I blame my failure as a vegetarian on my hatred for mushrooms (well, that and my lo-o-o-ve for bacon. And pepperoni pizza. Any my mom’s lasagna made with meaty spaghetti sauce. My mom’s lasagna is legendary–she spent an entire evening being called “Mrs. Lasagna” once when I was in fifth grade. It’s that good. Except when there are mushrooms in it.)
I blame my hatred for mushrooms on that fact that most of the mushrooms I consumed as a child were of the canned variety. Packed either in water or a creamy soup base these slimy, spongy, dirt flavored morsels became a textural anomaly in many (otherwise harmless) dishes. After a few attempts at making me eat them, my mom pretty much gave up and let me pick them out of my meals…and eventually stopped putting them in altogether. My dad and sisters didn’t seem to miss them. I certainly didn’t. I haven’t eaten a mushroom (outside of yummy Thanksgiving green bean casseroles) in years!
I’ve been told by multiple vegetarians, restaurant menus, and recipes that mushrooms are an excellent replacement for meat because they have an almost steak-like taste and texture. Tell that to the delicious cow spending the winter in my parent’s freezer.
In any case, the fact that I see no resemblance between a smurf-tastic fungus and a tasty, juicy, medium rare steak should not have any bearing on whether or not I should eat mushrooms. Last I heard they are the new super-food– chock full of vitamins, minerals and essential nutrients…capable of warding off cancer, heart disease and that monster hiding in your closet. All for the measly cost of a basket of fungus and maybe some butter to fry it in. And I am a fan of both butter and being healthy!
So….who has a tasty mushroom recipe? Where can I find some delicious bacon-wrapped mushrooms, or beer battered mushrooms, or marinated mushrooms? I want to be convinced that mushrooms are delicious, I really do. I think maybe I just haven’t met the right mushroom yet. And I should probably clarify–I am talking about food mushrooms. The legal, edible type. My life is complicated enough without hallucinations.
If you can’t fit your recipe in the comments section below, e-mail it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Be sure to let me know if you don’t want your recipe published! I plan on sharing each dish as I try it. Please try to have your recommendations posted by April 15.