I am always struck by the beauty of simple food. With chefs constantly learning and experimenting there is still something strangely appealing about an old classic. Don't get me wrong, I am always keen to hear about a new cooking technique or admire a dish that is plated up in a way I haven't seen before, but honest cooking with quality ingredients is a style that I always enjoy most. With this in mind I got my hands on some beautiful mushrooms and went to work.
Stuff you'll need to feed 2:
- About 250g - 300g of mixed wild mushrooms (I used porcini, king oyster, shiitake and enoki. Feel free to use what you like but please don't try this dish with just button mushrooms. I'm telling you know it will be average.) Keep the smaller ones whole and try not to cut any of them to much. I like the rustic nature of bigger chunks of 'shroom.
- About a quarter of a cup of water
- About 3 tablespoons of the best balsamic vinegar you can find
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
- A handful of chives, finely chopped
- A tablespoon of thyme (dried is fine)
- 2 - 4 soft boiled eggs, peeled. (Boiling an egg to perfection is actually quite difficult and depends widely on the stove but as a guideline do this: Bring a pot of water to the boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook the eggs for 4-5 minutes and remove from water to allow to cool. That should get you close. Obviously the way you like your eggs will dictate times so just play around a bit.)
Okay, what to do:
1. In a little olive oil fry off the garlic for about a minute. Do not let it brown though. Just cook gently.
2. Add the mushrooms and thyme and cook for about a minute. Add the water, the balsamic and season generously.
3. Increase the heat and cook for about 8minutes or until your balsamic has reduced to a gorgeous thick sauce.
To serve, spoon the mushrooms onto your favourite toasted bread. (I'm a big fan of a sourdough/rye combo). Add either one or two soft boiled eggs onto the mushrooms and break open to allow the yoke to run into the mushrooms. Garnish with chopped chives. I served mine with some tomatoes roasted on the vine. A nice touch yes?
The key to this dish (obviously) is the quality of produce. With something this simple you need the best. If you can find that, you have got a winner. I know a lot of you will want to fry the mushrooms in butter but do you know what I want...I want you drop and give me 20. The butter is unnecessary. Now go run somewhere.