It’s October so I guess it’s understandable why I’d be craving mushrooms
It took a bit to make a plan with a friend I rarely get to see as she’s a wife to a very prominent businessman who’s recovering from some health issues. We picked today, a Sunday, that she would come to my place since she cannot have guests and she would love to see RhODy. Of course I’d cook. Initially I thought I’d make my go to Spanish tortilla & something. Something else??? I started thinking about soup vs again my typical endive salad when mushroom soup leapt to mind but mushroom soup & Spanish tortilla – that doesn’t work – not in my mind.
Then like a lightning flash mushroom bolognese came to me
Earlier this year I saw on instagram that Chef Terry Harwood’s, Vine Street Cafe, on Shelter Island, has a Market ‘shop’ stocking a variety of their classic menu items. The photo was of a bottle of their mushroom bolognese. Clearly this made a lasting impression on me, seared in my mind since the Spring I’m guessing.
So that’s it. It’s sO simple but as always, I used a secret ingredient or two in this one.
Earlier this week I declared, my next cookbook project will be: Recipes 4 Survival, The Secret Ingredient Cook Book….
Here’s what I’ll reveal I used,
Some direction: When ever I work with mushrooms I love working with a variety – of mushrooms. I small diced a 1/4 of that huge onion. Place a pot over a medium flame or heat. I always start with a delicate shower of my new moon Salt of D Earth on the bottom of a dry pot, then a zigzagged stream of oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pot. Onions into the pot. Let them cook until just flaccid. Next a good swig of a dry white wine. I probably used about 1/2 a cup. Then the pulsed portobello stems. Stir occasionally while they cook with a wooden spoon. Next, the king oysters. I sliced them vertically then across then those chunks into my mini, food processing ‘chopper’. Only a few of these mushrooms had a rough end I removed & discarded. Into the pot with them. Then the shitake. These stems are discarded, chopped & into the pot. I peeled & chopped the 2 mini carrots in the processor, into the mix. OH 2 good sized garlic cloves – minced. Into the mix. Herb seasoning – thyme for sure, I had a bayleaf. A touch more S&P. Stir well. I let this cook a good 10 minutes over a lower heat to simmer. Then I added 1/2 the bottle of Union Market’s marinara & a splash of whole milk when I realized I forgot fennel which is what I use in place of celery so I diced up a few stem bottoms of the chicory I’d bought for a simple salad. I let this all cook down for a good half hour stirring occasionally.
I rough chopped half the head of chicory. Half of this I wilted in a dry pan. A squeeze of a lemon wedge, a zigzag of olive oil, a delicate shower of Salt of D Earth & a little mirin – for some viscosity on the leaves. I cooked the pasta off when I pulled the salad together.
I must also note that while I was in the chopping stage something came over me and I could not cut into or do anything with the golden oyster mushrooms. They’re just so beautiful I thought I’d use them as garnish but that never happened either so many hours later I tried to paint them when I noticed that they’re drying out and loosing their vitality. I’m considering a number of options for them now.
We had my pineapple juice & ginger beer to drink & some great conversation. My friend absolutely loved the dish. She’s Italian and I know she wouldn’t just say it. Additionally, she said how much better she felt after eating this delicious meal.
With all this said, there is still a secret ingredient I added that really made the mixture very special & I’m not just talking a shake of Outerbridges Sherry Pepper sauce.