Day 44: Make room for the mushrooms

February 13, 2007


Tuesday evenings are a little crazy for us with a one person going to work- one person coming from work- baby trade-off. So today, our evening meal was made at lunch time, which was no bad thing given the recipe. Ricotta Smothered Mushroom “Burgers” with Sweet Onion-Olive Topping, Prosciutto, and Arugula made for a reasonably satisfying lunch, although it would probably have been a bit disappointing for dinner. The dish was quick and easy to assemble; the portabella mushrooms were baked in the oven for around ten minutes, then covered in a ricotta-pesto mixture. Red onions and garlic were caramelised with tomato paste, then chicken stock and olives were added, and the concoction simmered until the stock evaporated. The whole shebang was assembled on a bun and topped with prosciutto and arugula.

Overall, this was an interesting medley of flavours. The mushroom was meaty and satisfying, the ricotta improved immeasurably by the addition of the pesto, and the onions were tasty enough, although not incredibly fantastic. The use of chicken stock and prosciutto was a little confusing, however. This would have been an excellent vegetarian option and the meat did not add much to the meal, rather it seems to have been added for the sake of it.

Tomorrow we tackle Sausage and Fennel Ragout with Creamy Polenta. This is probably the meal that we are least excited about this month, having had some dubious experiences with polenta in the past. However, we are standing by, awaiting the collective changing of minds as we realise that polenta is in fact delicious, and that fennel is indeed a marvelous vegetable. Perhaps.

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  • Reply The Home Cook February 13, 2007 at 3:41 pm

    Hi! I found your blog through a link on Everything Rachael Ray. I think what you’re doing is a little crazy, but also pretty fun. You’re dedicated, that’s for sure!

    The good thing is that by the time you’re finished we’ll know which of the recipes in the book are really worth making. Now I have to go back through and read your blog from the beginning before it gets too far into the year.

    About the proscuitto – it’s such an expensive ingredient that I think it shouldn’t really be used unless it’s one of the main ingredients in the dish (like proscuitto with melon, for example). Otherwise its flavor gets lost and you wasted all that money.

  • Reply kelly February 13, 2007 at 6:56 pm

    I came across your blog from the same site too. I think what you are doing is really inspiring! Just a quick question – has this made a big change in your grocery bills?


  • Reply Helen | One Year Project February 13, 2007 at 9:05 pm

    It hasn’t really impacted our combined grocery bill. Before we started this venture, we wouldn’t always use everything we bought. Often we would throw away mouldy vegetables and other things festering in the bottom drawer of the fridge. Now we use close to everything we buy, and although some of the ingredients are more expensive than we would have chosen, it all come out more or less equal to what we used to spend. Long term we might even be saving money.

    Totally agree on the prosciutto- every time we have to use it, I wish it were just with melon. Maybe next year!

    Thank you for stopping by.

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