Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Fungus Among Us

Type A I am not, just ask all those close to me and they will shout a big "Amen!" So here's to not being Type A and the dinner that came from it. Pasta in anchovy oil just didn't seem to mesh well with stuffed mushrooms, and I wanted to put those mushrooms to good use. Instead, to befriend the mushrooms, I made a simple tomato sauce from mashing a large can of whole tomatoes, adding, garlic, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, a pinch of red pepper, fresh basil and thyme, a bay leaf, and salt and pepper; to a hot pan and simmering for a mouthwatering 30 minutes.

Now, to put those mushrooms to good use.....thankfully I had mushrooms in the refrigerator or I would've never had the idea to stuff mushrooms. If I had never had the idea to stuff mushrooms then I would've never made the mushroom, herb culmination of flavors that proceeds to explode out of these fungi. And most of that flavor comes from this creamy, sauce-like gravy that gets created before the bread crumbs and other little goodies are even added to make the stuffing. I immediately fell in love. This sauce, o my goodness, this sauce is ridiculous! All I needed were some creamy, buttery mashed potatoes to go with this mushroom gravy (ooh good idea, file away for the future) and I could have died and gone to heaven right then and there.

Burnt hand, hanging hood, broken disposal and all; this dinner was divine to cook and eat.

Stuff Mushrooms from Heaven

4 large mushrooms
1 tbsp garlic
3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp sage
1 tbsp basil
1 tbsp thyme
1/4 cup of milk or heavy cream, divided
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup of Panko bread crumbs
1 egg
Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Heat a non-stick pan to medium heat. Add oil to hot pan. Scoop the inside of each mushroom out with a spoon. Finely chop the mushroom that was scooped out. Add garlic to the hot oil until you hear it sizzle, then had the chopped mushrooms. Make sure you don't crowd the mushrooms as you saute, Julia Child taught me this important little fact. As the mushrooms proceed to brown add the butter, vinegar, and milk setting aside 1 tablespoon of the 1/4 cup of milk (that's what divided means). Add quite a bit of salt and pepper, and taste, as you whisk this sauce into submission. In a separate small bowl, whisk egg and tablespoon of milk. Add egg to large bowl of bread crumbs and mix together. As soon as this crazy-good mushroom sauce thickens immediately stir it into the bread crumb mixture and add herbs, more salt and pepper, and as much Parmesan as your little heart desires. Combine well. Rub the mushroom caps with oil and place on baking sheet. Fill each one of those lonely, little caps with a glorious spoon full of stuffing until each one looks short, fat, and happy. Top with more Parmesan. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

I can hear the Hallelujah chorus right now.....I want a big spoonful so bad.

This is what happens if you get a little too excited about stuffing these delicate guys.

The mushrooms perfect accompaniment!

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