04 October 2011

The Mushroom Cook Book

Cookbooks like to offer up a count on the recipes held with in. It would seem that the two favorite measurements in cookbook girth are "101" and "365." The 365 recipe book is an easy one to understand as there are 365 days in the year and these cookbooks offer up a recipe for each day of the year. One might assume that the 101 variety are just one better than an even hundred. one will often find the phrase, "over 100 recipes," used quite often in cookbook descriptions. So we were rather amused by Garibaldi Lapolla's The Mushroom Cook Book as it offers up 111 Successful Easy Recipes. Why? Well, your guess is as good as mine. Perhaps 111 recipes were the sum total of all of his mushroom recipes.

Lapolla believes that almost all cookbooks feature at least one or two recipes for mushrooms but he laments the fact that no cookbook in existence has, "made a special fuss over them." For Lapolla it is because the mushroom is neither meat nor vegetable and it smells funny, or as he would say, "pronounced." this book was written in the early 1950's at a time when, perhaps, mushrooms had a pronounced smell, but most of the mushrooms we find in today's supermarkets would be hard to find even with a bloodhound on the case.

I will say that Lapolla makes a valiant effort at making the mushroom the star of the recipe as opposed to merely sticking it in a tomato sauce. To that end, he is very fond of stuffing things into mushrooms.

I have a steadfast rule in my kitchen -- no nuts in my food. It is a personal thing and while I have been known to make an exception, the rule stands. So I was as surprised as anyone when I kept coming back to this recipe. There is a distinct possibility I might just make an exception here. But don't count on it.

Sautéed Mushrooms with Nuts

3 tablespoons of olive oil r melted butter
1 onion, minced fine
1 pound of small mushrooms, whole, or large ones, quartered
1/2 pound of unsalted nuts -- almonds, Brazil, filberts, or pignuole
Salt and pepper
Pinch of nutmeg

In a skillet, melt butter and add onion, Do not brown, Add mushrooms and saute over fairly high flame, uncovered, for 15 minutes until golden in color. (Mushrooms need watching and stirring to avoid burning.) Add nuts and seasonings and heat thoroughly.

Aside from a 111 easy mushroom recipes, we were drawn to this cookbook when we saw the author's photo.

It would seem that Mr. Lapolla is cooking on a Garland range much like one we posse in Lucindaville. And we do love our stoves.

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