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Welcome to Hill Reeves, a blog where I write about the things I cook and bake in NYC.

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Simple Meals: Mushrooms on Toast

Simple dishes are my faves. I love a satisfying meal that you can toss together in minutes with ingredients you probably have on hand, but that you can also jazz up if the impulse strikes. And one of my favorite "simple" meals is mushrooms on toast. I dunno about the rest of the world, but mushrooms are one thing I inevitably buy too many of. I hate the idea of paying more for them pre-sliced or buying them pre-wrapped in those wasteful plastic containers, so I instead head over to the bin where the different varieties are stored loose. I whip open a plastic produce bag and start stuffing.

"Hmmm... one pound should be about right. After all, they shrink when they're cooked," I tell myself. And then I have one pound of mushrooms.

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So if, like me, you're a moron (which I'm certain you're not; stop beating yourself up, hunny!) or your CSA leaves you with more mushrooms than you could ever possibly stuff into a lasagna, make some mushrooms on toast. The recipe is so simple-- leave it to the English to name a recipe after EXACTLY WHAT IT IS--but it always hits the spot. Plus, mushrooms on toast works for a hearty breakfast, a perfect lunch or a light dinner on those nights you're cooking for one.

I personally like to use a relatively fresh Pullman loaf from the bakery, rather than any brand name pre-sliced bread. Any bread will work, but if you can find a fresh loaf in the bakery section of your grocery store, you'll get a real sense of how yummy this can be. Cut the bread so thick that you're not even tempted to put it in a toaster. Instead, you'll have to fry it in your skillet in some butter. Then, when topped with the rich, buttery mushrooms and a poached egg, if you're feeling adventurous, the bread quickly becomes drenched (I love a soggy piece of bread-- just me?) in saucy goodness. The different textures from crispy crust, to pillowy center, to meaty mushroom, is really what makes this memorably mouthwatering.

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Mushrooms on toast: 

Slice 1/2 cup of mushrooms (per slice of bread).

Cook on medium heat with a knob of butter (you decide how much butter that means-- I say about 2-3 tbsp).

Sprinkle with salt and continue to cook until soft.

Mix in 2 tbsp of creme fraiche or sour cream (if you don't have this, more butter!).

Meanwhile, toast a thick slice of bread, or fry in skillet with some butter.

Once toasted to your liking, top with mushrooms.

For a bit more substance, top with a fried or poached egg (runny yolk is key, of course!) and/or some bacon pieces. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.

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