Although I have a deep and abiding love for it, I have a complicated relationship with Costco.
It took many years before I could walk into my local warehouse and walk out with only what I need, and not a 50-gallon drum of marinated artichoke hearts and a pallet of golf balls (I don’t even golf). But still, each time I visit I discover something I’ve never even known existed, but also know in my very marrow, that I can’t continue life on this planet without it.I often venture into that house-sized refrigerator where the keep their veggies and come out bearing a giant amount of this or that. Frequently, it’s their button mushrooms, that come in like a forty- or fifty-pound box.
And when I get them home, I look at them with the same confusion and trepidation with which Petey and I gazed at the newly born Kid.What do we do with it now?
Last week, I decided to do a creamy mushroom bake. I love all three of those words; each one implies something tasty, and used together, connote comfort food heaven.
There were two big stars in this dish. One’s a tub of Brie. I love brie but rarely have it around the house because I’m scared I’ll go into a cheese fugue state and run dairy amuck. It’s the same thing with still-warm Krispy Kreme doughnuts—I just don’t trust myself around them. I’ve never eaten more than three in one sitting but am pretty sure I could polish off 18 or 20 without batting an eye.The other new, but really important ingredient was mushroom stock. I always discard the stems when I use mushrooms, but this time I tossed them into a pot with 2 cups of chicken stock, a handful of dried mushrooms, and a couple bay leaves. I then boiled it until it reduced by half, then strained it.
Creamy Brie Mushroom Bake½ cup + 3 tablespoons butter, divided
2 pounds sliced button mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed and saved for stock
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 tablespoons dried thyme
¼ teaspoon dried rosemary
½ cup white wine
½ cup flour
1 cup mushroom stock
2 cups 2% milk
½ cup heavy cream
1 5-ounce container spreadable Président Creamy Brie
1 16-ounce box corkscrew pasta, cooked for 5 minutes only
½ cup shredded manchego
Salt & pepper to tasteMelt 3 tablespoons of butter in large, heavy pot. Add mushrooms, onion, thyme and rosemary. Season, then stir to coat. Turn to medium, cover and cook until the water’s released from veg. Uncover and cook until the liquid’s cooked out, and mushrooms start to brown. Pour in wine and cook until dry. Remove veg and set aside.
Melt rest of the butter and stir in flour. Cook 2 minutes then add stock, milk and cream. Stir continuously until it boils. Take off heat and stir in brie until melted.Preheat oven to 350. Add vegetables and noodles to pot. Stir until everything’s coated and veg are evenly distributed. Taste for seasoning and re-season, if necessary. Pour into greased casserole dish. Cover with parchment, then foil.
Bake covered casserole for 45 minutes, uncover, top with shredded cheese, and bake, uncovered for 30 minutes. Let sit 15 minutes before service. Serves 8.
The dish was a hit, but it almost got Petey a punch in the nose.When I told him what we were having for dinner, he asked, “Isn’t this mushroom stuff just like something you’ve made before?”
No, Petey. It has mushroom stock and brie—it’s totally different.
Thanks for your time.