Wednesday, June 17, 2009

In praise of the 'shroom

Growing up I would not eat mushrooms. I have amazed people with my ability to pick the teeny, tiny slivers of mushroom out of Campbell's cream of mushroom soup. My dad would claim I could pick powdered mushroom out of a dish. I did not like the texture of mushroom as they were too rubbery and icky.

Several years ago I finally relented and allowed mushrooms on my pizza, as long as they were thinly sliced and well cooked. They were tolerable then.

Fast forward a couple years and a friend convinced me to try a grilled cheese stuffed portobello mushroom.

YUM!!!!!!

Meaty flavor and not hint of rubbery, slimy texture. I was hooked. I buy portobellos when I can, but mostly I buy crimini mushrooms. Criminis are simply baby portobellos so they have the same meaty flavor. Luckily Winco sells the criminis for the same price as the white mushroom, so I can get them when ever they have them.

I don't care for the white mushroom, no real flavor, tho they season up nicely in various dishes.

But the one thing I like about portobellos/criminis is I can vary some recipes and use them in it instead of meat. Case in point, last night I made spaghetti and used criminis instead of ground beef.

YUM!!!!!!!

I had about 1.5 lbs of criminis I diced up and sauteed in olive oil. Added some garlic seasoning, tomato sauce, a bit of balsamic vinegar and Italian seasoning and I had a very yummy sauce for my spaghetti and it satisfied my veggie craving. I had enough sauce left over I popped it in the freezer for next time. Having lots in the freezer makes week night dinners so much easier.

Eventually I will work on adding more mushroom varieties into to my repertoire. Costco sells a good sized package of dried mixed 'shrooms that would be handy to have on hand for making various dishes a bit more special.
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