Monday, June 11, 2012

Mushrooms on Toast, Or "Nostalgia"

I have a good friend in England. We bitched about the biochemistry class we were taking, did homework, went to movies, and ate out a lot.
One of the places we ate out is Frankie and Benny's, a New York-style Italian sit-in restaurant chain. They served a delicious mushroom crostini, I think it was called, which was basically mushrooms on toast now that I think about it.
When I found a mushrooms on toast recipe on Well Fed, Flat Broke, I had to make it. I checked it against a recipe in my weirdly "hip" british Vegetarian Student Cookbook, and decided to go with Emily's version, since I don't have lemon juice right now and my lime juice is running low. I don't have double cream, creme fraiche, or sour cream, so I used cream cheese. I also prefer any recipe that calls for wine.
I make half recipes, though, since I tend to cook for one and most of these are for at least two, up to four, so I had enough mushrooms to make the cookbook version the next day. I added garlic and used mixed herbs instead of basil and parsley, since I have neither, and used lime juice instead of lemon juice.
Both recipes got grated white cheddar babybel cheese and cremini/baby portobello mushrooms.
Now for the version I made first with decadent alcohol.

Mushrooms on toast

4 thick slices of French bread, toasted
1 tbsp. butter (margarine works okay)
(She used bacon. I didn't.)
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 1/2 cups mushrooms, cleaned and then chopped
1/2 tsp. thyme, dried or fresh (I used mixed herbs)
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 cup oaky white wine, such as chardonnay (The only white wine we have right now is pinot grigio, and it worked fine)
2 tbsp. creme fraiche or sour cream (Cream cheese in this case)
2 tbsp. finely grated cheese, such as comte, gruyere, or an aged cheddar (I used Babybel "White Cheddar"; this recipe would take two rounds)

 Melt butter and add garlic, mushrooms, herbs, pepper, and nutmeg. Cook for three minutes, until mushrooms are soft.
Add wine and scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Stir in cream stuff and simmer while you get your bread ready. I broiled them with a bit of butter, since I've got a hoagi roll that I cut down the middle for my bread and they don't fit well in the toaster.
Sprinkle about 1/3 of the cheese on the bread before dividing the mushrooms among the slices of bread. Top with the rest of the cheese and broil for 3-4 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly.

From Well Fed, Flat Broke

Mushrooms, garlic, and herby spicy stuff.

My housemate's white wine.

One Babybel per two pieces of bread.

Toasting bread. There's a pizza stone because we got one from our briefly neighbors that got rid of it and the internet says to keep it in the oven for seasoning purposes.

Mushrooms, garlic, etc. plus wine.

Cream cheese! It was my roommate's favorite thing ever when I was in England. She ate it on everything except crepes.

Starting to look like food.

I don't even know how I waited long enough to broil this.

Finished product: Lookin' pretty good.

mushrooms on toast

14 oz (425 g) mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp butter
1/2 tbsp chopped basil
2 tbsp chopped parsley
2 tbsp double creme/creme fraiche/sour cream/cream cheese

4 slices bread, fried or toasted
4 slices cheddar cheese
salt and pepper

Sprinkle mushrooms with lemon juice and leave five minutes. 
Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the mushrooms and cook over medium heat for two minutes. Add herbs, cream, and a dash of salt and pepper. Simmer gently for 7 minutes, until mushrooms are cooked.
Toast or fry your bread while the mushrooms are simmering.
Divide mushrooms among the bread and top with cheese. Broil until cheese is bubbling.

  From The Vegetarian Student Cookbook
I took a lot more pictures for this one.


Since this one didn't call for wine, I used milk (soy) for liquidness.

Delicious cheese or something.

Really delicious bread.

Cheesy mushroomy deliciousness.

Very "hip"
I believe it was written by someone's mum, but her name's not in the book anywhere.

 There's something really british about mushrooms on toast, partly because I don't really consider things other than jam and maybe peanut butter to be valid on toast. Beans on toast, mushrooms on toast, dipping toast in eggs... Toast as grown up food is a pretty british thing.
Mushrooms on toast is something that makes me think of grey days, driving around on the wrong side of the road, watching movies, and bitching about biochemistry with a good friend.

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