A while back I asked followers on Facebook to take a look at the compilation of food words from the Song of Ice and Fire series, and construct their own plausible Westerosi dish. Everyone then voted on their favorites, and there were two clear winners: Rita’s “Spiced Orange & Saffron Cakes bathed in sweet wine syrup and served with a refreshing lemon cream” and Ann’s “Roasted mushrooms stuffed with Caramelized onions, sausage, goat cheese and nuts” As promised, I’ve taken a crack at turning those descriptions into real dishes. First up is the stuffed mushroom recipe… It was declared in the kitchen by Mr. Innkeep (who can be horribly honest-to-a-fault), that these were possibly the best stuffed mushrooms he’d ever had. Not entirely believing him, despite all prior experience with his truthfulness, I popped a small one in my mouth to test it myself. He was right. They’re wonderful. The texture is mostly soft, with the occasional crunch of a bit of nut. The goat cheese’s tanginess is a flavorful counterpart to the buttery sausage and mushroom elements. A tinge of bitterness from the remaining beer is not a bad thing because the sweetness of the onions is there to balance it. So many complimentary ingredients come together to create this delicious snack that is gone far too quickly after coming out of the oven. My only remaining question: Where in Westeros do you think we would find this dish? I feel it belongs somewhere with forests, but it would be fun to see it someplace from which we’ve gotten little or no food descriptions, like the Stormlands, or somewhere in the Westerlands. Thoughts? Also, I’ll be recapping this fun experiment, so take a look at that word-cloud, and save up some great suggestions!
Recipe for Ann’s “Roasted Mushrooms stuffed with Caramelized Onions, Sausage, Goat Cheese and Nuts”
- 16 oz. button mushrooms
- ~1/2 cup sausage meat (haggis also makes for phenomenal stuffed mushrooms)
- 1-2 shallots, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ~ 1/2 cup ale
- 4 oz. goat cheese, plus a little extra for garnish
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped nuts (I prefer walnuts for this recipe)
- hearty pinch of smoked salt
- 1-2 tsp. chopped parsley
Start by removing the stems of the mushrooms and setting them aside. Place the mushroom caps on a lightly greased baking sheet, and chop the stems finely. In a skillet, cook the sausage over medium heat until it’s browned and crumbly. Scoop the cooked sausage out and place in a bowl, leaving the grease in the pan. Turn the heat down to low, then add to the pan the shallots and garlic and let them cook in the oil. )If you are working with lean sausage, add a bit of the butter early.) When the onions are soft and a nice dark brown, pour in the ale. Let this mostly cook off, around 5 minutes, then add the butter and the chopped mushroom stems. Cook for another few minutes, then remove from heat and add the remaining ingredients, stirring to combine. Gently spoon this mixture into the mushroom caps, pressing into each and heaping it up in the middle. Bake for about 15-20 minutes at 350F, and allow to cool slightly before devouring.