Mushroom Mishaps & Other Mayhem

So here’s a question for you: Was my creating a “Dumpster Fire Level 6: Down in Flames” category a self-fulfilling prophesy? Or just an acknowledgment of the inevitable?

Well, either way, I finally have something to put in DFL-6.

I’m not entirely sure what exactly I was expecting when I selected Renaissance Faire Style Mushrooms as a menu item for my week. But considering that I actually worked a Renaissance Fair for a couple of summers way back in my days of youth and vigor, I was at least expecting it to be a hearty meal, even though it was a vegetarian dish.

The ingredients list was pretty straightforward: mushrooms, vegetable stock, soy sauce, onions, butter, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme and red wine.

Alas, no photos, because seriously — how could I have predicted messing up a recipe that was practically nothing but mushrooms and spices?

The recipe instructions are also pretty straightforward: turn some of the mushrooms into a paste, large-chunk the rest, saute the onions, add the mushroom paste, season it, add some garlic, deglaze with wine, season again, add the chunked mushrooms and vegetable stock, then cook for 1 hour and 50 minutes.

(I know, I too was skeptical about the 1:50 for practically nothing but mushrooms, but the reader comments supported it as successful.)

I followed the recipe exactly, other than the quantity of mushrooms — because the recipe calls for measuring them in quarts and pints, not in pounds and ounces, so that totally threw me off, along with the fact that the mushrooms available at the store that week were giant ones. But I love mushrooms, so I figured more couldn’t hurt. But other than that, I swear that I followed the recipe.

The only place that I can think of that I may have gone wrong was that I didn’t sniff-test the spice bottle of thyme to determine if that was a scent/flavor I actually wanted in my food.

I so diligently was trying to follow the recipe, that I just blindly put in the amount called for.

In any case, I ate some that night after making it, suffered through eating some for lunch the next day, and then ignored it in the fridge for two weeks. I finally threw it out tonight, to make room for new things.

So have any of you tried this particular recipe before? Or am I a trail-blazer here? I had high hopes for a yummy meatless meal. But those high hopes went…. Down in Flames.


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6 comments

  • Beth Fuchs

    Oh my, those sound absolutely incredible. I have not yet tried this recipe, but I can see trying it soon. Everything sounds like it should go together and taste great. I’m not a huge fan of thyme, but I can see using it in this recipe.

    About the only time I use a lot of thyme is when I make a grilled kielbasa and potato dish. Grill a kielbasa with butter, chopped onions, cubed potatoes, chicken stock and thyme. The thyme makes that dish.

    Not sure how old your thyme is, but I think for mushrooms I would skip the dried thyme and go with all fresh thyme. I might also cut the amount of thyme in half until I did an initial taste test. Once I get my mushrooms and fresh thyme, I’ll give you a report and we’ll see if the recipe is DFL-6 worthy.

    • Jen Neefer

      Admittedly, I’m sure my ground thyme is probably pretty old, since it’s not something I ever use. And I didn’t use any fresh thyme. All I know is that there was some kind of off flavor that I didn’t much care for, and my assumption is that I now know that I don’t like thyme.

      I look forward to your progress report on how it turns out for you!

  • Beth Fuchs

    Oh no. I just re-read your recipe comments and compared to the recipes and see why it might have hit DFL-6. The recipes call for white wine and you mentioned red wine. White wine is really the best for mushrooms. Depending on the red wine, you might be overwhelming the mushrooms. Just a thought.

    • Jen Neefer

      It says dry white or rosé wine, so I assumed since rose is kinda red that red would have to do since that’s the wine I had on hand. Plus, red wine and mushrooms go together just fine in spaghetti sauce, so it all made perfect sense at the time. 😀

      I do know that the flavor I didn’t care for in the end result wasn’t red wine, but instead something much more earthy. I might be willing to try a half-recipe re-do, if your attempt is successful. I love mushrooms, so this DFL-6 was very disappointing.

  • Mary

    Earthy, off-putting flavor – how did you wash the mushrooms to prepare them?
    I have a hard time getting them clean enough sometimes.

    • Jen Neefer

      When I don’t fully wash them under running water, I wipe mushrooms down with a wet paper towel — usually roughly enough that it takes the top layer off. She mushrooms tasted fine raw, and some were sacrificed to the snack gods while I was prepping them, I’m still leaning towards thyme being the culprit.

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