Freya's Boiga Ballyhoo Entry and 60 Second Ice Cream!

I suppose it seems only right that I should support my husband's food event, Paul's Big Burger Ballyhoo (just 5 days to go, folks!). Whilst I am unhappy about donating our meagre supplies of Goatslick (it's a great mixer with vodka - seriously!), I do like the idea of a good food contest. I realise that I am exempt from winning the competition. However, when I knocked up this vegetarian sandwich yesterday, Paul suggested that I should at least put it forward as inspiration for other people.
Of course, it can only be cooked on a grill if you have a grill-safe skillet (or frying pan to us Brits) because it involves small mushrooms and scrambled eggs. Sounds like breakfast so far? Try adding some Parmesan, truffle paste, lemon juice, cayenne pepper and parsley to the mix and you've got a winner for your vegetarian (or hamburger squeamish) guests. Furthermore, if you're not using the grill, then you can just rustle this up in the kitchen (as I did) for a quick snack.
The recipe is taken from Jane Grigson's Mushroom Feast, who directly attributes the recipe to the formidable foodie Alice B Toklas. I have omitted several steps from the original, purely to make it much quicker and more convenient. I chose not to process the mushrooms into a paste because I love the squeaky texture of fungi but if you want to proceed as per the original, place the just cooked mushrooms in a food processor until process until coarsely chopped and then add the eggs. The Truffle Paste is my luxurious touch and proof that I really am going to use that expensive looking glass bottle of, what is in truth, chopped mushrooms with a hint of truffle oil (which is no more made with authentic truffles than baby oil is made out of babies). However, I enjoy the strong, garlic heavy flavour and a little goes a long way (and it keeps for much longer than it actually states on the packaging. Use within 5 days of opening? Mine has been open 8 months and tastes just as good as the day I first popped the lid). Obviously I don't suggest that you go out and buy this special item just for what is, in effect, glorified mushroom sandwiches. In particular, if you are privy to some rich, musky flavoured wild mushrooms, these will need very little adornment at all.
According to Alice B Toklas, the taste of the finished sandwich is much like chicken and indeed, the mushrooms combined with eggs and cheese had a deeply meaty taste.
This dish also lends itself to much experimentation: different herbs (Thyme or Tarragon) or cheese (Gruyere, maybe a not too strong blue cheese), some sauteed onions, perhaps some garlic, whatever type of mushrooms you are able to pick locally or pick up at your supermarket.
If you have some mushrooms that are crying out to be used and you're feeling peckish right now, here's how to make them:
250g Mushrooms (a punnet), I used Chestnut, you could use whatever you have
30g Butter
2 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan (or cheese of your choice)
2 Organic, Free Range Eggs
Spritz Lemon Juice
Salt, Pepper, Cayenne Pepper
1 Spring Onion, chopped
Teaspoon Truffle Paste (optional)
White Bread, cut into rounds using a large cutter, if you're feeling in a Mad Hatters Tea Party mood, if not, keep bread as is.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium height. Add a spritz of lemon juice (I used about a quarter of a lemon) and throw in the mushrooms. Grind over some black pepper and leave to sweat down, and then reabsorb the liquid that they initially emit.
Once they are tender but fairly dry (about 8 minutes) break the eggs over the mushrooms and stir briskly to scramble them. Remove from the heat before the egg goes dry and whilst hot, stir in the grated cheese, cayenne pepper to taste and the spring onions. Finally stir in some salt and truffle paste (if using), also to taste.
Serve on toasted bread. I fried the bread rounds in some butter because I love fried bread, however this is an overly luxurious touch and the toaster works just as well.

