Choux dumplings with roasted mushrooms, pecans & chard (Plus herbed boiled potatoes)

savory choux pastry

I’m in such a funny mood. I feel like I want something good to happen. I want to hear some good news. I half feel as though I even expect something good to happen. Some unspecified good thing, which I really couldn’t name. Sometimes, as I go about my day, I’ll think of something that makes me happy. And then moments later I’ll forget the specific thing I was thinking of, but the feeling will remain. And then I’ll go back and try to remember the one specific thing, and in the process of remembering I’ll think of all sorts of things that could make me happy. It feels a little like that. Hopeful, but a tad disgruntled, too, and just a little impatient. Do you ever feel like this? I think I know what this mood is called. I think it’s called, “spring.” And while I’m waiting, I’ll just make some nice meals and share them with my family, and maybe eventually I’ll realize that’s the good thing.

This meal involves wrapping a version of choux pastry around a savory concoction, and then baking it till it gets a little puffy. It’s a little bit less eggy than regular choux pastry, so it doesn’t get quite so puffy, but it is lovely and tasty and tender. Wrapping anything in raw choux batter is fun but a little messy. It’s not like you can roll it out and keep it tidy. It’s a sticky sort of batter, but if you keep your fingers cool and damp, the batter won’t stick to them too much, and you should be able to make a relatively even coating. The filling we used was roasted mushrooms, toasted pecans, steamed chard, fresh sage and smoked paprika. Even Isaac liked it!

Herbed potatoes

The other day, when I was telling you about all my clever ways to use a medley of herbs and greens from the garden (in this tart, for instance), I mentioned that they were also good with potatoes. Well, I bought a few new herbs and greens yesterday to plant in the garden, so I thought I’d show them off by mixing them with some boiled chopped red potatoes. I mixed in salad burnet, chervil, lovage, several kinds of basil, summer savory, thyme and bulls blood baby beet leaves. I always boil my potatoes just a little too much, because I’m easily distracted, but I like them that way – almost smashed. The mildness of the potatoes is a nice background for the spicy herbs.

Here’s The Violent Femmes with Good Feeling. They remind me of being a teenager, when I felt like this all of the time!
Continue reading