*Act II: “Best Mushrooms Ever”
*This is the second recipe in my three-part dinner series. Yesterday’s post covered the Quinoa Risotto and is already posted. The next post will cover the steak.
The above is a direct quote from BF, who has a strong aversion to mushrooms. Until now. During my undergrad semester in Rome, I took several cooking classes. I use a lot of the techniques and ingredients of Roman cooking when I am trying to convince someone that they like something new. Roman cooking is casual, but precise. This means that while in another culinary tradition, such as Japanese cooking, the shape, color, and texture of the foods would be a careful consideration. Roman cooking is more forgiving of nature’s imperfections (i.e. whole mushrooms vs. chopping them up to be the same size). Everyday Roman recipes are usually designed to be quickly cooked and accordingly tend to rely on fewer ingredients with more bold flavors rather than carefully mixed spices. This was the approach I took to introducing the BF to mushrooms. You will see from the ingredients I used that I tried to keep it relatively simple and cook them in a way that would make him like the portobellos, maybe this time not for their inherent deep, dense, earthy flavor, but I’m interested in baby steps on this. Here is a close-up on the mushrooms of the finished product:
You will need:
- 1/4 of a medium-sized white onion, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 8 ounces baby portobello mushrooms, carefully washed
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons red wine
- 2/3 cup grated hard Italian cheese (Asiago, Parmesan, etc.)
- Salt, pepper, and oregano, to taste
- In a large frying pan on medium heat, add the olive oil, garlic, and onions. Give a few stirs and let them cook for a few minutes, until they start to smell like something good is happening.
- Note: At this point in the dinner, BF has already asked twice what smells so good. After the first inquiry, I was tempted to stop right here and just give the boy a bowl full of onions and garlic, just to see what would happen.
- Add in the mushrooms, let them cook on their own for three minutes or so, still on medium.
- Add in the Worcestershire, red wine, and seasonings. Lower the heat slightly, stir occasionally, and let cook for ten minutes, until the mushrooms are tender. This is my work in progress at this point:
- Stir in the cheeses, turn the heat down again to low, and let the cheeses melt into the sauce (most of which will evaporate/be absorbed by the mushrooms).
- By this time, you will have attracted the attention of several family members. Let them down gently, even if they sit so politely when they ask for a bite. You won’t want to share. Not even with these two: