Friday, June 30, 2006

Mushroom fest

I tried out Jamie Oliver's Baked Onions and as he promised they were "smashing, pukka, the absolute dog's kahunas!!" I don't know if I'd be violating copyrights by putting the recipe in here, but the basic idea is you boil some big fat yellow onions, then hollow them out. You take the pulp and mush ‘em up with some cream and your favorite herbs and cheese, and stuff that back into the bulbs. Then you wrap the lot with pancetta if you can get it, or if (like me) you can't then just some nice streaky bacon. You bake these babies, and the onions come out all sweet and cheesy and herby and they just majorly kick butt, man!

Went scouting for mushrooms at the local market & grocery store. No gourmet shops for me. I wanted to know what could be had at short notice & on a budget. What else is there besides the common canned champignon (aka button) mushrooms? Funny fact I learned about champignon mushrooms: Wikipedia says, "while this specific mushroom is sometimes called simply champignon in the English-speaking world, this word means "fungus" in general in French, including all mushrooms, toadstools and even fungal infections." Yummy.

Too bad we don't have porcini mushrooms here. What I found were some fresh oyster mushrooms and some big meaty shiitakes. I also found packets of dried 'shrooms I couldn't quite identify. After soaking 'em I realized they were shiitakes too. I'd occasionally chanced upon some enoki mushrooms but none today. In any case they would've been nice for variety but would probably not have added much flavor as the shiitake was bound to overpower everything else. I roughly chopped up my finds & sautéed them in some butter and plenty of garlic and herbs. Served this up on top of some baked polenta and the beautiful onions.

Herbed Mushrooms on Polenta, and Baked Onions

While the onions and the polenta were baking I wondered what to do with the extra onion + cheese + cream that I couldn't stuff back into the onion bulbs. I had some extra champignon mushrooms, too. I minced and sautéed the ‘shrooms and put them in the cream with some ground beef. Quickie cannelloni filling. The cannelloni just caught the tail end of the other stuff's cooking time, and didn't quite make it to the table as early as I would've liked, but Mama, Papa, Sarah and I still found tummy space to dig into it before the baked onions completely disappeared.

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Blogger indi said...

just reading about them baked onions is making my mouth water. too bad our oven's busted. is it possible to come up with anything decent on a ratty oven toaster?

btw, i heart jamie oliver. and he plays belle and sebastian on his show too. funny bit on the champignons. hahaha! a champignon infection!

8:32 PM  
Blogger JB said...

Sure! I used to live on home-made pizzas baked on them el cheapo frozen pizza crusts from the grocery, or cans of bicol express flavored tuna on sliced bread, all cooked in a ratty oven toaster hehehe. I'd say that qualifies as decent for the munchies at 3AM.

If you want something a little more sophisticated (and a whole lot healthier) cut up some chicken breast or fish fillets, rub em all over with salt, pepper, and minced garlic, toss into an aluminum foil packet (check the main blog for my post on cooking in a bag) along with some julienned tomatoes & bell peppers, your fave herbs, some lemon juice, maybe a splash of wine, whatever. Seal it up & toss it onto your oven toaster's drip tray. Cook for 15minutes. Simple as toast ;-)

1:08 AM  
Blogger Luis K. said...

That looks great! It's a little before 4AM as I write this, and I wish I had the ingredients, the patience and the skill to whip something like that up right now. :) Oh well. Instant pansit canton for me, as usual.

Good toaster oven suggestions! Maybe you could do more posts on quick + tasty post-midnight snacks. :D

12:42 PM  

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