Last Sunday was a day to remember for Aditi. First, she had her first ever unparented swimming lesson. Very exciting for her, and brilliant for me, as I sat on the side and shot the breeze with other mums. She loved it, and had a lot of fun, and made friends so very quickly. I felt a little bit excluded, as I realised that my baby girl is growing up, and before I know it, she will be getting her first tattoo (gah!) and leaving home... but that's how life is, and we all live and learn.
The second exciting thing to happen was that she got her first ever bicycle. Its purple, with butterflies on it, and she has a matching helmet and knee pads. We had a crazily happy child, as we taught her how to ride up and down the pavement, ignoring our aching backs, of course.
The more I think about it, the more I understand what a huge responsibility having a child is. Not only are you responsible for their physical upbringing, but also for their emotional stability. And the necessity of giving them a childhood they can remember all their lives.
For the last year or so, I have been a stay at home mum, obviously more out of need than choice. Now, its getting closer to the time that I will be getting a full time job, and going back to balancing work, home and life. I realise I am going to miss being at home with Aditi and enjoying her growing up, and being there for all the small milestones. Like, getting a bike. Or having a picnic with all her 'animals' (Little Bear, Aiden Bear, Russ Bear, Mopsy Doll, Froggy and Bunny Bear (don't ask!!)) Or spending afternoons wrestling her for 'quiet time'... or bribing her with biscuits.
Well, now that I have got that melancholy meander out of the way, it was an exciting day for me too. I am posting my very first ever challenge for the Daring Kitchen.
Renata of Testado, Provado & Aprovado! was our Daring Cooks’ April 2011 hostess. Renata challenged us to think “outside the plate” and create our own edible containers! Prizes are being awarded to the most creative edible container and filling, so vote on your favorite from April 17th to May 16th at http://thedaringkitchen.com!
I had an idea of what I wanted to make almost straightaway. When Kay and I first set up our home, my parents-in-law gave me a really nice cookbook from Homestyle called 'Vegetarian' I haven't actually seen any authors for this book, but the recipes are really lovely, and have turned out well everytime I've cooked one. The recipe that inspired this post was 'Mushrooms in Brioche', basically mushrooms cooked in a creamy garlic sauce, and stuffed into brioche rolls.
It sounded delicious, and I wanted to try it out, but with my own twist. So I decided to make my own brioche rolls, and give the mushroom filling an Indian twist.
I used this Canadian Living Recipe to make the brioche. I reduced the recipe by half, then pinched off three quarters of it and added half a teaspoon of fresh ground pepper to make it slightly more savoury. The recipe makes ten rolls, but I made 6 savoury rolls in a jumbo muffin tray, and a braided loaf with the rest of the plain dough. I was absolutely delighted with how the brioche turned out. The rolls were a perfect combination of sweet and savoury and went perfectly with the lightly spiced mushroom filling... and as for the loaf, well, lets just say we pulled it apart and ate it within five minutes. Aditi had almost a third of the loaf, and Kay and I fought for the rest (Kay won the bigger piece... grrrr!)
I made the mushroom filling in less than 30 minutes, including prep. It turned out really lovely, creamy and fragrant with just a gentle hint of spice. I used the homemade Madras Curry Powder that I had made a few weeks ago, and the fresh spice really made a huge difference to the overall taste. I can easily see us having this with some plain rice as an easy weekday meal as well.
The whole recipe came together brilliantly, and we all enjoyed it very much. I also thought that if I made the brioche rolls in a smaller muffin tray, I could easily serve this as an elegant starter for parties, as it looked so pretty and delicate. The combination of the brioche and mushroom filling was wonderful, each strong taste holding its own with the others, but never overpowering. The brioche 'lid' worked well for soaking up the remaining sauce on the plate, and we all had pretty clean plates after this dinner :-)
250g mushrooms, chopped if large, leave whole if small (Iused a combination of brown and white)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 fat garlic clove, grated
1 tsp Madras Curry Powder (if using store bought, use the mild variety)
1/4 tsp ground turmeric (optional, but it does add a beautiful colour to the finished dish)
3 spring onions (scallions, or green onions) chopped
150 ml hot vegetable stock
150 ml heavy or light cream
1/2 tbsp cornstarch (whisked in 2 tbsp milk until smooth)
Salt and pepper to taste
Handful fresh coriander, chopped
In a saute pan, heat the oil and butter on a medium heat. Add the garlic, curry powder and ground turmeric and fry for two minutes, stirring well.
Add the mushrooms and spring onions, and cook, stirring well for another 3 - 4 minutes, until the mushrooms are well coated with the spices.
Add the hot stock to the mushroom mixture, and cook for another 3 - 5 minutes, until the mushrooms are cooked and tender.
Add the cream, little by little, stirring. Stir together, then add the whisked cornstarch.
Cook for another 2 minutes, or so, until the sauce thickens. Season to taste (you may not need the salt, as the stock will have salt in it)
Stir in half the fresh chopped coriander.
Assembling the dish:
Slice the top off the cooled brioche roll, and keep aside.
Pull out a little of the bread, and hollow out, so you have a little container.
Fill with the mushroom mixture, letting a little bit spill over the sides. Sprinkle a little more fresh coriander on top of the filled brioche roll and serve warm with the 'lid' on the side to soak up any sauce.