I like to have a plan (though I often don't) and to be organized (which I'm not) so that I can get food cooked and put away in a form that is ready to use.
The other day organic mushrooms were marked down, so I got a couple of packs and decided to make a cream of mushroom soup.... much to the horror of a 10 year old boy who lives in my house.
After explaining to him that it wasn't his meal for the evening, we talked about flavor and about how a particular ingredient might not be your favorite, but you can cook it, and add it to something else to add layers to the flavor. But in a good way, and not just making everything mushroom flavored.
I think this is the most important lesson I've learned in cooking. That sometimes simple is best, but a good sauce can work miracles, and a good soup/cream sauce can make something ordinary absolutely wonderful.
Of course, it has to be THM style now, so I had to tweak it a bit.
Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 pound of mushrooms, finely chopped
3 tbsp butter
1 cup of half and half
1 cup of chicken stock, or water if you must (the flavor won't be as good)
1 tsp Redmond Real Salt Organic Garlic Salt (more to taste)
Pinch of nutmeg
1/2 to 1 tsp glucomannan powder (if you aren't following, or could care less, what THM is, then use 1/4 cup of flour before adding the liquids to make a roux)
Melt the butter and add the mushrooms, stirring frequently over med heat. Give them about 5-10 minutes until they release their juices and then dry. Add the Redmond Organic Garlic Salt, nutmeg and pepper.
Add the stock and half and half and continue stirring till bubbly. Reduce heat to a simmer for another 5 minutes. Taste the seasonings and make sure you have added enough salt*
At this point whisk in the glucomannan powder and continue whisking for a few minutes. Continue over low heat for a few more minutes.
Use at this point or cool and freeze.
I actually cook mine down a bit more to evaporate the liquids and then freeze in cubes.
*I received some great products from the Redmond folks to try out and I am in love with the Organic Garlic Salt. I have used ONLY Redmond Salt for the last 8 years and if I'm that picky about my salt, why would I use some cheap, store brand of garlic salt. The flavor is great and it isn't bitter or fake tasting... just like good garlic and my regular good salt.