Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Wild Mushroom Mix

Wild Mushroom Mix

I'm no food jockey yet, but I have taken one cooking class. It was at Whole Foods, and was over 3 hours long to cover a complete dinner menu, and very relaxed. I'd actually prefer an intense 1-hour class, but I did get a lot out of this class.

Including a recipe for a wild mushroom in puff pastry appetizer. But even when we made it in class, the puff pastry seemed extraneous. Who needs the carbs? And there's nothing special about frozen puff pastry. The mushroom mixture, on the other hand....very special. Note to self: make this at home when my diabetic sister is visiting, sans pastry of course.

The time came last week. Shopping for ingredients, I learned that oyster mushrooms are a stunning $18.99 a pound. Fortunately, Whole Foods sells a 6oz container of wild mushrooms for $6.99, which I supplemented with some crimini (a staple anyway).

The recipe calls for chives, tarragon or basil, but this was a no-brainer: fresh tarragon. These days it's not hard to find fresh tarragon in grocery stores, and conveniently, Whole Foods had some. I was struck by the anise tint of the fresh tarragon, I need to look up its family tree. I added some fresh basil too, but it was swamped by the other ingredients. Heavy cream, a liberal dose of brandy, shallots...but would you believe: the largest Whole Foods west of Austin was out of shallots, and had been for weeks?! I had to go to SAFEWAY!

I served this as a side dish on a plate, like you would any vegetable dish with a heavy sauce on it, though now that I think about it, it could also pass for a soup. It is sooo good, such a rich classy flavor with really very few ingredients. The tarragon made it. And my sister's blood sugar didn't even notice it!

I could experiment with chives instead, but why mess with perfection? This is great.

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