 tsp of garlic powder, 2 tbsp of dijon mustard, some salt, some pepper, and 1 tbsp of flour created a pan sauce

And one thing I haven't learned:

  1. Frozen broccoli looks kind of silly next to the rest of this...

Altogether I like the formula: One difficult or involved thing (risotto), one moderately-complex thing (the pan sauce), and the rest easy things (chicken and broccoli). I spent about an hour in the kitchen, and created something wonderful!

mustard chicken with mushroom risotto on a plate

Creamy Sausage and Mushroom Rigatoni


Is it still considered Hamburger Helper if it's made with Italian sausage? If it's not made with powders from bags that come in a box? I'm not sure if the difference is that distinct...

This recipe for Creamy Sausage and Mushroom Rigatoni from The Girl Who Ate Everything is uncannily similar to the Spicy Penne and Sausage I've made once in a while. They could be twins. Feel free to add parmesan to this, or basil to that. Peas could go well with this, or maybe some bacon.

In the end, it was easy, inexpensive, and good, which is exactly what a busy weeknight needs. It's adaptable to what's in the kitchen, provided you've got some cream or half-and-half on-hand (have I convinced you yet of their overwhelming utility?).

Creamy Sausage and Mushroom Rigatoni in a bowl with

Breakfast Burritos


Over the last year and a half, I've been levelling up my basic cooking skills, like sauteéing and improvising. So, since I had some tortillas from the chicken lunch wraps, and some mushrooms from last night's chicken with white wine, I decided to try making another breakfast burrito.

Unlike the last breakfast burrito, this one had mushrooms and onions, and no rice. To get the most flavor possible, I sauteéd the onions and mushrooms until golden brown and delicious. Then, I turned off the burner, and with the remaining heat, scrambled the eggs. I assembled the lot into a warm tortilla, and for a finishing touch, added some salt, pepper, and tabasco.

I wish I could eat like this every morning. Having a nice, relaxing 30 minute, freshly-made breakfast. Maybe I need to start getting into the habit...

Breakfast burrito with egg, mushroom, and onion on
a plate

Pork Tenderloin with Mushroom Mustard Sauce


I've been eating way too much chicken lately. What can I say? It's cheap, and so am I. But, I'm alive damnit, and I need to allow myself to enjoy some finer things like a nice, expensive cut of meat once in a while. Lucky for me, pork isn't that expensive. So I picked up a nice pork tenderloin, and decided to try my hand at this Pork Tenderloin with Mushroom Sauce from MyRecipes.

I don't have a deep roasting pan, so instead I seared it in my big fry pan (4 minutes per side), then stuck it on a sheet pan in a 375° oven for 25 minutes while I sautéed the mushrooms and made the sauce. Instead of chicken broth, I used some white wine, but by far the boldest flavor in the sauce was the mustard.

Altogether, it was perhaps the tastiest thing I've ever cooked. Mustard sauces are delicious, as I learned last year with Skillet Chicken with Mustard Sauce. Though, the garlic basic couscous I made to accompany could use some work...

Cooked pork tenderloins on roasting pan in oven Pork tenderloin medallions with mustard mushroom sauce and

Poulet au Vin Blanc


Fancy-speak for "chicken with white wine", this recipe is amazing, easy, and delicious. If you've got chicken, white wine, an onion, some garlic, and some mushrooms, you can toss this together in a little more than an hour.

The site I got this from calls it Coq au Chardonnay, but since it's not coq but hen (rooster isn't widely-available in supermarkets), and it wasn't Chardonnay but cheap white wine, I can't very well keep calling it that.

Since the chicken takes 40 minutes to cook, I had time to make a mushroom barley risotto. I had some dried porcini mushrooms laying around, so I rehydrated those and saved the flavorful liquid that resulted. I combined the mushroom liquid with some beef stock and some thyme, made a risotto, and then added some good parmesan cheese I had laying around. The result was better than I had expected.

As with so many good recipes, the biggest problem is that it's gone too soon...

Chicken with creamy white wine sauce and mushrooms with barley
mushroom risotto