Saturday, January 29, 2011

Tomato/Tomahto? Amy/Julia? Mushroom/Boeuf?

This isn't my first mushroom-based meal. If you don't like mushrooms, we probably won't get along. Or we'll meet, fall in love, and get married. You know, one of the 2. 

I found this recipe on my favorite food blog (besides my own of course) and knew my dutch oven was calling out to it. This recipe though, due to the lack of leftovers in the fridge, required me to make something for Hubby too, since he won't touch mushrooms with a ten foot pole. Wait. I take that back. He stirred the pot today and didn't sneeze/cough/fake anaphylactic shock. It's a step, but he certainly wasn't going to eat my mushroom bourguignon, so I made him a pot of Spicy Roasted Vegetable Soup.

I didn't take pictures of the soup, but it was easy to do and perfect for using those veggies you have that you don't want to go bad. It's all the normal stuff; we just amped it up. Veggie broth, 1 potato, 1 can of tomatoes, cilantro, 1 pepper, 1 onion, some garlic, a zucchini, a yellow squash, and a chipotle in adobo. See? Everything you have sitting around just waiting to get a little too ripe (and a good way to use up leftover chipotles). Hubby approved, and even slurped up the broth with some bread. But anyway...back to my 'shrooms.

Have you ever seen Julie & Julia? She gets all worked up over boeuf bourguignon that may or may not be served to important people. Well, I was just as excited to make this recipe, but I figured it would be just me eating it. Once again, I started with a big bowl of mushrooms.

And without the regular egg noodles or pearl onions I was supposed to have. But hey. There's a foot of snow on the ground, Trader Joe's didn't have them 2 days ago when I was there, and I'm certainly not heading out now to look. Broken papardelle and chopped regular onion will have to do.

Broken papardelle and regular onion certainly did do! There weren't many ingredients, nor were there many steps; most of the prep for this recipe was allowing each layer to simmer.

When it came time to add the next-to-the-last layer, I used half of an onion in large chunks instead of the pearl onions traditionally used. I've never had boeuf bourguignon, so it made no difference to me.

I'm an "it is what it is" kind of girl. Yes, I get frustrated and annoyed, and will complain with the best of them (Hubby, the comment box isn't working. I don't know what's wrong with it. Its not worth it to try to leave a comment. Trust me.) but I also try to live by a quote I heard several years ago: "If there's no alternative, there's no problem." Makes sense, huh? If there's nothing you can do about it, no sense in worrying. Just adapt and move on. Now, if you go back to the picture of ingredients, you'll see I'm using a $3 bottle of "full-bodied red wine." It gets worse. I'm using a 4 year old $3 bottle of red wine. Based on wine aging and inflation, that baby's worth like what? $3.50 by now? I didn't always cook with such high-class ingredients. But my high-class tastes aren't the point of this story. You see, at my bridal shower, a special friend gave us a bottle of wine labeled Big House Red and attached a tag to it that said "to enjoy, after the purchase of your first home."

We've gone through all the other wine in our wine rack. I've taken that bottle to a friend's house and rudely took it home when we didn't drink it that night (surprising, since conversation at that dinner eventually led to the frustrations Hubby and I are dealing with while trying to buy our first home, an ugly shell of a house that we've already renovated 35 times in our heads). Not-so-descretely, I've mentioned to people that if we drink that bottle before settlement day, we're going to jinx it and settlement day won't happen. So as I assembled my ingredients for my mushroom bourguignon, I remembered I needed red wine. And there was a foot of snow on the ground. You can fake the pearl onions, but bourguignon isn't bourguignon without red wine. If there's no alternative, there's no problem. "Ok," I thought, "I'll just wait. I'll make it this weekend after I can get to a liquor store." But wait! There is an alternative! That bottle of 3-Buck-Chuck on the bookshelf that I've been decorating as a hula girl 10 months a year and Santa Claus the other 2 months for the last 4 years. Yes! Adapt, and move on. Alas, I had my mushroom bourguignon and allowed the home-buying-process to move along as smoothly as it can muster.

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