When I was in college, my roommate (and now very good friend) was a vegetarian and cooked fried mushrooms every night. I on the other hand would cook, of all things, bacon. Just picturing the two of us, Karen with her plate of mushrooms, me with my plate of bacon, I can't help but laugh (and cringe!). Not exactly nutritious, I have come a LONG way! And while my bacon loving days are over, I have never exactly been a fan of mushrooms. I'm not sure if I am still scarred from the endless smell of the mushroom-bacon mixture or am turned off by their sometimes strong and woodsy taste.
Either way, in the past few months, I have attempted to give them another try. So when I heard that morel mushrooms are only in season for a few weeks a year, I was very intrigued. And scared. I mean, at $29/lb, was this a whim I was ready to indulge? Yet the results were a clear indication that I made the correct decision. While the mushrooms take a front seat in this recipe, the taste is mild and pairs well with the pine nuts and basil. It is a hearty dinner highlighting one of the season's best.
Wild Mushroom Stroganoff
adapted from Curtis Aikens . serves 6
2 T butter
2 large onions, chopped
1/4 pound morel mushrooms, chopped and washed
1/4 lb shiitake mushrooms, chopped and washed
1/4 lb oyster mushrooms, chopped and washed
1/4 lb chanterelle mushrooms, chopped and washed
juice from 1/2 lemon
1/2 t salt
2 T fresh basil, chopped
1/2 pint sour cream
8 oz pasta
1/2 c pine nuts, toasted
In large nonstick frying pan, melt butter and oil. Add onions and mushrooms and cook, covered, for about 3 to 7 minutes or until mushrooms start to soften. Remember, leave the lid on to keep it from drying out. When mushrooms have softened, add lemon juice along with seasonings and sour cream. Mix well. Add cooked pasta and heat thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper, if needed, and serve.