Mushroom Lessons

   As December begins, I think of both of my parents. Their birthdays were 3 days apart at the end of November and my dad passed away almost 16 years ago. There are little things that I think of when I think of my dad. His quiet passion for cooking in his spare time was one of them. I was vegetarian for a few years in the ’90s and even then, he was showing me dishes from his Hungarian background even if he was a staunch carnivore. Things have changed in my eating habits, but his lessons always stuck with me. One such lesson was for Paprika Mushrooms. A dish that actually starts as a pan roasting then stews in paprika to soften it up. It creates a depth of flavour in the mushrooms that I have never achieved by any other method.

   Today I decided to work that idea into a bruschetta topping.

Pan Roasted Paprika Mushroom Bruschetta with Horseradish Snowflakes

2 Tbsp Mighty Trio Organics cold pressed canola oil

4 cups white mushrooms, sliced

2 Tbsp sweet Hungarian paprika

3/4 cup water

1 Tbsp Coal Lake Honey Farms mixed flower honey

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper

1/2 tsp August Organics fresh horseradish, grated (plus a 2cm/1″ length of it to rub on the toasted bread)

2 large slices Budapest Deli potato bread (or 4 slices ciabatta or French bread)

   In a large skillet, heat the oil over high heat. Add the mushrooms, one cup at a time and pan roast them on all sides until deeply golden.

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   Repeat with the remaining mushrooms. Add all the roasted mushrooms back to the pan with the paprika, water and honey. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until all of the liquid reabsorbs into the mushrooms (about 7-10 minutes). Season with salt and pepper.

   While the mushrooms are simmering, preheat an indoor grill (or outdoor if your a brave winter soul. Or use your broiler) and toast the bread slices on both sides. When the bread is toasted, rub with the small length of cut fresh horseradish giving it a slight essence of horseradish on the bread itself. Top the toasted bread with the Pan Roasted Paprika Mushrooms and sprinkle with a bit more grated fresh horseradish, giving it a “snowflake” like appearance. Serves 2.

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