Tuesday, April 8, 2008

scoring some local 'shrooms...

interestingly enough, there are things other than cupcakes that have the power cheer me up.

those that don't know me very well will think this posting quite odd. those that do know me quite well will just role their eyes....and say, "like you need an excuse to eat and get excited about mushrooms".

i admit it. i adore them. such humble earthly little things that are so unexpectedly yummy. if you love them as i do, then you'll also see them as beautiful...because you know what they will taste like when they are roasted, saut
éed, grilled, simmered in soup, braised with a chewy grain, puréed, etc. etc.

when they are done well at a restaurant, they have the power to transform my evening. i remember dining at citron years ago and they had this lovely buckwheat crepe stuffed with foraged wild mushrooms and a reduced wild mushroom sauce on the menu. i was with a lover and i remember thinking, "i'm not really feeling you but i'm totally feeling this dish". voilà, the power of the humble mushroom in the hands of a thoughtful chef.

while i am not a chef, at least not the kind that michael ruhlman or anthony bourdain writes about, i'd like to think i'm a pretty good cook. i was lucky enough to come across some CA grown shiitake mushrooms a few weeks ago and they have obviously become a staple. one of my favorite lunches consists of an open-faced roasted mushroom sandwich.

i start out by slicing the mushrooms

then i put them in a glass pie plate with some kalamata olive oil and kosher salt (and sometimes a sprinkling of cayenne)..and roast the mushrooms at 400 degrees

and toast a couple of slices of acme upstairs bread.

when both the bread and 'shrooms are done....i slather on cheese (in this case it is brie... but goat cheese works wonderfully as well...i made the goat cheese version for JS as a midnight dinner when he visited and it seemed to be a hit...at least i think so since he ate the leftovers for breakfast as well).

i also like to slather on avocado or whatever savory yumminess i have in the fridge

as you can tell, i was bit hungry and impatient when i took these pictures.... (btw if you click the below picture you'll get a to see it close up too)

i had this for lunch today and just posting these pictures is making me hungry again. see? the power of the 'shroom is self evident.

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