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The Cookstr Weekly: A Mushroom Walks into a Bar

January 10, 2014
Bear with me, this is one of my favorites. A mushroom walks into a bar. The bartender says, “I’m sorry, we don’t serve mushrooms here.” The mushroom says, “Why not? I’m a fun guy!”
Fungi are, I know, slightly controversial for mushroom haters. I don’t know what it is – either the sometimes-chewy texture, those clinging bits of dirt that remind us how recently they were attached to the earth, or just the knowledge that what we’re eating is, fundamentally, related to mold. But for the many of us who can’t get enough, those meaty, flavorful mushrooms are welcome in all of their distinct varieties, whether in a buttery wild mushroom soup, sautéed in a balsamic reduction and tossed into a salad, or stirred into a bowl of pasta.
Warmest regards,

Kara Rota
Editorial Director

Tomatillo-Sauced Enchiladas with Spinach and Mushrooms
  by Rick Bayless

“Enchiladas have a casual reputation – fun family food, a good way to use leftovers, not a big deal. But by the time you’ve made the filling and sauce, put together the tortilla-wrapped rolls and sprinkled on the garnishes, the clock’s been ticking for more than a few minutes. Yet it seems we’re all inexplicably drawn to the texture of a soft, sauce-soaked tortilla – I particularly like it if the sauce is made from tomatillos jazzed with green chile and cilantro – around a toothsome filing with something cheesy or fresh on top. So, I’ve simplified the steps to this pleasure, using a light hand where heavy has often been the norm. Fried tortillas have been replaced with baked ones, meat has been swapped for (or augmented with) spinach and mushrooms and the typically Mexican-American melted cheese blanket has become the more typically Mexican light sprinkly of flavorful fresh cheese. Your only challenge will be temperature: In Mexico, most enchiladas are put together from warm ingredients and served right away – no baking. (But, then again, in Mexico, folks don’t like their food as hot as we do in the States.) My suggestions: When the tortillas come out of the oven, turn the oven off and slide your (ovenproof) dinner plates in to warm. And make sure the sauce, filling and tortillas stay as warm as possible.” 
– Rick Bayless

More Mushroom Recipes from Cookstr

Wild Mushroom Soup by Lidia Bastianich and Jay Jacobs
Brussels Sprout Salad with Soy-Caramelized Shiitakes by Dave Lieberman and Anahad O’Connor
Wild Mushroom Crepes by Lou Seibert Pappas

  by Bill Yosses and Melissa Clark


“This one definitely deserves a place in the canon of top-ten straight-from-the-oven desserts. I’ve Americanized my version of tarte tatin by using maple syrup instead of caramel as a sweet base for the apples, which gives this a nuttier flavor than most. There are two keys to success here. The first is to bake the puff pastry fully so it’s a crunchy cap for the apples. The second is to pack your apples in very tightly, since they’ll lose 30 to 40 percent of their volume as they bake. In order to come up with a really tight and beautiful tart at the end, take your time peeling and slicing the apples as evenly as possible.” 
– Bill Yosses and Melissa Clark
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