Merry Belated Christmas everyone! Hope that everyone enjoyed some time off. I spent my Christmas in bed, eating Chinese food and watching Archer. Yup, it was awesome.

Anyway I have something special for everyone. My Paleo Pen Pal Liz wrote up a guest post with the recipe she made from the ingredients I sent her! Liz, I know you don’t have a blog but you should definitely think about starting one. This recipe looks amazing. 

Guest Post: Liz – Mushroom Cappuccino

When I saw the dried mushrooms, I immediately thought of a chef demonstration that my daughter and I attended while on our first-ever cruise last summer.  We booked it to celebrate her high school graduation in May, and we sailed to Mexico and the Carribean for 7 days on the Carnival Dream.  The gourmet steakhouse on board gave a free demonstration one morning, and one of the first delicious recipes they made was Mushroom Cappuchino.  I found it on the Carnival website.

Recipe as written on the Carnival Website:
one pound of button, shitake, portabello oyster, and criminie mushrooms
5 table spoons onion
1 clove chopped garlic
2 oz clarified butter
2 pints chicken stock
2 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp chopped dried parsley
salt and white pepper to taste
1 pint cream
a few drops of truffle oil
The recipe was almost perfectly paleo as written!  I chose to omit the truffle oil and the cream.  I used canned coconut milk, (only the thick cream that rises to the top). I went to the store for fresh organic thyme. I also added a pound of fresh baby bella mushrooms, sliced green onions, and 3 carrots.  
First, I boiled a few cups of water and then poured them over both bags of dried mushrooms.  I left them to steam and soak for 20 mins.  Before draining them, I reserved 1 cup of the liquid, which was dark brown and richly infused with the mushroom flavor.  I chopped up the carrots in the food processor.  
I melted 1 ounce of clarified butter in my Caphalon wok pan and added the onions, garlic, and carrots.  I let these saute and cook down for 10 minutes, until the onions were translucent and the carrots were soft.  
I moved these veggies to the sides of the wok and added the 2nd ounce of clarified butter and the fresh mushrooms.  After these cooked down slightly, I added the hot soaked mushrooms, the chicken stock, and the reserved mushroom water. In went the herbs and a teaspoon of white pepper. Since I had used my own unsalted chicken stock and knew that the mushrooms and the veggies would need a good dose of salt for my taste, I added a tablespoon of sea salt, which turned out to be perfect. 
I simmered the mixture on the stovetop for 15-20 minutes, then turned off the heat and let the batch of soup cool down.  Using a 2-cup measuring cup, I transferred 1/2 of the soup to my blender and pureed it with about 1/3 cup of coconut cream.  I repeated with the second half of the batch, and I could not be more pleased with how it turned out!!  Thick, creamy, and wonderful.
I served up a bowl with a few slices of holiday ham garnished with the Dill Mustard.  A wonderful meal, and delicious!  Thank you very much, Rachel, and definitely give this soup a try if you come across any more of those mushrooms.
Warm regards, and Merry Christmas!

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