Cooking Like a Local


The Portlandia Cookbook complete with a sweet Santoku knife.

My next entry comes from the hilarious Portlandia cookbook. I got this, as well as the knife, as a birthday present from my mother. This birthday event occurred a month ago, so no need to wish birthday merriment.

The knife was purchased for me, because my mother read All the Vegetables You Can Fit in a Pot Soup where I complained about how grueling the chopping process was. She felt sorry for me, as well as ashamed. She realized she had let me down and had not given me the knowledge that a sweet Santoku knife could solve all my problems. It is way more fun to cut vegetables now. So thank you Mom.

The cookbook was added with the knife, because my mother knows I’m a fan of the show. My brother and I have made her a recent fan as well.

As you can imagine, this cookbook is quite funny. The way they write about cooking is similar to how I write this blog. I have no delusions that I’m nearly as funny as Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein though. Maybe one day I could be half as funny. I’d take that, but in the mean time I’ll just continue to attempt to be on their level.

The first recipe they have in this book is an appetizer provided by the Portlandia characters of Nina and Lance. Fred and Carrie are poking fun at the tapa party trend, but naturally, the character Nina is all about it. This particular “tapa” is called Wild Mushroom and Artichoke Tartines.

The most fun part of this recipe is that the mushrooms can be any mushroom type you like. I opted for shiitake, button, and crimini mushrooms. I know some of you rebels out there are thinking, “Why is that exciting? I always use whatever mushrooms I want!”

I get what you’re saying, but sometimes it’s nice to have a recipe that makes you feel ok about branching out. Especially when you’ve branched out before and came up with awful results.

Anyway, the first step was to soak fresh artichokes. I’m still a bit traumatized by my last artichoke recipe, so I rebelled and bought jarred baby artichokes instead. Thus, skipping the first step of the recipe. The next step is sauteing the mushrooms with a diced shallot in olive oil. Once they have browned a bit, you add the artichokes and some cognac. Once the cognac has evaporated you add wine, lemon juice, savory, and a bit of chicken broth. Again, you wait until most of the liquid has evaporated. The final add, after that, is butter. Once the butter is melted you can add your mixture to toasted multigrain bread that has been rubbed with a garlic clove. I rebelled a little with this as well. I just sprinkled garlic powder instead.

The final result was another easy and delicious recipe. It would go well at a Tapas Party. It also makes a great veggie sandwich. I used up the rest of my mixture the next couple of days by adding shredded parmesan cheese and sticking it in the oven for a tasty toasted sandwich.

Sometimes it’s good to rebel.


According to Portlandia, you can also put an egg on it. If you so desire.


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