Monday, July 30, 2012

Told Ya So

The true test of culinary greatness is when you can convince someone – in this case the someone is The Husband – that he/she really enjoys consuming an ingredient  - in this case, the ingredient is mushrooms - that he/she mistakenly thinks he doesn’t dig.

God, this husband of mine. Look, I love him with all of my soul. Even when he spills mustard, coffee or some other impossible element to Shout out, scrub out, curse out of his freakin’ million-dollar Ralph Lauren Polo shirts not even an hour – AN HOUR – after The Jersey Girl finishes laundry. Don’t even get me started on the bathroom. And if you must know, yes, he is a snorer.

I know that paragraph was riddled with about 100 husband/wife clichés, but it is SO my reality. What do you want from me?

Meanwhile, my loving better half who moves the earth and the moon and the sun to make my life and that of Baby Evan’s super duper fabulous - (Yes, I’m covering my bootie right now. But The Husband really is awesome despite my griping, pinky swear) – decides to protest the eating of mushrooms. Mushrooms. They’re perfectly harmless. God.

So, what’s your beef with mushrooms, Husband?!

When asked to reveal his inner thoughts on the shroom, The Husband calmly states while swilling his Stella, “You know what it is? It’s the texture.” Then he went on to say something about big mushrooms vs. little mushrooms and that he likes them when they’re in a dish with something else but they shouldn’t be the focus of the dish and he doesn’t like the chewy ones they put in the takeout at the Chinese restaurant….. At this point, as most seasoned wifeys masterfully do, I blocked him out. When he was at a wrap, I informed him that he would be trying stuffed mushrooms with red peppers and scallions, and he would like it.


He DID!!!!

In fact, he went back for seconds. AND THIRDS.

God damn, I’m amazing. Well, maybe I’m not that great, but the recipes of Lidia Bastianich are, and I guess really, I should be thanking her.

I strongly believe The Husband was head over heels with this dish due to the above-mentioned sautéed red pepper and scallion. The Husband loves his red peppers and scallions. And beer. And escargot, which is ironic, since the texture of a snail drenched in butter is totally similar to that of many button-sized mushrooms. (The Husband is rolling his eyes right now as he is not a fan of my lectures regarding the similarities between mushrooms and foods he claims to like, or my curseword-laden monologues about how our home is NOT a college dorm and please for the love of God pick up your clothes off the floor, or my subtle reminders that it REALLY is time to bring the mounting pile of castoffs in the spare bedroom to Goodwill. No, really.)

For the record, The Husband is amazing at making the bed, cleaning up the kitchen and tidying up toys. Plus he puts up with me and my questions and my giggles and my worries on a daily basis. So, he really is a saint of sorts. Plus, he rocks out with some fabulous diamond-laden jewels when the time is right i.e, Christmas, birthdays, Labor Day (Just kidding, Husband.) And Evan adores him. And so does The Jersey Girl!!

OK. So below is the recipe. These mushrooms would be fab at a cocktail party. Just stick a toothpick in it. Hee.

There are also some pics of Baby Evan (who is SO not a baby anymore) kicking it at a Phillies game at Citizens Bank Park. The Husband did not understand why I failed to post pics of this event in my last blog entry. And my reason is….. well, I got nothin’.  Maybe I don’t want to remind all of us how bad this year’s team is.

Take it away, Lidia:

Stuffed Mushrooms
From "Lidia's Italian-American Kitchen"
By Lidia Mattichio-Bastianich

24 white or cremini mushrooms
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the tops of the mushrooms if you like
1/2 cup scallions, finely chopped
1/2 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
½ cup chicken stock
¼ cup dry white wine, optional

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Remove the stems from the mushrooms (set the caps aside), and finely chop them.

Heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the scallions and cook until wilted, about 1 minute. Stir in the red peppers and chopped mushroom stems and cook, stirring, until tender, about 3 minutes. Remove and cool.

Toss the bread crumbs, grated cheese, 2 tablespoons of the parsley and the sautéed vegetables until thoroughly blended. Season with salt and pepper.  Stuff the cavity of each mushroom with the filling, pressing it in with a teaspoon until even with the sides of the mushrooms.

Using 2 Tbsp. of the butter, grease a 12-by-18-inch low-sided baking pan. Arrange the mushrooms side by side in the pan and, using the remaining 2 Tbsp. butter, dot the top of each mushroom with about ¼ tsp. butter. Add the stock, wine if using and remaining 2 Tbsp. parsley to the pan. If you like, drizzle the tops of the mushrooms with olive oil. Bake until the mushrooms are cooked through and the bread crumbs are golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Serve the mushrooms on a warmed platter or divide them among warmed plates. Pour the pan juices into a small saucepan and bring to a boil on top of the stove. Boil until lightly thickened, about 1 to 2 minutes. Spoon the juices over the mushrooms and serve immediately.

Please note: The Jersey Girl did use the optional wine called for in the recipe. She did NOT top each mushroom with a dot of butter, just a drizzle of olive oil. She also did NOT reduce the pan drippings into a sauce.

Hanging with Mommy.

Hanging with Daddy.

Directing Mommy and Daddy.

Checking out the Phanatic.

Taking a break to shout out some letters. 
Evan's obsessed with the alphabet.

Evan loves his Daddy!