Monday, October 15, 2012
I have discovered mushrooms, people.
I know that's a bit like saying I've discovered 'The Internet' ... or Downton Abbey.
But allow me to explain.
Last week I decided to buy some of those monstrously large mushrooms — you know, the ones that look like they could jump up at any moment a suction themselves to your face (now that I think of it, that's actually quite close to reality).
This was unusual for me, because I've never really understood mushrooms. Every cook has an affinity with certain ingredients, while, for some reason, it is difficult to establish a repoire with others.
Mushrooms and me ... in the past, there's been nothing but awkward silence and the odd polite cough when left alone in a room together.
So I can't really explain why, as I passed the giant 'shrooms on the shelf at Woolies (careful not to make eye contact, lest we be forced to acknowledge and greet one another), a vision of the fungi with a glorious golden crust of thyme, goats cheese and a light sprinkling of Pecorino popped into my head. I honestly can't say. But I made it, and it was every bit as good as my imagination led me to believe (which was uncharacteristically honest of it).
And then, this weekend, the Grateful Guinea Pig and I sampled the Pinot Noir tasting menu at Haute Cabriere, which was unadulterated, toe-scrunching bliss for anyone whose heart beats faster for Pinot.
It started with chicken liver parfait and ended with a trio of desserts so rich and creamy they nearly had to scrape me off the walls.
Suffice to say, I felt like something light, healthy and nourishing on Sunday (the weather was beautifully moody: hot, with dark clouds roiling over the mountain) ...
... and again my thoughts turned to mushrooms. The result was this rather delightful dish: boiled eggs; roasted giant mushrooms, sliced; chopped parsley; crumbled goats cheese (feta would also do nicely); lemon juice; olive oil; sea salt and ground black pepper. Would have put some avo and maybe some pine nuts in if I'd had any.
The dish shared a table with some stuffed, baked peppers, crusty bread and a vat of rosé.
Let's just say, mushrooms and I will be seeing a lot more of each other.