Archive for October, 2011

What I Wore to Hand Out Candy

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Sauteeing Mushrooms–Ease Up On The Gas

Saturday, October 22nd, 2011

In culinary school, we were taught to cook mushrooms over high heat with constant motion to achieve the best possible results.  Pedal to the metal, full speed ahead, keep ‘em moving so they don’t burn.

Based on my frequent cooking of various wild and cultivated mushrooms, I have determined that I disagree with this advice.  Instead, I think working in a cast iron pan over moderate heat and stirring the mushrooms occasionally/ intermittently gets better results.  The mushrooms, staying in direct contact with the heated surface for a longer period, develop a beautiful golden brown hue and a flavor that can’t be matched.  Coast along at a moderate pace: it’s both safer and more enjoyable, and permits you to pay attention to more of what’s going on around you because you don’t have to be obsessed with making sure dinner’s not about to crash.

You can’t tell by looking, but in the picture below, Angstrom is helping me to saute a mix of crimini, shiitake, and maitake mushrooms.

The first time I made sauteed mushrooms after Angstrom was eating a wide variety of solid food, I cringed as Aurora heaped them onto his plate, imagining how much value went into what I was sure would wind up on the floor.  But, as he crammed them into his mouth with gusto, I gladly gave him seconds.  If he’s willing and ready to appreciate good ingredients from his earliest dining experiences, I am going to encourage that at every step of the way.

Alternate Taco Greens A Good Choice

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

From this quarter’s edition of The Journal of Taco Building Science:

There’s no need to limit your greens choice to lettuce when prepping the toppings for your tacos.  Going for a more flavorful green can add an extra kick of flavor to your taco mix.  For instance, I have mustard greens growing all over my yard, so when I needed greens for my most recent taco-making experience, I went out back and picked a handful of them.  Great choice!  The mustardy flavor of the greens provided substance in a venue where I have been accustomed to getting relatively flavorless roughage with a little bit of crunch to it.