Tuesday, April 17, 2012

We Love Mushrooms

My husband and I love mushrooms anytime we can add them to a dish, find a new way to include them in a dish or make something new with them, we are intensely satisfied.  There is just something about perfectly cooked mushrooms of all varieties that makes us happy.  Whether they are grilled, stuffed, roasted, in a sauce, a part of a side dish, as the main dish they are just a joy to eat.  I know, I am starting to sound a little like the Bubba in Forest Gump when he goes on and on about shrimp, but for us, it is true.  Can't have enough mushrooms.  

My lovely husband, who is enjoying my culinary adventures wanted pasta for dinner... again!  I grow tired quickly of pasta or things with a red sauce.  I had just made a rocking bolognese sauce over the weekend, which is easy and delicious and will be posted as it will make you a rock star in the eyes of your family... but the last thing I wanted was more pasta.  However, if I could change it up, and not have such a tomato base (my families favorite way to eat pasta), then maybe I could be a rock star yet again.  

So here is what I made.  A lovely mushroom filled sauce, then added fettuccine noodles as this sauce deserved a bolder thicker and wider pasta.  Once the sauce was made, I realized it would go great over grilled pork chops and rice or angel hair pasta.  Great over chicken and rice with broccoli.  It could also go great over a steak to make an updated Steak Diane.  Now I don't often put sauce of any kind on my steak because if you cook the perfect steak it doesn't need anything else, however, if you are into sauce on your steak or are looking for an updated version of something like a Steak Diane then this is your sauce.  

It can be made vegetarian or not, mine was not, but it could have easily held up without the addition of  the Prosciutto Di Parma.  Personally, the addition of the Prosciutto was a plus for me, but it could be done without it for sure.  You could also add a nice crisp white wine instead of water to make it even more grown up, but my kids wouldn't have touched it with wine in the sauce.  It was plenty rich and delicious with out the wine, but 16oz's of wine instead of water, you have a special date nice sauce that works in many applications.  

I forgot to take pictures at the end, it was so good we just ate it.  This is when you know I am still an amateur at this food blogging thing.  I did take a picture or two as I was making it, so will share that, but you will have to wait until I make it again for a finished picture.  At this point I am still working on my food photography too which leaves something to be desired.  When you have a hungry brood waiting for their meal, well taking pictures is the last thing on my mind.  

Rockin' Mushroom Sauce

What you will need:

1 lb Crimini Mushrooms sliced thin
1 16oz can of diced tomato 
4 or 5 slices of Prosciutto
1/2 a medium red onion sliced very thin
2 big cloves of garlic sliced wafer thin
1 cup of water or crisp white wine (make sure it is a wine you like to drink)
3 Tbs fresh basil 
1 Tbs fresh oregano (if you don't have fresh herbs please cut herb measurements in half)
2 Bay Leaves
1/3 to 1/2 Cup of Cream
2 inch piece of parmigiano reggiano rind
olive oil (not extra virgin)


Using a mandolin or your awesome knife skills, slice onion, garlic and mushrooms wafer thin.  Cut the onion rings in half (these will all but disolve in the cooking process but it makes it easier this way).  In a large skillet, add a little olive oil for cooking, heat to medium and add onion.  Let onions sweat until translucent and then add garlic.  While onions are cooking, chiffonade your basil and chop your oregano.  Add basil, oregano and bay leaves to the pan and saute for moment.  Chiffonade your Prosciutto and add to pan.  Add a big pinch of salt (season as your go) and if your oil is gone add a bit more oil and toss in your mushrooms.  Let the mushrooms brown and then season again with a little salt.  Once mushrooms are nicely browned, add your tomato, including the juice.  Then fill the empty can with water or wine.  Add water or wine to pan.  Bring the sauce up to a simmer and let it reduce by 1/2.  

Once reduced by half, turn off your heat and let the sauce cool for a few minutes.  Once cooled slightly add your parmigiano reggiano rind and your cream.  Bring sauce back up to a simmer and reduce by half.  If you reduce too far add a little more cream.  Taste your sauce and adjust seasoning with salt. 

Once sauce is done, toss in your cooked al dente pasta while simmering and cook together for a minute or two so that the pasta absorbs some of the flavor of your sauce.  Remove any remaining parmigiano reggiano rind and your bay leaves.  Serve warm with a sprinkle of parmigiano reggiano on the top.  Or spoon sauce over your pork, steak or chicken.  Enjoy!