Friday, August 9, 2013

Me, Myself and Indian Cuisine - White Mushrooms (Kumbh)

So, the other day I was thinking to Myself, "Self, you never cook anything from India".  Normally, and I use that term loosely, when "I" think to "Myself", Myself ends up traveling down some strange culinary rabbit hole leaving unsuspecting "Me" sitting in the aftermath thinking, "Whahappened?"   Yes, when "I" think to "Myself" it begins to worry "Me".

But Me being Me, the more inclusive of the three and spurred by some desperate need for "Self" preservation, as well as being more detail oriented than "I" or "Myself", piped in with "Ya know, for all the array of spices and herbs that We DO have, We are always missing something to execute a decent Masala."

After which "I" thought back, quite simply and succinctly, "Chicken".

"Don't bait Me"

"I'm just sayin'... Though "I" could really go for some Mushrooms, Myself"

And there it was....   White Button Mushrooms cooked in Spicy Butter and Milk.  Simple, elegant, and not requiring a full pantry full of the harder to find ingredients like Black Cumin, Nigella Seed, White Cardamom, Fenugreek and Curry leaves (yep, Curry is an herb too, not just a spice mix) or Mustard oil.  All We really needed was the contents already contained within the panty..... Cumin, Coriander and a little White Pepper.

Honestly, this dish tastes better with Cremini, Baby Bella, Champignon, Italian Brown, Brown Button, Chestnut mushrooms or whatever the current marketing BUZZ word is calling them right now.  They are all the same.  The original button mushroom (Agaricus Bisporus, mentioned above by the litany of names) mutated in 1926 while being cultivated in Pennsylvania, resulting in a "White" mushroom.  At that point in time, white foods, like white bread, were considered to be more healthy because they were "Pure".  (sigh) As if.  Anyway, all the white button mushrooms on the market are decedents of that original Pennsylvania mutation.  Me, Myself and I really prefer the flavor and texture of the Brown ones though.  The white ones have a rubbery texture and seem to be, almost, slimy on the outside after being cooked.  That's just Me.

White Button Mushrooms (Kumbh)

1 lb White Button Mushrooms (Cremini "Brown Button" are better)
4 oz Unsalted Butter (definitely NOT low fat)
3/4 cup Onion, minced
1 tsp Garlic, crushed
1 tsp Coriander, ground
1 tsp Cumin, ground
2 TB AP Flour
1 cup Whole Milk
Salt to Taste
2 tsp White Pepper

Remove the stems from your Mushrooms and save them for another purpose.

Set the Mushroom caps aside.

Place a large skillet over medium flame and allow the butter to melt.

Add the Onion and Garlic and Sweat for 5 minutes, or until softened.

Add the Coriander and Cumin, cooking until fragrant.

Remove the skillet from the flame and add the Flour, stirring to combine.

Return to the flame and cook until the color darkens slightly.

Slowly stir in the milk.

Once thoroughly combined, add the mushroom caps.

Cook for 5-7 minutes, stir every once in awhile... (The mushrooms should begin releasing liquid to mix in with the sauce)

Remove from the heat and season with Salt and White Pepper.

Serve, over Brown Basmati rice.

Now if you will excuse Me, Myself and I need to have another chat.  :)


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