phobicfoodie

My Year of Adventurous Eating

One Down… May 1, 2011

Filed under: Next!,Recipes — PhobicFoodie @ 2:03 pm

As you know, yesterday was Mushroom Day.

I got up at eight to begin the process of making Burgundy Mushrooms.  The recipe says to start by cleaning four pounds of white mushrooms.  At the grocery store I started by picking out each mushroom carefully, making sure they were clean, firm, and tightly closed.  As it turns out, four pounds is a lot of mushrooms!  In the end I was shoveling mushrooms into the bag as fast as I could, barely glancing at them or taking to time to make sure they weren’t slimy.  I also ended up with a mix of white mushrooms and cremini, about equal parts of each.

Initially, I wiped each mushroom down carefully with a damp towel, just like all the books say to do.  But, as stated before, 4 pounds of mushrooms is a lot of mushrooms!  In the end I just rinsed them thoroughly, and left them on a towel to dry a bit.  They didn’t seem to suffer much for it.  They didn’t turn to mush or absorb water and swell up.  They mostly just sat there, until I dumped them into a pot with two sticks of butter and about a teaspoon each of thyme and salt.  I poured in a whole bottle of red wine…

…and a box of beef stock which I had reduced by half…

Then I brought the whole fungus-y mess to a boil…

…reduced the heat to low, slapped the lid on…

…and left it be for six hours.

To kill time I cleaned house a bit.  Then I got bored.  Then I tormented Monster for a bit…

Nnyyyaarrrrgggh!!!

…checked on the mushrooms…

…and tormented Monster some more…

CHOMP!!!!

…cleaned house some more…

…and tormented Monster some more…

AArrrrgghhH!!!

After six hours of simmering on low the mushrooms began to tighten up and put off a lot of liquid.  I took the lid off the pan so everything could reduce for the last three hours of cooking time.

…while I waited, I went ahead and tormented Monster some more…

Gaacck!!!

…there really may be a reason why this cat is so rotten!

After a total of nine hours spent simmering on the stove, the Burgundy Mushrooms were dark, and savory, and tender, and ready to pour into a serving dish.  I had Hubby taste for salt, since I didn’t want to *ahem* cheat and eat one before all my adoring friends *cough* arrived.  I knew how long everyone had waited to see me eat a mushroom!

By the time I had the Garlic Oven Fries roasting away, and the lemon vinaigrette emulsified and ready for the Arugula salad, and the French Silk Pie whip-creamed and waiting, the first of my guests arrived with marinated mushrooms.  These were portabella mushrooms, bell peppers, and onions, all sliced and marinated in herbs, lemon, olive oil and garlic.  He finished them by sauteing them in a large skillet until tender and browned. 

He also brought home-brewed cider, which was delicious and definitely took some of the edge off my nervousness.

After Portabella Boy, my sister arrived, followed by a friend bearing stuffed mushrooms.

After my last two guests arrived we all settled down to some serious ‘shroomage. 

“So, Lana” my friends asked me, “which of these mushrooms are you most excited to try?”

I belive my response was “Ooohh….all of them…because I love all my children equally…”

…or something equally dorky.

I get really weird when I’m nervous.

Since I had steeped in the boozy aroma of Burgundy Mushrooms all day, they were the first down the hatch.  The flavor was rich, beefy, and buttery–utterly enjoyable.  However, the texture was definitely still all mushroom.  To those who have tried to tell me that mushrooms taste just like meat when cooked right….

YOU LIED TO ME!!!

Next were the Marinated Mushrooms.  The flavor was excellent…herby, garlicky, with a little tangy bite from the lemon.  The peppers and onions made a delicious compliment to the mushrooms, and I found myself thinking the whole lot would be divine on a french roll with some thin sliced, sautéed steak and cheese…

You know what I’m talking about!

The last ones to be sampled were the stuffed mushrooms.  These, I’ll admit, were probably my favorite mushroom of the night.  Filled with a sausage/breadcrumb/cheddar cheese stuffing they were tender and savory and pretty much tasted like sausage, which was probably why I liked them so much.  The texture of the mushrooms was also somewhat masked by the texture of the meat.

In conclusion, am I now a mushroom fan?  I’m not sure.  I still don’t love them.  I think I’ll need to do some more experimenting….there are many types of mushrooms out there for me to try!  At this point, they definitely aren’t the first thing I would gravitate to on a restaurant menu…especially if beef was an option instead.  But, on the other hand, I’m no longer terrified of them!

HA!  SUCCESS!!

I now know I can eat a mushroom and not die.  And if they are prepared with plenty of other, strongly flavored accompaniments, I might even find myself enjoying them.

We rounded out the meal with salad, fries, pie, (recipes to follow), beer, and wine.  We chatted, and laughed, and ate, and were happy!

It was a good night.

I began with a mountain of mushrooms…

And ended up with this…

…And this…

 

…And this…

 

…And a cat who let a ball of solid catnip get the better of him…

bleeehhhhhhhh….

…And a house full of family and friends who, with their support and encouragement, helped me overcome a fear!

So thanks everyone! 

And I’ll see you on Buffalo Day–it’s less than two weeks away!

Here’s my version of Burgundy Mushrooms, with measurements.

Burgundy Mushrooms

4 lbs white and cremini mushrooms

1 bottle red wine

1 32 oz box beef stock, reduced by half

1/2 pound unsalted butter

10 cloves garlic, lightly smashed

1 tsp dried thyme (or your favorite herb)

1 tsp salt

Clean the mushrooms, trim the stems, and dump in a pot.  Add all the remaining ingredients.  Bring to a full boil, then reduce heat and cover.  Let simmer for 6 hours.  Remove lid and simmer for 3 more hours.  Taste and add more salt if needed.  Pour into a serving dish with all the boozy, buttery, delicious cooking liquid.  Serve with crusty bread or garlicky oven fries.  Eat and be happy!

To get the original recipe for Burgundy Mushrooms, visit here:  http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2010/09/burgundy-mushrooms/

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4 Responses to “One Down…”

  1. theresa Says:

    hi lana,

    so sorry i missed mushroom day. i’m so glad it was a success and that you had a great time w/ family & friends! and you didn’t die from eating mushrooms! very proud of you! next time i will have to bring myself and my belly. keep up with your blog. i enjoy reading it and checking out the pictures you post! you’re doing awesome!!! 🙂

  2. ridge Says:

    as a rule cats need to be tormented on a regular basis, for the same reason dogs need to be told that there is a squirrel outside even when there isn’t. we can’t have them get slack, now can we?

    • PhobicFoodie Says:

      Cats especially need lots of tormenting. Mine in particular. But dogs give you That Look that just makes you feel terrible! It takes all the enjoyment out of harrassing them!


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