Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Mushroom for a Memory

Last night, as I prepared Kale and Mushroom Soft Tacos, I took a sampling of the mushrooms from the saute pan. Plain, warm mushrooms enticed me to close my eyes and consider the flavor. And in an instant, I was transported back to childhood and the flavor of Fried Mushrooms from the Schwann's man that my mother would deep fry in our open kitchen. My dad was always a big fan of fried mushrooms, fried gizzards (we'd buy them on almost every trip to Dillon's), fried anything. We were a family of fry lovers. But Fried Mushrooms are something I haven't had in probably 10-15 years, and the sensation of a juicy, warm mushroom was enough to remind me of such a simple piece of food.

Our senses are strange like that.

The recipe was simple enough, although I screwed a few things up in the process and will probably add a few things next time. Overall? A fresh, tasty dinner!

1 bunch fresh cilantro, stemmed
1/4 cup olive oil
1 jalapeƱo, seeded and deveined
(Recipe called for unsalted pumpkin seeds, but I didn't have 'em)
1 Tbls lime juice

8 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 cups cooked, chopped kale (I just blanched mine in boiling water for a few minutes)
8 corn tortillas

Okay, so the first thing you're going to do is place the cilantro, olive oil, jalapeno, seeds if you have them, and lime or lemon juice (again, the recipe didn't call for this, but it really needed some acidity) in a blender or food processor and puree. This was really difficult for me because the stuff kept getting stuck to the side, but if it's not completely smooth, it still makes an excellent topper.

Put about 1 Tbls of olive oil in a saute pan and add the mushrooms, cooking until tender. Set those aside, and throw the cooked kale into the pan to take in the mushroom juices, and heat until just warm. The idea is that the kale you're using is "leftover" but, well, I never have leftover kale. So just go with it.

Warm the tortillas and place equal amounts of kale, the mushrooms, and the green salsa-y stuff on each tortilla. I also topped with gobs of Sriracha because, well, I like things spicy.

Note: Make sure that the kale and the mushrooms aren't too liquidy. This caused my tortillas to break when I attempted to eat them like real tacos. Nobody likes a soggy tortilla!