Friday, October 15, 2010

National Mushroom Day ...

So I stumbled upon this list of national days.

Not every day is National Something Day, yet some days double up. Which doesn't seem right.

But I check it every morning, because it amuses me.

And today is National Mushroom Day.

I am a big fan of mushrooms. Big, big fan. Not of those embalmed bits and slices in jars, though I'll eat them if they appear on my plate, but mushroom mushrooms, earthy mushrooms, funny mushrooms. Morels and chanterelles? Gorgeous. Enoki? They make me think of Dr. Seuss.

My favorite Chicago chef, Allen Sternweiler, used to offer a mushroom dish at the sadly shuttered Allen's. Oh, it was beautiful. Mushrooms sauteed with brandy and finished with an herb butter. Heaven.

Kiki's Bistro offers a ragout de champignons that's the next best thing to Allen's perfection. If you're in the vicinity around lunch or dinner, you should stop in to observe National Mushroom Day thusly.

Or try the mushroom lasagna that Deb was so kind to post over at Smitten Kitchen.

Cafe Iberico has champinones a la plancha, grilled mushrooms with garlic and olive oil. Those are always a must-get.

Give me a good burger, cooked medium, and topped with sauteed mushrooms, grilled onions, melted Swiss cheese, and a healthy splotch of Dijon and I am a happy girl. That's what I like to order at Mity Nice Grill. I order off the menu. They're always happy to make it for me. (By the way, you might want to get the mashed potatoes instead of fries. The fries are fine, but the mashed are better.)

Ooh, or cream of mushroom soup? I love cream of mushroom soup. No, not that Campbell's glop. No, cream of mushroom soup made by someone who knows how to make a great cream of mushroom soup. Sadly, the number of those people are few.

Another now-defunct spot used to offer a portobello mushroom wrap, sauteed with sherry and shallots and piled into a wheat tortilla with mozzarella cheese. So, so good. I would order sweet potato fries on the side. Delicious.

And every so often, as a not-good-for-me treat, I get fried mushrooms. With just a sprinkling of salt. Fried mushroomy goodness.

The one mushroom to which I object is the shiitake. A former colleague who also knew a fair amount about food once told me that it wasn't that I didn't like shiitakes, but rather that I had not had them prepared correctly.

Um, no. I've had them prepared a number of ways. I don't like them. I'm quite clear on what I like and don't like. Shiitakes fall squarely in the Don't Like column. Along with cilantro, although cilantro is at the top of the list. Followed closely by lemongrass. And then shiitakes. Or maybe lemongrass and shiitakes are tied.

Maybe today's observance will be a sausage and mushroom pizza. Monday was National Sausage Pizza Day, which I didn't observe. So tonight, perhaps, I'll double up.


Anonymous Monterey Mushrooms said...

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9:35 AM  
Blogger Natalie Mikolajczak said...

Ooooof....I cannot handle mushrooms, which as a vegetarain, sucks!
I do, however, loves me some cilantro. ;)

11:02 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

Well, Nat, my dear, you can have my lifetime quota of cilantro and I'll take your lifetime quota of mushrooms, a win-win!

5:43 PM  

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