Oh, how we've been waiting for you...
As I write this, the temperature outside has finally climbed above 0, with no wind chill; The clocks have been turned back, and I have scrubbed the salt off my boots (half vinegar, half water-wipe with a cloth). I think we are all ready for the new beginnings and unknown possibilities that Spring promises.
Living with and feeding two young men is the kind of challenge that I really enjoyed. It's truly amazing how much and how often my guys eat in a day. They come by that honestly, as I have a very robust appetite myself. But after a heavy carnivorous winter, I am really looking forward to some lighter fare.
Wondering what to make for dinner recently, I noticed that there are always mushrooms in the fridge. Ok, sometimes it's just that one sad wrinkled mushroom left in the paper bag.... Without really thinking about it, I buy mushrooms. Why do I always have mushrooms on hand? I certainly didn't grow up eating mushrooms. In my childhood mushrooms lived in cans, in that weird mushroom water. I buy mushrooms because they are so versatile. Raw or sautéed. Sliced, diced or whole. White button, Cremini, Portobello (which are just mature Cremini) or the adorable and perfect Enoki mushrooms. Mushrooms are so tasty. Fresh raw mushrooms have a mild flavour, but the flavour intensifies with cooking and even more with drying. Mushrooms are often used as a substitute for meat because of their meaty texture and taste. Just try a BBQed Portobello mushroom burger with sautéed onions.... you won't miss the meat.
Canadians are one of the world leaders in mushroom consumption and production. Because mushrooms do not contain chlorophyll, they can be grown in inexpensive controlled environments. That means we can buy fresh local mushrooms year round. With over 2000 varieties of mushrooms, only 100 are safe to eat. Mushrooms are basically fat, cholesterol and sodium free. And a half a cup of mushrooms contains more potassium than a banana. There are so many delicious recipes that highlight the mighty mushroom. Mushroom risotto, stir fry’s, stuffed mushrooms, pasta dishes, pizza topping supreme, soups and salads. The fungi really are fun.
Here is a quick and delicious mushroom dish I make quite often...
Simply Delicious. Sautéed Mushrooms in Sriracha!
* Mix of your favourite Mushrooms * Butter or Olive Oil * Sprinkle of Sea Salt * Sriracha * Parsley (optional)
Gently wipe the mushrooms clean of any dirt. Roughly slice your mushrooms, and toss into a hot pan with butter. Salt will help to bring out the water and add flavour. When the mushrooms begin to brown, squeeze in the Sriracha to taste. Brown really well.
Slide onto a plate and top with parsley. Magical!
Used with permission: The Feast, quarterly newsletter
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