I really, really love Mushrooms.
I wish I could say, it’s because I’m a fun-guy… but I’m a girl, so that dumb joke won’t work.
We have a good friend Nick, who is definitely one of the most food obsessed people I know and a really amazing cook, and he can’t stand mushrooms. Why? How?… Why??
I just cannot wrap my head around the fact that anyone, especially a person with such an appreciation and appetite for all things tasty, doesn’t like something that is so damn good to eat.
Mushroom Risotto. Who could live in a world without that? Who would want to? Even Coeliac Vegans can’t argue with that.
Speaking of our herbivore brothers, it’s actually in my mind the only vegetable that feels like meat. I can eat a beautiful, grilled, giant portabello and walk away with that certain satisfaction that you only get from a good steak. It’s certainly the only acceptable way to make a steak sandwich without the steak. But, oh yes friends, a steak sanger with mushrooms AND the steak… Heaven.
Meat on meat.
The best of the vegetarian meats (sorry Quorn, you suck, you mushroom wannabe imposter) with the best of the living meats. Cow, Chicken, Duck, Pig, Fish, Deer, Lamb… literally any animal you would ever endeavour to ingest will taste better with these little fungal puppies perched on top of it.
And hey, sometimes I’m a snob. I do love a good truffle and not just the dark, chocolate, peppermint kind.
I know, I know, it’s not technically a mushroom. But, wouldn’t it be lovely to always have one in my fridge to just shave over whatever takes my fancy… breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert.
OK maybe not dessert.
Truffle ice cream? Been there, done that, never going back for seconds. It tasted like a Hobo’s washcloth. My taste buds are clearly not evolved enough to appreciate a savoury, fungal soft serve.
Should’ve got the doughnuts…
Now, I’m not in the upper echelons of high society so I can’t afford a fridge full of fresh truffles.
Nope, I have to settle for our old mate, truffle oil. Yes, the flavour is still there but it’s like drinking UHT milk instead of non-homogenized farm fresh. Can it ever compare? Hmmm, maybe if you’re on the International Space Station and used to eating everything out of a dehydrated food pack.
Shitake, Enoki, King Brown, Oyster, Shimeji… OHHHH GOD… Pine, Swiss… OH MY GOD… Porcini, Chanterelles… AH AHH AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! I think I’m having a When Harry met Sally moment.
But, with every silver lining there’s always a cloud.
I don’t mean to be mean and I have to admit I’m feeling a little bit of guilt, because I’m not the type of person to single someone out and tell them they aren’t good enough to join my team.
But… Button Mushroom, sorry! You’re on your own, go and play in the corner by yourself, we will never be friends.
The only way to make buttons even half way acceptable is to fry them in so much butter and salt that you can’t taste that they are a mushroom, not that you ever could anyway.
I die a little inside every time I’m at the supermarket and they are the only option in the mushroom section, it’s an absolute travesty.
Alright, I will agree, button mushrooms (like flies and mosquitoes) do have a purpose in this world. We do need them for a Boeuf Bourguignon or a Tom-Yum… Coq Au Vin… Marinated… OK, they do hold their (very limited) place in my heart, but if you actually want flavour, they are a complete and utter waste of fridge space.
So friends, to relish and rejoice in the King of the compost, I’m going to share with you my super delicious Mushroom Risotto. This is so, so good on its own, but if you are a carnivorous dinosaur like me it’s even better when served with a beautiful, crispy duck breast or any other of Mother Nature’s best edible birds.
Oh, and if you’re thinking “Ooohh Risotto, that’s so haaaard, I just don’t have the time for that”. Yes you do. This is my fool proof oven baked version, so there’s actually no excuse.
Ciao Bella’s! xxx