Friday, May 7, 2010

Experimental Friday

Last night we visited the South Pasadena Farmer's Market. There was a new mushroom vendor called LA FungHi. They had an amazing selection of mushrooms, a vast majority of them I'd never even knew existed. The woman running the stand allowed me to sample a variety of the funkier looking ones. While there, she divulged to me that one way she loved to cook her mushrooms was to bread them using eggs and whole wheat flour and fry them in piping hot olive oil. With my love of fried foods and mushrooms I couldn't believe I had never tried this before.

In the end I couldn't decide what to get so I purchased one of their $15 mixed baskets. It is a huge amount of mushrooms!

Today I picked out a variety of mushrooms to fry up. While I love fried foods, I don't fry a lot of foods myself, so this was a major experiment for me. I coated the 'shrooms with egg and then rolled them in whole wheat flour (which I added a bit of salt and pepper to). In the meantime, I'd poured a whole lot of olive oil in a small pot and had that going on the burner. I was able to get them done in two batches. They looked amazing.

I tried the more delicate mushrooms first and was sadly very disappointed. They were kind of tasteless (mostly just tasted like fried flour) and really a waste of good mushrooms that would have been delicious sauteed, raw or roasted. Then I tried the fatter ones...

Oh. My. God. They were insanely amazing. They were juicy and luscious and dripping in flavor. All I was missing was some hot ponzu sauce to dip them in!

My next experiment was a recipe I'd received from the lovely Monika at Hipcooks. The recipe was for a savory beet and goat cheese muffin. They sounded super yummy to me, but I wasn't sure how they'd actually come out.

The basic recipe is to grate a beet, toss in some walnuts and chopped rosemary. Then gently fold with the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt). Then stir in the wet ingredients (butter, buttermilk and an egg). She also has you sprinkle Parmesan cheese in the pan before you put the muffin batter in. I then put chunks of goat cheese on the tops of each muffin. I had intended on putting goat cheese in the middle of the muffins, too, but I made these while holding a screaming baby, so that didn't work out. (Email me if you'd like the whole recipe and I'll forward the Hipcooks recipe to you).

They came out quite well and were extra tasty with more goat cheese spread on them while hot. They were even good with a bit of honey. I felt like I put a lot of beet in these muffins, but after they were cooked, you really could hardly taste them.


  1. Wish I lived closer so we could cook together! or so I could eat all your I would love the recipe for the muffins, they sound delish!

  2. Well...move back here then!! ;p I'll forward the recipe!

  3. Like you I avoid frying, but with your recipe I will be making an exception to that rule, especially knowing that it calls for whole wheat a Fellow L.A. Funghi devotee, I am constantly inspired by Dirk's, L.A. Funghi, amazing selection of mushrooms. I buy them at the Sunday Hollywood farmers market, but glad to know they are also available in South Pasadena.

  4. Thanks Om Chef! I've been having so much fun with their mushrooms since they started doing South Pas. I LOVE them!