Oregano Mushrooms in Melted Fontina

Let it be known: for the first time since this blog’s inception, I have posted a recipe every single day of this week. Normally I like to talk at least somewhat about my life, my feelings, the book that’s sitting on my bedside table, or the quality of the Baileys in my coffee. But this week, it’s been all about cookies, chickens, and olives so far.

So in order not to totally confuse you and make you think that “Jenna’s Everything Blog” is becoming “Jenna’s Cooking Blog,” let me provide a summary of the above themes as they are playing out these days.

1) My life.

a) My man turned 28 last weekend and I managed to avoid baking a cake for the 2nd year in a row. His Mom came through this year with his favorite–lemon cake with chocolate icing. Phew! I need to overcome my cake lethargy at some point . . . maybe next year?

b) I’m gigging with my friend Carrie tomorrow at CityGrounds in Lincoln Park starting at 7pm–details are here. I’ve told Mr. Stage Fright he has no business showing his face at all over the weekend or I’ll fling a pie in it, so it should be a fabulous gig. P.S. If you come, please bring a pie since I forgot to bake one. These days Mr. Stage Fright really enjoys a tart lemon meringue with a nice flaky crust.

c) It is my personal job during the aforesaid gig to make sure Carrie does not under any circumstances whatsoever drink a latte. It’s a killer for the vocal chords, and she is very susceptible to temptation. Please come to assist in this effort.

d) To wrap things up on the “life” front, Erica is making beautiful progress with my Regency Gown for the ball in South Bend that’s going down in a couple weeks. Alex, you can stop laughing now, because dorks have real fun. Cool people are just good at pretending to have fun.

Or at least please let me think that’s how it works–it’s my only solace.

2) My feelings. I love olives. Babies sometimes have the most munchable cheeks; others have grabbable little dimply bottoms. I really love fontina cheese. Babies are interesting. I love mushrooms and I want to eat a cauldron full of them. Pregnancy scares me; not-pregnancy also scares me. Strawberry shortcake is like crack, but less expensive. Oh, and babies are frighteningly needy. What the heck is up with babies.

3) The book that’s sitting on my bedside table. To Kill a Mockingbird. All is Vanity. The next installment in the Hannah Swensen mysteries.

4) The quality of the Baileys in my coffee. Alas, I’m out of Baileys. In fact, I’ve been out for nearly a month. I’ve been supplementing with Amarula, but this farce can’t go on forever. Can anyone spot me a 20? Anyone? For some of the creamy Irish stuff?

Alright! Now that I’ve put the ‘everything’ back in ‘Jenna’s Everything Blog’ I feel that I can rightfully proceed with more cookitty-cookery. It’s high time for that cauldron full of mushrooms.

I’m usually a sucker for 1-pot meals, but every now and then I get the itch to bring a kaleidoscope of side dishes into my life. Especially when they’re as easy as this one! This recipe shouted my name from the pages of Martha Stewart Living magazine (Feb. 2011 issue). I switched up the herb from thyme to oregano, but besides that, I remained pretty faithful to it. And it’s a winner. Rich, gooey, and so quick to toss together. Less doo it (slang for ‘let’s do it’ for any confused people).

Ingredients

(Serves 3)

8 oz mushrooms (baby bella and shiitake)

3 TBS olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

black pepper, freshly ground

3/4 c grated fontina cheese

1 TBS finely minced fresh oregano

Look at this simple little assembly of ingredients.

Let’s start by grating the cheese. I kinda feel like it.

Fontina is a very soft cheese, and if you want to avoid a very sticky grater you can spray some oil on it before grating the cheese. That’s what I usually do when grating mozzarella, so it would probably work with fontina, too.

Being a woman of occasional excess, the 3/4 cup of grated cheese somehow morphed into 1 full cup. And I have to say, I wish I had stuck to 3/4 cup. Fontina is very rich, and it was borderline a little too cheesy in the end, believe it or not. So stick to 3/4 cup.

Now let’s grab that fresh oregano and give it the ole mince.

Clean those mushrooms (I just brush them off with a paper towel) and slice them finely. I used equal parts of baby bella:

and shiitake:

But the sky’s the limit. There are so many delicious varities of mushrooms out there.

Put the mushrooms in a pie plate, and add the olive oil:

and salt:

and freshly ground black pepper.

Freshly ground really does make a difference. Just believe.

Toss them about with your hands so that the seasoning and oil is evenly distributed.

