An unusual Foodie Schmoodie post, yes. But here it is!
It wasn’t love at first sight. In fact, it was “blegh” at first sight. Although I was a rather adventurous eater as a child, I put mushrooms in the “don’t want to like it because the idea scares me” pile. I’ll admit, I never even tried one before I made the decision to hate them so it was quite unjust of me. My parents didn’t cook them, so when I saw them at restaurants or in the buffet line, I wasn’t keen on trying it.
Then, it all changed. I’ll never forget it. I was nine. We were on a cruise with the whole family over the Christmas holidays. I loved cruises as a kid. There was always something fun to do and there was almost always food to be eaten. We were in line to have lunch at a buffet. It certainly wasn’t anything fancy. It was one of those buffets set up near the pool area filled with “kid-friendly” foods. I walked through the line and passed the usual suspects (Hamburger, Hot Dog, Chicken Fingers). Suddenly, I encountered a weird noodle dish on the line with a brown sauce. I’ve always loved noodles so I decided to try it. I sat down. I took a tentative first bite.
“Whoa!” I cried. It was delicious. I’d never tasted anything like it. It was earthy, savory, and so yummy. “What is this?!” I asked my father.
“I dunno.” He replied. Dad never asked what things were, he simply ingested and was happy. I ran over to the buffet line. There was no sign. I became anxious and desperate. What could this flavor possibly be? I got another serving and returned to the table. My mom peered over my shoulder to examine the dish.
“It looks like mushrooms and ground beef,” she guessed. Mushrooms? Could it be? I’ve always hated mushrooms, I thought. I didn’t quite understand or consider my prejudice toward fungi at that moment because I was so excited by the flavor. I kept going back for more. It was after my fifth serving that I decided two things.
1) It was time for a nap and then a swim.
2) Mushrooms are the best food in the world.
Since that moment, I’ve always ordered the item on the menu with mushrooms on it. They always have a place in my refrigerator. I put them in everything and get excited when the wild varieties show up at the market. Criminis, Portabellos, Shitakes, Enoki, Trumpet, Morels, Hen of the Woods, Oyster, Chantrelles, you name it. I’ve tried it and loved it. I’ve even experimented with those “Grow Your Own Mushroom” kits. While my vigilance to keep them watered properly has resulted in oddly shaped dried hunks of mushroom, I eat them anyway. They are still delicious!
My experience with mushrooms has taught me the importance of not judging a book by its cover. Especially with food. Something that looks rather odd may be one of your next favorite foods!
One of my favorite ways to eat mushrooms are with eggs. It’s extremely simple and so satisfyingly delicious, you’ll think you’ve just had a fancy brunch at a restaurant.
Eggs and Mush
2 Tbl Olive Oil
1/2 lb of your favorite mushrooms, wiped clean with a damp cloth and sliced. I love oyster mushrooms with eggs. They offer a great nuttiness to the dish you can’t get anywhere else.
Salt and Pepper
1 Tbl chopped chives (optional).
Heat a large sauté pan over high heat. Drizzle the olive oil in the pan and let it get hot enough that it moves like water in the pan. Add the mushrooms. Spread them out in an even layer and then let them cook, undisturbed, for about 1-2 minutes. This will ensure that they brown nicely, letting the nuttiness and caramelization to come out. Gently move the mushrooms around to flip them over so they can brown on the other side. Let it be for 1-2 minutes. If the pan begins to smoke, turn the heat down a little. Once there is a nice browning for your mushrooms, add a pinch of salt. Stir the pan. Taste, and season more if needed. Remove the mushrooms from the pan to a small bowl.
Crack all of the eggs into another medium sized bowl. Whisk them up. Add a pinch of salt and 4-5 cracks of black pepper. Stir. Reheat the pan to med-high heat and add some butter or olive oil if it needs more grease. Pour in the egg mixture and scramble as you normally would. Add the mushrooms as the eggs begin to solidify. When the eggs look slightly under-done, take them off the heat and keep stirring. Garnish with chives and serve immediately.
What do you think. Winners? @gracefulpearl (Taken with Instagram)
This year’s pesto from the fall harvest!!! Thinking about holiday gifts? (Taken with Instagram)
Well, readers. Are you still there? It’s been quite a while since my last post and I’m so sorry. I started Foodieschmoodie when I was between jobs. Now that I’m in the midst of several, I’ve put FS on the back burner. No more! I love sharing ideas and experiences on this forum and I will work to be better at getting more recipes, photos, and fun facts on here for you all to explore.
Ok, now to what is really important. Caramel Apples. Right? Yes.
And that’s not even half of it!! I’m swimming in summer vegetables! (Taken with Instagram)