Monday, April 20, 2009

Roast Turkey Breast and Champagne Mushroom Gravy

Friends visited last weekend, which left me with something unusual in my refrigerator -- an open bottle of leftover champagne. One of them cleverly stuck a spoon in the open bottle, handle down, and I was surprised to find that even after a week, the champagne still contained bubbles. According to a group of researchers at Stanford ( the spoon trick isn't supposed to work, but it did in my case. The researchers recommend leaving champagne uncorked.

I also had a box of crimini mushrooms, which, I'm told, are really just little portobella mushrooms. It seems odd to me that a fungus could be so healthy for us to eat, but apparently that's the case. Mushrooms are loaded with vitamins and minerals. There are those touting them as a cancer fighting food, too. Whatever the case, they appear to be very good for us.

And now, a nifty mushroom tip, courtesy of Alton Brown. If you haven't watched Alton Brown's shows on Food Network, you're missing some excellent information presented in an amusing way. On one show, he focused on proving or disproving food myths. And one of those myths was that one should never wash mushrooms because they soak up the water. For years I wiped mushrooms with a cloth as I had been told was necessary. Not so! Alton weighed fresh mushrooms, then soaked one group in water. I mean soaked, as in a much longer time than you'd ever spend washing them. The results clearly showed that the mushrooms did not soak up water. The weight on the mushrooms that were soaked was nominally more, just a hair. They clearly did not absorb the water.

So wash those mushrooms! I still wipe the tops a little but have no fear, you can wash mushrooms.

Tomorrow, I'll be talking turkey. And Wednesday -- the recipe for a very adult gravy.


Darlene Ryan said...

I've been washing my mushrooms for years--yes I am a bit of a germ-a-phobe.

Krista said...

And they're never soggy, right? Alton Brown would be very proud of you.

Pattie T. said...

A friend and I attended a gourmet cooking class by a chef we both admired. He dumped his mushrooms into a bowl of water and they sat there for a half hour or more while he worked on other dishes. He then dried them and carved the tops beautifully before cooking them and they were FINE. The fact that they're grown (or used to be) in manure is enough to keep me washing them until the day I die. I don't care if the manure is sterilized or not.

Thanks for the Alton Brown info. I'd not seen that episode, but if Alton says it's true then it must be.

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