So, after the cardoon challenge (*FAIL*), and the sunchoke challenge (*toot*), I was so relieved to open Joe’s bag to see an array of mushrooms. And not, you know, tree bark or bee larvae or clods of dirt or something. These were lovely specimens too… cremini, oyster, chanterelle, and a few others I couldn’t identify. Trusting Joe and his vendor, I proceeded to think about what to do with my little pile of treasure. Since they were so lovely, I really wanted to keep the mushrooms themselves front and center. It was also a weeknight, so I didn’t want to spend forever messing around with them either.
Rummaging through the cupboards, I came across some stone ground cornmeal that got me in the mind to do a soft, creamy polenta topped with simply sauteed mushrooms. Easy, quick, and delicious. Sold. I only added a few things to the mushrooms to keep the spotlight on them; the shallot, wine, and parsley are all very much supporting players. Technique is important here, if not at all difficult. Start with a big pan that will hold your shrooms with plenty of breathing room so they actually saute and don’t steam defeatedly in their own juices. Preheat the pan and use high heat; the mushrooms can take it. They should squeak when you toss them, and pick up some good golden brown color. Then, drop the heat and carry on with the shallot and everything else at a more relaxed temperature. And, because, I’ve never met a lily that couldn’t be gilded just a little, hit ’em at the end with a drizzle of truffle oil to tie everything together. A restrained dusting of parmesan could also be a nice finish. Mr. T gave this little supper an enthusiastic thumbs up.