I’d like to apologize to anyone else in the downtown area that might have wanted to purchase some fresh basil yesterday. Because you were denied.
In a pack, on a plant, in a cooler, on a shelf.
I took them, one and all; I took them for myself.
And the double batch of pesto they made was delicious. It’s true, we denuded three whole plants for dinner. I’m hoping the few little baby leaves remaining will be enough to help the plants regrow near a south-facing window. But if not, I hope they feel some plant-y comfort in the knowledge that many people enjoyed their sweet, fragrant leaves and the farfalle pasta they coated so admirably. If not, sucks to be you whiny little basil bush-lets!
Do you like mushrooms? Normally I’m not a fan of them. The texture, the taste, the very concept of them. Fungi. Ugh. But the mushrooms we had today were amazing. Decadent. Anointed. They were also super easy. But at 20 minutes, they were a bit of a time sink as you have to attend to them almost constantly. In other words, they’re the perfect task for that one dinner guest that insists on doing something or a cooking partner who constantly feels the need to poke and pick at anything in a pan. Not that I know anyone like that. Not that I am that person from time to time.
Something important to keep in mind is that mushrooms cook down. A lot. Mushrooms are mostly water. Cooking releases that water. A –> B –> rather minimized C. I bought three containers of white button mushrooms, filling a 12″ skillet to almost overflowing. They ended up barely stretching to five diminutive, but oh so savory, servings. Big became little. White became brown. Mouths watered. It was worth it. Thank goodness for the one staunchly anti-mushroom person at the table. The bottom left photo is after a few minutes in the pan. The one on the right is after only a single serving was removed.
What’s that? You want to make them too? I can respect that. Follow along.
Heat 1 Tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large (preferably nonstick) skillet over high heat until it shimmers. Dump in 1 1/2 pounds button mushrooms, quartered. Stir them constantly until they’ve given up all their liquid (~8 min). Continue cooking and stirring until they’re deep brown (~10 min more). Add: 1 finely minced shallot, 2 minced garlic cloves, and 2 teaspoons of fresh thyme leaves (discard stalks). Cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant.
Remove from heat. Add: 2 teaspoons soy sauce, 1 teaspoon lemon juice (~ 1/2 lemon), 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter. Stir until butter is melted. Taste, add salt/pepper as desired. Serve immediately if you can. (I popped on the lid and covered it with a thick towel for a few minutes tonight.)
We put some fresh bread and butter on the table, poured the wine our guests brought. Dug in.
Oh and that French Silk pie? Yeah, it really should have gone into the refrigerator before dinner. As we didn’t do that, it was a gooey, delicious mess. One pie, six ugly servings, big ass grins digging into it at the dinner table. We had this Brunch Playlist simmering in the background. It can be hard to accommodate everyone’s musical tastes, but it did a good job.
Now, many hours later, I hear the snowplows thumping past the house again, pushing and shoving last night’s contribution toward what might possibly turn into a record annual snowfall. We’ve already hit record low temps this winter. I think more than a few of us are quite done with winter.