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I added the following recipe to T-friendly recipes the other day. If you’d like to join T-friendly recipes, just email me!

Mushroom Soup

Sure, you could open a can of Campbells and warm it up on the stove. Or you could make something that will make you salivate like a hungry dog and, once devoured, create a taste sensation in your mouth!

Here is what you will need:

Mushrooms (either oyster mushrooms or portobello are the best, I reckon)
fresh dill
fresh parsley
garlic
a lemon
red onion
butter
10% cream
regular flour

Mode d’emploi
Chop your onions, dill, parsley and throw ‘em all into a pot with some butter and sizzle for a while on medium heat. Grate or otherwise render unto tiny pieces several full cloves of garlic. Throw that into the pot, too. Don’t burn anything. Once your flavour-providers have become soft and yummy, throw in your chopped mushrooms. Continue to sizzle for a while… You want your mushrooms to become nice and soft.

Next, throw in about a tablespoon of flour — perhaps more. You want enough flour that it will absorb all of the butter and juices, so that everything dries up a little. Stir lots! Next, start to slowly add cream as well as a few squirts of lemon juice. I highly recommend tasting your soup at regular intervals — but not so much that you eat it all and leave nothing for your guests. If it’s your first time making mushroom soup, the regular tasting will ensure you achieve the delicate balance between the creamy garlicky goodness and the slight zing of the lemon.

Emphasis: You want the lemon to only provide a slight zing… This is highly important. The soup should not taste like lemon soup. That would be gross!

Anyway, keep stirring in cream and whatnot until you have something that is thick but creamy and ready to spoon into your expectant mouth along with some bread or toast. Don’t forget to drink lots of wine! And ensue your guest(s) have lots of wine as well. You want them to be happy don’t you? Maybe you even want to get them into bed.

I posted the following recipe at T-Friendly Recipes today. If you would like to become a member and read and provide recipes of your own, email me!

To make Halloumi Delight you’ll need:

Puff pastry
A lot of sun dried tomato paste
Aubergine (a.k.a) eggplant
Tomatoes
Halloumi cheese
Fresh oregano
Sliced green olives
Salt and pepper to taste
A baking tray!

First: a disclaimer…
Quantities are not my thing when it comes to recipes. “How much of X should I use?” Well, that depends on how many people you’re feeding and how greedy they are. If you invite some very hungry hippos indeed, you would have to quadruple the standard serving portions, right? So I don’t provide quantities! Plus I don’t know how to measure anything. What is an appropriate measure for cheese? A gram? A bushel? Me, I just say slice up your cheese and slather it on. I will provide rough estimates of everything or guidelines in my Mode d’emploi.

Mode d’emploi
(I only say this to sound fancy, even though it isn’t vaguely correct or culinary.)

To make halloumi delight, I suggest you save yourself time and buy some pre-made pastry from the supermarket. It isn’t expensive. I went mass market and purchased Pillsbury!

Unroll your pastry and spread it over your baking tray. If, like me, you used a baking tray that was about one-foot-and-a-bit by just under one foot, you’ll have enough to feed three to four relatively hungry people (PROVIDED you also ply them with sautéed green beans or potatoes or a nice salad or something.)

Got your pastry into the baking tray now? Good. Reward yourself with a glass of wine.

Next thing is to spread your sun dried tomato paste over the pastry. Don’t make it too thick, but don’t cheap out, either.

Oh, by the way, while all this is going on, you should be gently STEAMING your aubergines with some onions in another pot somewhere. Don’t steam them for too long. Maybe 10 minutes? YOU DON’T HAVE to steam the aubergines, but I think it’s a good idea, since it softens them up more than simply baking them.

Alright, you should now have your pastry spread with sun-dried tomatoes PLUS some steamed aubergines. Layer the aubergines over the pastry/sundried tomatoes, next add tomatoes, slice olives, then thinly-sliced layers of HALLOUMI cheese over everything. Lastly, DICE your oregano… i.e. chop it up finely, and layer it over the top. Salt and pepper a bit… Go easy on the salt!

Next, stick your Halloumi Delight into the oven and set on 400F (200C) and bake from the bottom for 20 minutes. A nice last touch, turn the oven to roast from the TOP for the final 5-10 minutes, just to brown the cheese a little.

YUM!

CAUTIONS
You want a baking tray with sides… If it is flat, you will need to be very careful indeed that your ingredients stay well short of the sides of the pastry – otherwise you’ll have cheese and stuff dripping off the edge and sticking on your tray or oven, and this would not only make a mess, but be a TERRIBLE WASTE of delicious halloumi cheese.

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