For those of you who skipped the above burger waffle because you were seduced by the words '60 Second Ice Cream', let me reassure you that you will not be disappointed. Inspired by Lisa over at La Mia Cucina's and Marce at Pip in the City's Banana Ice Cream which does not require an ice cream maker or even copious freezing times, I decided to experiment with other 'instant' ice creams. A little investigative work informed me that other fruits won't give you the authentic ice cream texture that the bananas did. However, with a little lubricant supplied by natural (or Greek) yogurt, a dash of sugar (or Agave syrup) and some flavourings, you can produce something which tastes fruity and great.
I remembered that I had bought a bag of cherries some months (or was that years?) ago, with the probable intention of making cherry pie for Paul. Obviously this never transpired. I am not the biggest fan of cherries so didn't really feel compelled to make the pie. Feeling energetic after trying out the new local branch of Subway though, I decided to treat Paul. I placed half the bag of frozen cherries in my processor, poured in about 50g caster sugar, a dash of almond vodka (made with the kernels from damsons) and some almond extract and 150ml of yogurt and processed for 60 seconds or until smooth and vividly pink. Taste for sugar, add more if necessary and serve. I think that if you had frozen banana slices in your freezer, you could replace the sugar element with this instead for an even healthier, fruity frosty treat.
Again, experimentation is the key to success: I have decided to keep all sorts of soft fruits in the freezer; blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, currents, mango; with the idea that we have instant ice cream at the drop of a hat. Would this work with stewed fruits, like Rhubarb or Apple, flavoured with cinnamon or vanilla or made boozy with a dash of sloe gin? Let me know if you decide to experiment and find a truly amazing combination!
Basic Recipe
1kg Frozen Fruit
300-400g Natural Yogurt (you may need more depending on the texture of the fruit). At this point, I am wondering if you can use tofu for those of you who are lactose intolerant?
50g Sugar (depending on natural sweetness of fruit), Agave Syrup or Honey
Flavouring of your choice (vanilla, almond extract, fruit liqueurs as a starting point)
Place all the ingredients in a processor and blend until smooth. No longer or it will melt too much
Serve straight away. This stuff doesn't refreeze but if you find you have any left, you can drink it as a thick smoothie instead.


Nora B. said...

Freya, the mushroom sandwich sounds delicious. And truffle that brings it up a notch!

Anh said...

That mushroom sandwiches look perfect (and the ice cream is a bonus)! I like the idea of adding the expensive truffle paste - it must be wonderful. I have a bottle of truffle infused olive oil, which I use most often to quickly saute' my mushroom and dipping bread. Very nice!

valentina said...

Freya, I do love the mushroom sandwhich. I do have some truffle in the kitchen cupboard so perhaps I might end up preparing one as well.

Lydia said...

I make a similar fruit dessert that we call "fruit whiz" -- it uses frozen banana chunks as the thickener. I love the color from the frozen berries, too.

Passionate Eater said...

Ohhh dang, you said that this wonderful mushroom burger recipe "serves two greedy people," but your photo looks so vivid and delectable, that if I made these, I think they'd only make one serving for me! What a fantastic recipe! My mouth was watering like a fountain when I read through the recipe and of the "deeply meaty taste."

Kelly-Jane said...

I like the sound of a mushroom burger, have been meaning to try big mushrooms with butter and garlic in a bun a la Nigella too.

Your cherry ice is such a fabulous colour - I've got my spoon at the ready! :)

Little Foodie said...

I was thinking the mushrooms sounded good & nicely indulgent with the truffle paste, but the ice cream section, amazing, and you mentioned sloe gin which we made far too much of last year (even after giving lots away we still have some left)Grow'd up ice cream here I come!!!

valentinA said...

This 60sec ice cream looks yummy Freya. And it can be kept as a smoothie too! ISCREAM ICECREAM!!!!!

Cheryl said...

Love that quick ice cream. Definitely a must try for me.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Freya, you won my heart with this ice cream... Since I don't own an ice cream maker, this is perfect for me, sweetie!

Joyce said...

Good call with the instant ice cream. Keep a couple of whole, peeled bananas in a sandwich bag in the freezer. I use one each morning as part of my breakfast smoothie. Check out the raw food blogs for some super ice creams made with almonds / cashews, etc.

Callipygia said...

I love your boiga, rich earthy and delicious.

Kirsten said...

Wow - that sandwich sounds very good...

And I am SO happy you tried the ice cream (of sorts) I saw on Lis' blog - I have been meaning to try it, and the more attempts/methods I read about, I at least *think* mine will turn out better than if I tried on my own. :)

katiez said...

What a great idea for 'ice cream' I still have some frozen peaches left from last summer - peach ice cream it is!

kellypea said...

I love mushrooms and would never have thought of this. I love huge portobellos grilled and then slapped on the sandwich or "burger," but the idea of putting them in the processor sounds intriguing. Not sure the carnivores in my house would go for it...But they would lose!