Some days I’m stumped.
I’ve got nothing.
Nothing to say. Nothing to wear. Nothing to eat. Nothing to cook. I’m all locked up with writer’s block, a wardrobe only fit for a tween given my love of glitter and pathetic style, a raging appetite for cookies with desperately dwindling attempts at self-control and an empty crisper drawer. Oh, and you.
I have you! I’m so glad I do. I’m thrilled you are here. Have I told you that lately? Because if you weren’t here, I would simply talk to myself and wear clothes that fit and eat cold cereal for dinner and never ever eat a mushroom. Ever.
Cold cereal. Mmmmm. Crunchy cereal. Cold, icy milk. Anyone have a spoon?
If it’s any of your concern, I wasn’t down with eating fungus until a few months ago… right after I dumped a pint of sliced button mushrooms into sizzling butter and deglazed the pan with chilled, dry chardonnay. That was a good day. You should try it. And make these crispy fries too. Mushrooms + crunchiness + sweet, syrupy balsamic + salty, cheesy dip. Food of the heavens. Dinner is served.
Crispy Portobello Mushroom Fries
4 portobello mushroom caps, sliced
2 egg whites
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs (not panko, just regular bread crumbs)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and place a wire rack on top. Spray it with non-stick spray.
Add bread crumbs, flour, salt, pepper and paprika to a bowl and mix. In a smaller bowl, lightly beat 2 egg whites. Dip each mushroom slice in the egg white and then coat in the breadcrumb mixture, pressing to adhere. Lay on the wire rack and repeat with the other slices. Spray each slice with a spritz of olive oil (spray it, don’t drizzle) before putting it in the oven. Bake for 7 minutes, then flip and spray the other side with olive oil. Bake for 7 more minutes.
While the mushrooms are cooking, heat the vinegar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Allow it to come to a simmer then reduce to low heat, cooking until syrupy and thick, about 5-7 minutes. Let sit at room temperature to thicken a bit more.
Drizzle balsamic over mushrooms and serve with dipping sauce.
[I find that the combination of bread crumbs (panko and regular) adheres better than just plain panko. I also use egg whites only to prevent the "eggy" taste, but feel free to use a whole egg if you'd like.]
Smoky Cheddar Parm Dip
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup milk
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 garlic clove, minced
In a small sauce pan over medium heat, add butter. One it is sizzling add flour and whisk to form a roux. Let cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add milk, reduce heat to low and stir – it should thicken within a minute. Add in cheeses, paprika and garlic and stir to combine. Stir until smooth. Turn off heat and pour into a bowl for dipping.
You know I’ve really got nothing to say when I write about loving a vegetable.