I was tickled when Casey of Kitchen Play asked me if I was interested in doing a post for her Equity Exchange program with The Mushroom Council.
There are two reasons for that. First, I get to talk about mushrooms, which we love. Second, you have a chance to win a very cool prize from the folks at The Mushroom Council. More about the prize in a moment.
The other day on Facebook, one of my blogging friends asked us all a question about the differences between the way that our Moms and Grandmothers cooked, and the way that we do now. We all agreed that one big factor is that we have so many more fresh, interesting ingredients to work with now, than were available when our Moms were figuring out what to make for dinner.
And since I am a little older than a lot of other food bloggers, I can remember when I didn’t have all that impressive a selection either. Mushrooms are a perfect example of this trend. When I was first out on my own, most of the mushrooms available in our small town grocery store were canned. If you were very lucky, there might be some small packages of fresh mushrooms, but they were expensive, and often because of the packaging, they didn’t stay fresh for long. Back then, it was a mushroom wasteland.
Now, we usually have a choice of at least 5 or 6 different kinds of mushrooms, and they are incredibly fresh and tasty. In a really big supermarket there are even more choices. These days – we have mushroom heaven!I use a lot of mushrooms in my cooking, because they are so easy to incorporate into everything, and bring along their own special flavors and textures. Soups, stews, casseroles and vegetables all benefit from the addition of mushrooms. Remember Dijon Mushroom Chicken?
But I also use them for quick and casual meals, because they cook up quickly and add so much interesting flavor. This sandwich is a perfect example of how simple it is to use mushrooms to elevate an ordinary dish into something really wonderful.I started with just regular white button mushrooms, but I have used this same idea with creminis, and even portabellas. The balsamic vinegar gives them a rich, almost meaty flavor that makes them a healthy choice for a quick lunch. Typically, I might add some sliced ham or cooked bacon to a sandwich like this, but mushrooms can be a better alternative. I had some really sharp NYS cheddar and a loaf of rye bread baked in a local bakery – this is beginning to really sound like a sandwich now! I added marbled colby-jack for it’s creamy texture and some Dijon mustard for an additional spark of flavor, then finished things off with a sprinkle of chopped fresh parsley for some brightness.
- For each sandwich:
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 3 large mushrooms, cut in ¼ inch slices
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 slices of rustic rye bread [or the bread of your choice]
- 2 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, cut in ¼ inch thick slices
- 1 ounce marbled colby-jack cheese, cut in ⅛ inch slices
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon fresh parsley, roughly chopped
- about 1 tablespoon soft butter
- Use a large, non-stick saute pan, and heat the olive oil.
- Lay the mushrooms in a single layer in the pan, and saute until the first side is well browned. Turn over and brown the other side as well.
- Drizzle the balsamic vinegar over the slices and shake the pan to get each slice covered. Cook until the pan is dry again, but be careful not to let the mushrooms burn. Turn off the heat, remove the mushrooms from the pan and give them a little sprinkle of sea salt. Wipe the pan out with a paper towel.
- To assemble the sandwich, very lightly butter one side of the bread slices.
- Turn the slices over and spread the mustard over the other side.
- Place one slice of bread for each sandwich butter side down in the saute pan.
- Layer the cheeses and mushrooms on the bread, with the mushrooms in the middle. Sprinkle on the parsley. Top with the second bread slice, mustard side facing in.
- Turn the heat to medium and cover the pan loosely to keep the heat inside - this will help help the cheese melt more evenly.
- Cook for 5 minutes and check to see if the bottom is toasted to your liking - if not, leave another minute or two.
- Turn sandwich over carefully and cook another 5 minutes or so, until the second side is toasted as well.
- Serve immediately.
Luscious! And the mushrooms add some great nutrition to your day too – they are a good source of both vitamin B and D, along with some other good for you stuff – you can check it out here: Nutritional Benefits of Mushrooms.
Now – the Mushroom Council is sponsoring a giveaway for my readers! You can win the nifty mushroom growing kit pictured below.
Here are the rules:
- You must have a US shipping address.
- Leave a comment on this post, telling us a favorite way you like to prepare mushrooms
- Leave a separate comment if you “Like” The Creekside Cook Facebook page. If you already like the page, then share any post from the page to your own Facebook wall – make sure you leave a comment so I know that you did.
- Leave a comment to tell me that you started Following me on Pinterest – or if you already do!
- Finally, you can sign up for my weekly newsletter here. [if you are already a subscriber, leave a comment to tell me that too]
- That is 4 chances for each reader to win.
- You have until Sunday February 23rd at midnight EST to enter
- Winner will be announced Monday morning here on the blog, so be sure to check back then
Good luck everyone – this is such a neat little prize, that I think I may go an buy a few to give as gifts, and maybe even one for myself. And in the meantime – enjoy the sandwich!