I hope everyone had a very nice, long and weather-friendly holiday weekend.
Due to Arthur (who left us a gift), our cookout was Saturday.
First time in my lifetime, in NJ, that I have seen hail this large. Turns out it was very area specific. Halfway out of my town, there was absolutely no evidence that hail fell.
Neighbors car got creamed and mine (which was under a huge oak tree), has one small dent.
Two minutes after the hail stopped, the sun came out!! It was as if there was no hurricane at all.
It destroyed all my eggplants and one cherry tomato plant.
I finally thought I had a grasp on a good producing container garden this year. Everything was growing like gang busters up till this point.
I am really pissed!!!
Today the sun is shining and we won't even hit 80°. Go figure.
Oh well, there is hope for the peppers and the Big Boys and maybe one little eggplant.
Now, on to my regularly scheduled post.
Spring cleaning does not always have to be about the home.
One day a year I 'spring clean' my blog's dashboard of all my drafts of posts that were half started. I am getting better, but there are always a few buried where you least expect them.
OK, so where is something usually done in April going in the middle of July?
I recently participated in a recipe contest sponsored by The Mushroom Council.
When I enter a contest there is a ritual I perform.
I tend to have lots of ideas and when they make the first cut, instead of writing them down I start posts in my blog's dashboard where they will move, one by one, into the 'scheduled to be published' column (hopefully so).
A few of my recipes will sit there as a draft. Not because they weren't good, but because I either ran out of time, I got tired of cooking with the same ingredient, it was deemed to not really fit the criteria or The Nudge will finally ask for a hamburger or steak.
I few even got photographed for one reason or another, but never got entered.
Those I wanted to post.
This dish was inspired by a French sauce that was a preparation dating back to the Romans, who liked it with fried fish. A perfect example of a dish that could easily be adapted to fried mushroom caps.
I sliced Portabella caps into 1/2" pieces, dipped them in egg & whole wheat panko and then shallow fried them in vegetable oil until they were crispy crunchy good.
The sauce reminded me of a Puttanesca Sauce but required no anchovies, making it friendlier to more people (kids included). A great and healthy way to start a meal or make as a wonderful snack.
The mushrooms stay crisp for as much time as it takes to eat them (which will be toot sweet, I promise!), but can be reheated in a hot oven for 5-6 minutes.
Makes 4 servings (1/3 cup sauce and one fried sliced Portabella cap)
* 2 ounce black cerignola olives
* 1 onion
* 3 garlic cloves
* 1 large tomato or two small ones
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 tablespoons flour
* 1 glass of water
* 1 glass of red wine
* Thyme, parsley and a bay leaf
* 1 tablespoon capers
You will need one small saucepan. Remove the pits for the olives and chop them roughly. Peel and chop the onion.
Peel and crush the garlic.
Pour boiling water over the tomato to loosen the skin; then peel and chop the flesh (I used two canned San Marzano tomatoes).
Put the oil to warm on low heat, and then throw in onion and the garlic. Sprinkle in the flour and fry gently until it takes on a little color (like a roux).
Put in the tomato and then the water & the wine. Add the aromatics (thyme, parsley, bay).
Leave it over a gentle heat to simmer until it reduces to half its volume.
Stir in the olives and the capers. You should need no extra salt.
Serve with the fried slices of mushrooms.