Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Make Shroom

I love my old cookbook collection. And this time of year, when you have to keep coming up with holiday party contributions, sometimes the retro noshes are the most fun.
I've made marinated mushrooms a zillion times before, and they usually come out fine, even without a recipe. But this time we decided to use a genuine antique recipe, from "Hors d'Oeuvres," a collection from the wives of ambassadors in Tokyo and beyond, published in 1959.
Yew! The recipe was a little strong on the vinegar. No, you aren't making a vinaigrette salad dressing; you don't want that much oil on the mushrooms, so there was more vinegar than oil. But the balance here was way off.
After the first batch, Cranky dumped a load of homemade vegetable stock into the remaining marinade, diluting the vinegar without upping the grease. We used this mixture for the second batch.
The recipe calls for simmering the mushrooms in water for 10 minutes; I'd say five minutes and be done with it — I might even try simmering them in the marinade instead of leaching off all that brown flavor in water that you just end up throwing away.
The only other flavorings in this mix were grated onion and slivered garlic. I think I'd go a little crazy with herbs next time, but... FUN. Pass the colored toothpicks.


dancingmorganmouse said...

I suspect you'd find my version a bit oily, but powerful with the herbs and garlic. MMMMM, 'shrooms.

kudzu said...

Those vintage community cookbooks are a treat, but you have to tweak everything in them -- and I do mean everything. Still, they're fun to read (sometimes innocently hysterical).

Glad you rescued your mushies.

cookiecrumb said...

Morgan: I just lubs dem. Corny and all. We should do a blogger community cookbook.

Kudzu: Community cookbooks, spiral binding and all, are such a treat. And a potential trap, as you say.
I'm pround of Cranky; not only did he rescue the mushies, he vastly improved them. Mm!

Heather said...

I have an old Trader Vic's party book that never ceases to bring the recipes (and laughs). I love bringing hors d'oeuvres no else has - hummus is SO over!

I need you to email me your addy, btw, so I can send you some of my pickles and Bloody Mary mix (using y homegrown heirloom toms and fresh horseradish!). heather at voodooandsauce dot com

pea said...

i love the 'retro' recipes, warts and all. i think what makes them so charming is how different they are.

Anna Haight said...

I love posts where things go awry and are rescued. Shows us not to give up too soon!

namastenancy said...

Maybe the ancient cookbook was trying for an unauthentic version of vegetables a la Greek? I have some vintage reprints of cookbooks - Boston, Fannie Farmer and my original 1963 Joy of Cooking. But I've never ventured into the mushroom section with book in hand. You are brave and Cranky is a genius. But then, he married you so that's proof enough of genius, n'est pas?

cookiecrumb said...

Nancy: When I was a grad student, a bunch of us gathered at a professor's home one afternoon, for a combination social/seminar. The teacher brought out a bowl of marinated mushrooms his wife had prepared the day before, but he wouldn't eat any. "They scare me to death," he said.

cookiecrumb said...

Heather: Trader Vic's = rad cool!
But there's weird stuff in some of those books. Cream cheese-grapefruit dip? Eek.

Pea: Shrimp Delight! Shrimp Surprise! Shrimp Fantasy! Shrimp Shut Up!

Anna: Well, thanks to Cranky, and thanks for a decent veg stock in the fridge. Plus, we really wanted to eat these mushrooms again. Just not so tart.

Sean said...

My boss just gave me a copy of the Gourmet Cookbook, Volume II, second printing, 1958. I can't wait to delve into those retro waters.

George Erdosh said...

Those mushrooms are my favorites, too. But I live in northern CA where the wild ones this time of the year are really wild and those are the ones we live on. They are awesome, some of them, others awful, particularly the ones with maggots.

Check out my latest:

Tried and True Recipes from a Caterer’s Kitchen—Secrets of Making Great Foods

cookiecrumb said...

Sean: I left you a comment days ago, but I see it didn't show up.
What a great gift from your boss! Somebody knows you pretty well.
Bring back retro!!

George: I've never foraged for wild mushrooms myself, but would love to. If I knew what the heck I was doing.
Thanks for the links; I will go visit.