Whenever Matt travels for work, I take the opportunity to cook things for myself that he wouldn't want to eat. Primarily, this means mushroom recipes. He's learned to like some mushroom dishes, but not those that are too in-your-face with the flavor and texture. He flew out today, so I spent the afternoon making Creamy Mushroom Soup (pg 119-120).
With a pound of cremini mushrooms, and an additional pound of mixed mushrooms (I used portabello, oyster, and shiitake), I knew as soon as I saw it that this recipe would exceed Matt's mushroom threshold. The tone of the directions annoyed me once I got started. It actually says to "beautifully and precisely chop the mushroom caps..." I don't beautifully and precisely chop everything. Especially two pounds of mushrooms. Do you know how many mushrooms there are in two pounds? A billion, give or take a few. I did read the recipe through before I started, but I must have been so distracted by that irritating instruction that I glossed over the following sentence, which said to add them to the pan as they were chopped (presumably to avoid crowding). I chopped all my mushrooms in one go. Oh well.
The finished product is a hair shy of being overwhelmingly mushroomy. It was nearly too much for me. Matt would have hated it. A sprig of rosemary is cooked in the pan with the mushrooms, and later removed. It didn't impart much flavor. Thyme sprigs should have been given the same treatment, but I couldn't find any at the supermarket, so I sprinkled some ground thyme in as the mushrooms cooked. I also couldn't get chives, which should have been added in at the end. I wish I had them. I think they would have added a nice additional flavor and cut the earthiness a bit.
All in all, a nice soup. It was brothy, despite the cream and loads of mushrooms, but not especially filling. Two hours later, I'm hungry again. This might be better as an appetizer than a main course.
Conclusion: Liked it.
The other day, I made Autumn Celeriac (Celery Root) Puree (pg 133.) I don't have a lot to say about it. It was pretty bland. I always thought that one of the appealing things about making celery root puree instead of mashed potatoes was that it was a little healthier. This recipe adds heavy cream, which undermines any calories saved by using a celery root, and frankly, mashed potatoes are way more delicious. I didn't take a picture, but it just looked like white puree.
Conclusion: Just okay.