Then move them around in the pie plate so that they are as close to being in a single layer as possible. Broil them for 2 minutes. Remove the pie plate and sprinkle the cheese and oregano on top.

Broil for another 1-2 minutes, and serve!

Delicious–I don’t mind if I say so myself.

What a great find. Thanks, team Martha Stewart.

In order to stay true to my nature, I fried up some eggs . . .

. . . and served the eggs and mushrooms over a pile of white rice.

I use the “top it off with some eggs” method more times than I’d like to count.

And it hits the spot every time.

Thanks for keeping me company for one more week, all y’all! And have a great weekend–that’s an order.

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22 thoughts on “Oregano Mushrooms in Melted Fontina

  1. Joanne

    I love the everything that goes on in your life and mind. It’s so nice to see that someone’s as scared/obsessed with babies as I am. Aren’t they cute? And yet the most ridiculously fear-inspiring things on this earth! I’ve got some bailey’s. More than happy to send you some.

    Love all the cheese in this mushroom dish. My kind of meal.

    Reply
  2. Veronica

    You know what? I’m totally going to make this for breakfast with an egg on top. Thanks for the inspiration! It looks incredible.

    Reply
  3. Veronica

    LOL, forgive me for skipping right to the recipe before reading the blog and nearly forgetting to go back and do so! I was just too excited by the title and photo to do any more reading until I had saved it. :) Good luck with your gig, girlie! I’ve read several of the Hannah Swensen mysteries but I can’t say I’m that big of a fan. I just read a lot of everything so I had to have some of those in there, if not for the recipes alone. :) Love to Kill a Mockingbird! I just finished Uncle Tom’s Cabin (amazing) and am now reading Room which is equal parts heart wrenching and beautiful. It’s a very good read but it was tough getting through the first half!

    Reply
  4. Julie M.

    My love of your blog just went to a whole new level. I think you’ve just put two of my all time favorite foods together in one delicious bite. This. Looks. Amazing.

    Reply
  5. Jennifer

    I am going to surprise my husband with this dish. He will LOVE it! Thank you for helping me to keep some variety in the kitchen. BTW I just cracked open The Last American Man and am having a blast reading it. Thanks for sharing:)

    Reply
  6. Twinky

    What do you mean, “what’s up with babies?” ….. I think you and I both know the answer to THAT question….!!! You always were susceptible to bug-bites, and I don’t believe this is any exception …. =)

    Reply
  7. giselle

    Why is it that when I read the name of this recipe I read it in with a British accent? every time! ‘O-re-ga-NO’ instead of the plain old ‘o-re-GA-no’ hehehe.

    Reply
  8. pinkingshearsandbroccolispears

    I’m sure you’re aware of my hatred for mushrooms. And yet I find myself craving them recently. Has pregnancy altered my tastebuds forever?

    Yes what is up with babies? You feed them and care for them and then they go and do things like get violent hiccups while you’re trying to listen to a sermon, or kick a foot straight out by your ribs while you’re trying to teach someone the passive tense. I mean all the thrashing and flailing of limbs, it’s almost as if someone is trying to escape. And that’s the stuff that sci fi nightmares are made of!!

    Ok maybe not nightmares, but seriously motherhood is terrifying. But I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited to jump into a new adventure before. Last week my stress level was high. My house looked like a baby store exploded in it, I had a lot of errands and paper work to take care of, and it’s been a few months since I’ve been able to sleep comfortably or for any reasonable length of time.
    But this week, the house is organized, the baby’s room is organized and labeled (I know I went a little crazy, but I’m sure the grandparents will be grateful when they can find everything), the car seat is securely fastened and I know how to put a baby doll in it. The baby is coming any time now. And I can’t wait!

    My advice to you: spend some time eating things like sushi, rum cake and blue cheese; drink some lattes and some coffee with baileys; and then just dive right into the world of pregnancy and babies. And then when you are pregnant, find a birth center or home birth midwife.

    Sorry for the long comment, but can you tell I’m TOTALLY EXCITED ABOUT BEING A MOM!

    Reply
    1. Jenna

      Oh Megan, I am SO, so, so, so excited for you guys! When I read in your newsletter that your due date is in the first week of April, I did a double take. To me (being at a distance) it feels like your pregnancy has flown by! I identify with the terrifying part, and I think I have an inkling of how it would feel to be so excited. I just go back and forth so much in my mind, you know? I guess at some point I need to stop thinking and just dive in. Yikes. Hopefully we can see you guys during your travels this spring! And make sure to post pictures of the little person on FB or on your blog!

      Reply

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