Sunday, November 24, 2013

Perfect Mushrooms

I have arrived! I know I have really made it in this world. Do you know how I know? Because I just joined a gym that provides towel service.  You have no idea how happy this makes me. It doesn't even matter to me that the towels are glorified facecloths and that I need to use five of them during my typical morning swim routine.  Not having to schlep a towel around town just makes for an overall better gym experience. While I've long made it a point to try to stay active and fit, I have not always made it a point to belong to a gym. It's just not my thing. I like to run and ride because I like to be outside. So to do these things indoors is not motivating to me and just walking into a gym can sometimes instantly envelope me in a feeling of sadness. But, I do like swimming indoors and I have to get a weight routine going for all those things that you have to think about in middle aged life. So for the last 3 years I've contemplated joining the Boston Sports Club in Waltham. They have a very nice facility and pool, but that comes with a hefty price tag. I couldn't justify it. But, this Fall as the weather started to turn cold, I knew I needed something to shake up my routine for the winter, so I just went ahead and did it.
The couple of other times I belonged to a gym with a pool, they did not have towel service, or any other kind of service for that matter. Forgot your shampoo or soap? Sorry! You'll have to go without that day. This place even has an iron & ironing board and mouthwash and hair dryers.  I go in the morning on my way to work, so all these little things make it a whole lot easier to do. I haven't forgotten my underwear or shoes yet, and I don't believe they have remedies for that. I'm sure one of these days I'm going to be walking around work in skirt with running sneakers on. I just hope that's a day that I don't have to leave my desk much.
Another thing that makes me happy recently are these mushrooms. I found them on Helen Rennie's blog, Beyond Salmon, after a class I took with her. It appears she got this recipe from Julia Child. The original use for these was for a baked risotto recipe that I will blog next, but now I eat them often as a side dish because they are so delicious.
Helen talks a bit on her post about washing mushrooms. I've always been very careful to just wash them with a damp cloth which can be pretty tedious. She used to do the same to be sure the mushrooms didn't absorb too much water but now she has changed her ways. It's ok to wash them as long as you dry them a bit after. Here is the link to her post. I still want to have the recipe on my own blog because it's easier for me to find, but definitely take a look at her post.
http://www.beyondsalmon.com/2008/05/technique-of-week-how-to-cook-mushrooms.html

Sauteed Mushrooms

3 tblsp olive oil or butter or a combination of both
1 lb sliced mushrooms (baby bellas, cremini or portabella work good. White is also fine, but I found them more watery and didn't like as much)
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tspn fresh lemon juice
2 tblspns madeira, port or red/white wine. (I've always used dry white wine, but I bet red would be great0

1.  Heat a heavy bottomed large skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil/ butter and wait for it to heat up. Add mushrooms, wine. lemon juice and salt. Stir and cover. Let cook for about 8 minutes, until the mushrooms release all their juices.
2. Uncover. Raise heat and boil until all the liquid is evaporated.
3. Turn down heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally until mushrooms are browned. Taste and add more salt if necessary.

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