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It’s mushroom and fall fruit time

MUSHROOM AND POTATO SOUP
Grybų ir bulvių sriuba

5 Tbsps. butter, divided 2 leeks, chopped
2 large carrots, sliced
6 cups chicken broth
2 tsps. dried dill weed
2 tsps. salt
1 bay leaf
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
2 lbs. potatoes, peeled and diced
1 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 cup half-and-half
1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
Fresh dill weed, for garnish (optional)

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Mix in leeks and carrots, and cook 5 minutes. Pour in broth. Season with dill, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Mix in potatoes, cover, and cook 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender but firm. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Melt the remaining butter in a skillet over medium heat, and saute the mushrooms 5 minutes, until lightly browned. Stir into the soup. In a small bowl, mix the half-and-half and flour until smooth. Stir into the soup to thicken. Garnish each bowl of soup with fresh dill to serve.

 

PEAR AND CRANBERRY CRISP
Kriaušių ir spanguolių pyragas

3⁄4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
1/3 cup plus 2 Tbsps. packed light- brown sugar
1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1⁄4 cup blanched almonds, chopped 1⁄2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1⁄4 tsp. fine salt
5 Tbsps. unsalted butter, room temperature
3 lbs. pears, such as Bartlett or Anjou (about 6), cored, peeled, and cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces
1⁄4 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger (optional)
1 cup dried cranberries 2 Tbsps. cornstarch

Preheat oven to 400°. In a medium bowl, combine oats, 1/3 cup brown sugar, flour, almonds, cinnamon, and salt. With your hands or a pastry cutter, work in butter until large clumps form. In a large bowl, gently toss together pears, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, ginger (if using), cranberries, and cornstarch. Transfer to an 8-inch square baking dish and sprinkle with oat mixture. Bake until juices are bubbling and topping is browned and crisp, about 20 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes. Serve warm at room temperature. Delicious with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

 

AUTUMN FRUIT TART
Rudeninių vaisių pyragas

1⁄2 cup butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened 11⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
2 large apples, peeled and thinly sliced
1 medium pear, peeled and thinly sliced
41⁄2 tsps. cornstarch
1⁄2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1⁄4 tsp. ground cardamom 1⁄4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1⁄4 cup orange juice
1/3 cup packed brown sugar 1⁄2 cup apricot jam, warmed

In a small bowl, beat butter and cream cheese until smooth. Gradually add flour, beating just until mixture forms a ball. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 375°. In a large bowl, combine apples and pear. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and spices; stir in orange juice until smooth. Stir in brown sugar until blended. Add to apple mixture and stir gently to coat. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough into a 14-inch circle. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Spoon filling over the pastry to within 2-inches of edges. Fold up edges of pastry over filling, leaving center uncovered. Bake 40-45 minutes or until crust is golden and filling is bubbly. Spread with apricot jam. Using parchment paper, slide tart onto a wire rack to cool.

 

MUSHROOM STROGANOFF
Grybų befstrogenas

3 Tbsps. butter
1 large onion, chopped
3⁄4 lb. large mushrooms, sliced 11⁄2 cups vegetable broth
11⁄2 cups sour cream
3 Tbsps. all-purpose flour
1⁄4 cup chopped fresh parsley 8 ounces dried egg noodles

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add egg noodles, and cook until “al dente”, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat, drain, and set aside. At the same time, melt butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add onion, and cook, stirring until softened. Turn the heat up to medium-high, and add sliced mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms are limp and browned. Remove to a bowl, and set aside. In the same skillet, stir in vegetable broth, being sure to stir in any browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil, and cook until the mixture has reduced by 1/3. Reduce heat to low, and return the mushrooms and onion to skillet. Remove the pan from the heat, stir together the sour cream and flour; then blend into the mushrooms. Return the skillet to the burner, and continue cooking over low heat, just until the sauce thickens. Stir in the parsley, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve over cooked egg noodles.

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