Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Make lemonade

Often in cooking I find that I have to make do with what I have in the house (flat) because I don't have time (or am too lazy) to walk the 5 minutes to the grocery store, or so that the things I have don't rot before I use them. I know that's not the real meaning of the phrase 'when life gives you lemons, make lemonade' but just work with me people.

Yesterday I looked at my stash and found potatoes, mushrooms, scallions, eggs and sweet potatoes. My first thought was some sort of
Tortilla Espanola/omelette or quiche, but I only had 3 eggs, so figured that wasn't going to cut it. The mushrooms and potatoes were definitely headed south the fastest, so I focused on those.

I did a search for 'mushroom and potato' on the Food Network
site and found this recipe, and then on Epicurious and found this one. I have to say both looked pretty tasty, and potato salad seemed like a good thing to have on a warm summer day. My mushrooms were just standard white mushrooms, so I didn't think they'd grill very well, and I wasn't keen on firing up the oven to 425 F given the fact noted above that it was a 'warm summer day'. Furthermore, the warm composed salad didn't seem like such a bright idea given the baby in the house. I decided to work with what I had and make up my own potato and mushroom salad. It came out pretty well (if I do say so myself). The only thing possibly lacking is some nice crispy bacon. Potato and mushroom salad

About 2 lb potatoes

1/2 T olive oil

1/4 lb white mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely or minced
3 large or 4 small green onions (whites and tops), chopped


1 T wholegrain mustard

2 T red wine vinegar
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Peel the potatoes if you wish. An interesting aside about potatoes is that, according to the Washington State Potato Commission at (and who am I to argue with them), it is a
myth that most of the nutrients in a potato are contained in the skin. The skin is, however, a good source of fiber, I think it looks nice in a dish like this, and again, I am lazy, so I really tend not to peel my potatoes. Anyway, cut your potatoes into same-sized chunks and boil them until tender (for a guide, my chunks shown below next to my knife with a 5.5 inch blade took 12 minutes). Drain and rinse with cold water.
While the potatoes are cooking, make the vinaigrette. Whisk together the mustard and vinegar, and then slowly add in 1/4 c olive oil while continuing to whisk.

Heat 1/2 T olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the sliced mushrooms and sautée for about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and continue cooking 1 minute more.

Put the warm potatoes in a large bowl and pour the vinaigrette over them.

Mix in the mushrooms and green onions and season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.
I let mine sit for a couple of hours and served it at room temperature, but it tasted pretty good warm, and I'm sure it would cold as well. (I've just tried some of the leftovers out of the fridge - it is fine cold!)

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