Finals Week Study Break: Mushrooms with Prosciutto, Shallots and Thyme

Focus in on the Mushrooms!

Focus in on the Mushrooms!

It is finals week for my fall quarter of grad school.  That means  recently I have not done much after work but study.  I like this class a lot, which means studying is still work, but the interesting I-Will-Do-Something-Productive-With-This-Information kind.  Dynamic as Strategic Brand Management can be, my mind is always a bit clearer after I cook.

I have always enjoyed mushrooms.  They are my Achille’s heel, my soft spot, my oh my gosh don’t you dare break out that playing card…  There are so many delicious preparations for mushrooms.  This is one of them.  Serve these mushrooms on top of chicken, mixed in with rice, as a side dish, or as a snack.  I like to just eat them out of the pan.  They are also excellent stuffed in phyllo pastry shells, rolled in puff pastry with cheese, sliced into rounds, baked and placed on an hors d’oeuvre platter or simply served atop baguette slices.

Pancetta and Shallots in Olive Oil

Pancetta and Shallots in Olive Oil

Mushrooms with Proscuitto, Shallots and Thyme

2 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 slices prosciutto, sliced into 1/2″ strips
1 small shallot, diced
1 8oz pkg. mushrooms (I used baby bella)
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 c. white wine (*)
4 sprigs fresh thyme, little leaves stripped from stems

Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Swirl olive oil in pan.  Once hot, add prosciutto.  Let it crisp up a bit and sizzle.  Add shallot, stirring occasionally, until translucent.  Add mushrooms, sea salt** and black pepper.  Stir until tender.   Then add thyme leaves.  Pour white wine over mushrooms in pan.  Continue stirring, about 2 minutes, until mushrooms have absorbed most of the liquid.  Season to taste with sea salt and pepper.

* Any white wine will do.  Just please, Mary & Joseph, don’t use the bottled ‘cooking wine.’  I used a Chardonnay that had been aged in steel barrels, so it was not terribly ‘oakey.’  My mother-in-law and I found it during an impromptu wine tasting last Saturday afternoon.  I like to drink the wines I cook with during the finished meal and inevitably end up taking a few sips as I cook.

** The salt used to cure the prosciutto concentrates/becomes very intense as the meat is fried.  Use sea salt sparingly, and taste as you go.  If you over-salt this dish, cut the salt with a bit of freshly squeezed lemon juice  at the end.


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