Sunday, September 18, 2005

Mushrooms Part One

My shopping lists are pathetic. The one today read as follows:

Black Peppercorns
Cat Chow

The first three items are pretty straightforward. The last item is a problem I haven’t been able to solve yet.


What does that mean? Steak, chicken, pork or fish? Stir fry or bar-b-que? Salad, pasta, rice or potatoes?

Dinner. What’s up with that?

Tonight as I was cruising the vegetable section of Kroger’s, pushing a sane cart that actually went in the direction I willed it to go, I thought “Mushrooms.” Yeah, that’s the ticket, mushrooms. A reader sent me a recipe that used mushrooms and, darn it, it’s too bad I don’t have a copy of that recipe with me, but I recall it had mushrooms and different kinds.

So, I headed to the mushroom section, picked up a couple of packages of this and that mushroom, some shallots, garlic, heavy cream, bacon and some other stuff and I thought I was good to go.

When I got home I checked the recipe and discovered that the recipe was Chestnuts and Mushrooms.

Ah, chestnuts. Not to appear for a couple of months unless I go to Williams-Sonoma and buy a jar of expensive French chestnuts. Chestnuts. Rats. I’ve even got an Italian Chestnut knife just laying in the drawer. Alas.

What to do, what to do?

Well, I had all the ingredients for a mushroom something or another so I set off, fired up my favorite sauté pan and created a mushroom soup. Here is the blueprint:

Lots of mushrooms
Shallots, chopped
Brandy for Fooming
Sherry for taste
Heavy cream to kill you
Water to thin it a bit
Black pepper

I sautéed the mushrooms in butter, flamed them in brandy, reduced the mixture, added some sherry, reduced it further, added some water and cooked it until about half the water was gone, added the cream and simmered for 20 minutes or so.

Meanwhile, I cut some slices from an Italian bread loaf we had lying around just about to go mouldy, toasted them and topped them with a slice of brie.

To serve I ladled the mushroom soup into a bowl, and topped it with the brie toast which acted like a crouton.

Well received.

I’ll keep this recipe in anticipation of chestnuts.

On a personal note, since we’ve been painting the kitchen we’ve been ordering food in. Tonight’s food I cooked myself, although it was enlightening that my son said that we should “order this soup more often.”

Out of the mouths of babes.


Holly Hyde said...

I am liking the blogging of this man called Bill! I will surely come back later and read more when my eyes aren't putting out little closed for business signs.

In a previous post, you listed interesting little instruments, some of which sounded like rudimentary surgeon's tools from the 1700's. What is this Chinese dumpling press you speak of? Where do I find the dumplings of a Chinese, and when I do, why must I press on them? Will this offend the Chinese?

Oh, man. I have to get to bed.

MF said...

Heavy cream to kill you. Oh, it is to weep.

The Absent Minded Housewife said...

That was torture. I think I know what I'm making for dinner.

Susan said...

Bill! Good luck with Rita...I don't know if you are in her path but if you do: git going!


Anonymous said...

Bill, you are killing me with the food descriptions, it's like showing porn to a man in prison. I'm fantasising about a good meal in February 2006, which will be the next one I get. I have time to plan it, I'll just need to find the kitchen. Or I may just go straight to instant gratification and find the first Indian restaurant in Christchurch, NZ I stumble in to.

Three times a day, 7 days a week I eat in the galley here, and in one month (of a 6 month stretch) I have lost already 5 lbs. I don't have 5 lbs/month to spare on my bones.

I try not to think about food. It gets my appetite up & then I am bound to be disappointed and I end up eating even less if I think about it like food and not just petrol for the tank.

Two weeks or more to fresh fruit & vegetables. No more fresh eggs left.

Please don't talk about mushrooms like that.

Foodie porn, that's what your website is.