Thursday, May 29, 2008

Creamed Mushrooms with Chives (Page 551)

  • Date: Thursday, May 22, 2008 -- 8pm
  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Kitchen: Vigleik and Shihchi's Apartment
  • Fellow Chefs: Vigleik and Shihchi
  • Recipe Rating: B+

A significant percentage of the recipes I have left in the Vegetables section of The Book have the word "creamed" in front of them. For some reason, creamed vegetables never sound good to me (I think this is a result of my first creamed vegetable experience when I was six years old: creamed corn from a can -- not delicious. Had it been at home I could have just left it on my plate, but I was at a friend's house and felt obligated. I still remember how much I didn't want to eat that creamed corn. It was traumatizing). The truth is though, now (as long as they don't come from a can) I generally like creamed vegetables. I like vegetables. I like cream. Cook them together and good things can happen. For instance, this recipe was pretty good. I asked Vigleik what he thought of it and he said, "Tastes like mushrooms." Yup, that pretty much summarizes it. It had a good mushroom flavor, brought out well by the seasoning, and just enough cream to give it a bit of richness. The mushrooms were a little on the raw side for me -- if they had been sliced rather than quartered they would have lost more liquid and been more tender. I would have preferred that texture. But the flavor here was good, and the dish was very easy to make. It was a lovely complement to our huge chunks of filet mignon.

This recipe isn't online.

Several people challenged me yesterday with "You won't really finish your project in just two more years, will you? Won't you have all the time-consuming, unappetizing stuff left at the end?" I will admit, I am starting to have a sense of fear about the last year or so of the project. I am not worried so much about the food at the end being bad. It really is an excellent cookbook, and often the things that sound worst to me end up being very tasty. I'm also not so much worried about ending up with a lot of time-consuming things at the end. I have paced myself pretty well on that count I think (e.g. I have already made both wedding cakes in The Book, lots of slow-cooked dishes, some of the preserves, etc...). What I am worried about is nearing the end and discovering that every recipe requires ingredients or equipment that I don't have and can't find (think: baharat, Maras pepper, Urfa pepper, coeur a la creme molds, etc...)! These issues are mostly surmountable, especially with the magic of the internet. The one thing I have to be very careful not to do though is to leave myself with recipes at the very end that require out of season produce. For instance, trying to find fresh figs in the winter would be a borderline insurmountable issue! But I will finish! And, yes, the end of the project will be an interesting experience -- from the looks of things now I won't have any desserts left but will have many, many meat recipes, and plenty of relishes, chutneys, pickles, and preserves to make! Good thing I have great friends who are very flexible about what I serve them!


Mike Hill said...

You should have a list on the side of your `blog with the hard to find ingredients and cooking tools. That way people can get them for you if they are near them or give them as gifts!

vero said...

That's a great idea Mike. I always felt that Teena should have a "Donate to the project" site where we could give her money for feeding us. But I think your solution would be less awkward!

Next time I'm in France, I'll get you a Madeleine mold. (Actually you can borrow ours over the summer.)

Serge the Concierge said...


Just mentioned your blog on Serge the Concierge while personally suggesting the creation of fictional restaurants.

'The French Guy from New Jersey'

Anonymous said...

So you mention the site, and slam it as boring. Yet you have the gall to come here and say, "hey, I mentioned your site!"

What a jerk.

Teena said...

Mike: That's a great suggestion! So great, in fact, that I decided to implement it!

Vero: I would love to borrow your Madeleine mold sometime this summer. I think I only need it for two recipes in The Book, so I borrow it for a couple days I can get both out of the way!

Serge: Thanks for the mention, but I am sorry that you find my project boring in nature! From my perspective it hasn't been boring at all.

Anon: Hahahaha