Not that I haven’t always been an odd duck, but as a child, I didn’t eat any sort of seafood except for oysters. Fish was assumed to taste the way it smelled, crabs looked like spidery ocean monsters, and shrimp had to have been the grossest looking things I’d ever seen. But oysters! How I loved them so! My favorite preparation was fried with lots of lemon and ketchup, and I would adore the nights our family and extended family would pile into the car to go to the Chesapeake Bay Seafood House for their All-You-Can-Eat extravaganza. I’ve grown to become EEO about seafood (I’m sorry for judging you guys!) and adore just about every fresh catch I can get my hands on, but oysters hold a special place in my heart. Continue reading Oyster Rockefeller Dressing
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Grilled Trumpet Mushrooms
Everybody knows that I’m a fan of mushrooms. And yes, I just said that in my best Phaedra Parks voice. I’m amazed by folks who aren’t down with fungus, but that emotion is quickly replaced with, “If you’re not gonna eat those, I’ll take care of ’em for you.” In addition to the plebian (but ever so delicious) market staples of white buttons, portobellos and cremini mushrooms, I’m a huge fan of those mushrooms that are literally found off the beaten path. Maitakes, enoki and chanterelles are all beloved, and pricey morels are a necessary splurge during their short spring season. Even the funky ones that are more chewy than spongy, like the wood ear mushrooms or black trumpets.
I particularly love the versatile ones that hold up to all sorts of cooking and cuisines, and oyster mushrooms are no exception. Royal oysters (sometimes called King Trumpets) are fabulous in that after a little cooking, they still retain all of their flavor and their texture. So much so that you can actually marinate them and grill them, treating trumpets like a protein rather than a vegetable. If you see these guys at the market sometime, give them a whirl – they’re a simple side and will sway even the most skeptical mushroom eater. Actually, sway or no, who cares. I want to eat these and not share with anyone. I’m not kidding.
Grilled Trumpet Mushrooms
8 trumpet (royal oyster) mushrooms, halved and bottoms trimmed
1/4 c. of white balsamic vinegar
6 tbs. of olive oil
1 tsp. of kosher salt
1 tbs. of chopped rosemary
1/4 tsp. of coarse ground black pepper
Mix balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary together in a small bowl. Pour over mushrooms and toss to mix. Marinate for 20 minutes.
Heat a grill or a grill pan and oil lightly. Place mushrooms on the grill and cook for about 3 minutes on each side until the mushrooms are slightly browned. Serve.