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Tag: mushroom

Baby, It’s Cold Outside: Mushroom Asparagus Risotto

Holy crap, it’s cold. I mean, for D.C. And dark. It’s dark, too. What better time then, to have some friends over and huddle around the stove stirring a delicious pot of risotto? Done and done. Since our guests were mostly veggie, I even made veggie stock from scratch. (Yes, that light you see is my halo glowing.)
Fortunately, the effort involved in risotto is quite a convivial one, and I don’t think anyone suffered for having to keep me company in the kitchen as the rice made its magical transformation into silky wonderfulness. You could go wild with the additions, of course, but having made several risottos in the past few weeks, I can say with confidence that a few judiciously chosen ingredients of quality is better than several. Here, woodsy mushrooms and bright, verdant asparagus and depth and perfume. A little lemon zest at the end could be nice too, but then I think a little lemon zest improves just about anything.
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FMC Mushrooms: Saute Simply for a Scintillating Supper

mushroomsLSo, 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.

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Farmers’ Market Challenge: ‘Yeah, man… Shrooms’

mushroomTime for another installment of our Farmers’ Market Challenge. The pickings continue to be slim at the market, though I did appropriate some beautiful rockfish which I’ll detail in a post next week. As both Challenge Cardoon and Challenge Sunchoke were both a little hard to swallow–or at least digest–I was desperate to find something neither excessively weird nor utterly gut-shattering. That means no turnips!

For this challenge, then, I am pleased to present an assortment of meaty mushrooms from the always consistent, reliable, and lovely Ferial Welsh (Sundays at the Dupont Farmers’ Market) are on the menu. I picked up a variety of specimens: oyster, cremini, enoki, and perhaps a few others. Far more exciting than your average supermarket buttons, and these are only a tiny percentage of the wild and wonderful world of fungus.

Luke, I promise to bring you your share tonight!

I’m thinking something I’ll be doing something vegan with my mycological bounty as ‘that friend’ will be over again tonight, and I’m looking forward to seeing what Mr. Perfect comes up with. What are your go-to mushroom preparations–at least, the ones that don’t involve sweat lodges, peyote, and vision quests?

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