Mushrooms Archive

Sunday, May 13, 2007

baked eggs + chive biscuits + bloody marys

mother's day brunch

Today, I have failed you as a food blogger. I’m not proud. I cooked and cooked, we and our loved ones ate like kings, there was not a single recipe that shouldn’t be archived and returned to and yet, in the whirl of things we forgot to pick up the camera. (Hangs head in shame.) You get no photographic evidence of the shredded hash browns, chive biscuits, egregious amount of thick-cut maple-cured bacon, baked almond-orange French toast, insanely spicy bloody marys, plain yogurt I flavored myself with real vanilla and just a pinch of sugar. You’re just going to have to trust me that it was grand.

Since we’ve been together Alex and I have twice taken our mothers and those dudes they married for Mother’s Day brunches. I’m not going to say that we haven’t had good meals, but we’ve never had a great one. No matter who cooks it (and really, it’s always a short order cook; the chef with his/her name on the menu isn’t called in six hours early just to flip eggs), in the end most brunch menus look exactly alike and with the prices jacked up for the holiday, you’ve got to question the sanity of a $50 over-cooked egg. I don’t overcook my eggs, do you? And yet I’ll pay someone else to, and to serve bacon that’s never quite crisp. My bacon is always crisp.

Continued after the jump »

Monday, January 29, 2007

asparagus, artichoke and shiitake risotto

asparagus, artichoke and shiitake risotto

Though it’s still and gusting the kind of evil, icy winds outside that make you grunt as they hit your face and sometimes (er like last night when I accidentally left the window open and spent most of the night under sixteen blankets cursing these landlords who were being cheap! with our heat! Ok, Einstein.) I swear, I will never get warm again, when I began to make a shopping list for yet another thick, hearty, rib-sticking meal on Sunday (Julia Child’s beef bourguignon, if you must know), I just couldn’t do it. Winter has really just begun and I began to feel like I’m caving without even trying to cope. This hibernation, it must stop.

So I threw seasonal eating to the wind and never-minded the ridiculousness of buying asparagus in January (which was perfect, eerily enough) last night, and cooked us the kind of risotto better associated with longer days. Somehow, just saying “See? We’re ready for you,” made me feel like we were luring springtime closer, fighting the good fight, keeping our chins up and horrifying you with clichés, I know, but there was some seriously warmer weather for dinner last night and it’s got me carried away… enough that after a glass (two) of bright white wine, I tried to breathe some fresh air into our place before we went to bed. Ah, well. If you’re like us and your next warm vacation feels like an eternity from now, I highly encourage you to fake yourselves out as we did. Just remember to close the window before you bed, lest winter come back and bite you in the arse.

Continued after the jump »

Sunday, January 14, 2007

leek and mushroom quiche

mushroom and leek quiche

Come on, be honest. Is there anything better than a homemade quiche? I could eat it with a pile of baby greens for dinner every night of the week. Or lunch, brunch or a post-gym snack. Is there anything more versatile? Oddly enough, I didn’t have a proper quiche pan until yesterday, when a trip to my beloved Bowery Kitchen Supply put me face-to-face with one for ten bucks. (Alex’s favorite kitchen name, ever, is Fluted Removable-Bottom Tart Pan, followed by Reamer. What, you didn’t know I was married to a twelve-year-old?) I was actually there to get my knives sharpened (mwa-ha-ha, it sounds so sinister, right?) and to look at pasta-makers (this excitement for later, but yes, I can barely contain myself, too), and within 2.5 seconds, I knew we were having quiche for dinner.

Unable to decide between Julia Child’s leek quiche and her mushroom variety, I opted instead to use a little of both. She suggests you braise the leeks for 30 minutes with a little butter, water and salt and you should listen to her. Remember those brown-braised pearl onions from the coq a vin? Well, they’ve got competition. She has you cook mushrooms in a way I haven’t before, but it will now be my go-to method for sautéed mushrooms because it was divine: a pat of butter, a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of port, cooked low with the lid on for eight minutes. How does she do that? How does she take something you’ve done your whole life and convince you each time you could have been doing it better because they’ve never tasted this good?

mushroom and leek quiche

Continued after the jump »

Thursday, January 4, 2007

balthazar’s cream of mushroom soup

balthazar cream of mushroom soup

A couple months ago, I briefly mentioned making a wild mushroom soup from Gourmet magazine that was, you know, good, but also, eh. But shame on me, really, because last year we found the perfect, best-ever, fail-proof, tastiest recipe so why did I fall for the shiny new thing? Isn’t that the point of all this trial-and-error, anyway? I’m always trying to catalogue Recipes That Work, also called Recipes to Share you know, the ones that you try and you think “This is it. This is everything I have ever wanted from a [insert beloved grub here],” even if yes, I know, most people probably do not share my fanaticism about beloved grub. Lemon cake? Done. Banana bread? Found that too. Easy-peasy rustic loaf? Yup, and hooray for that. Chocolate cookies so good, it may bring tears to your eyes? That’s for tomorrow, because I am a tease, and also because I think about them again, I might eat five. Best-ever mushroom soup? I will never doubt you again.

2 lbs, 1 oz of mushrooms

What was missing from the bland mushroom soup was bulk. So many varied soup recipes come down to a similar process: a sauté of onions, leeks or garlic and herbs, a pile of vegetables simmered in stock until soft, then pureed and topped with cream, grated cheese or a splash of booze or if you’re super-lucky, all three. But if you want to make it taste like more than watery vegetables, you’re going to need some volume. Balthazar’s cream of mushroom soup has over two pounds of sliced mushrooms with a relatively small volume of broth coaxing it gently into soup form — there’s nothing more worthy of your spoon. You might, ahem, even determine that it tastes so good, that no, you will not share it and will instead eat it standing over the pot, hungry husbands be damned, even when they catch your selfishness on film. But then again maybe not, as you’re probably a nicer person than me. One can only hope.

will not share

Continued after the jump »

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

gougères + stuffed mushrooms

latkes, lox, sour cream, dill

My in-laws had a cocktail party on Saturday night and in case you are new here, what this meant was that there was so much food, just the of plating of the appetizers took four people nearly an hour. (It also means that although there was much conversation and liveliness, I captured none of it. “Alex, what are they laughing at?” “He told a joke.” “What was it?” “It was funny.” “Thanks.”)

only half the spread

caviar trilogy

This would be but half the magnificent spread, not including the Cheese Table, which was not, mind you, a slew of cut-your-own cheese wedges and loose grapes but actual cheese-showcasing appetizers.

Continued after the jump »


css.php