Today the path led back to bacon and mushrooms. We have wrapped cured meats around mushrooms before. When I saw a tight nest of pioppini mushrooms I immediately saw a filet mignon. And that led to me wanting to wrap the mushrooms in bacon, like the classic bacon wrapped filet.
I ended up cutting the mushroom cluster into quarters and wrapping the pieces in strips of bacon. I tied the bacon in place. As I was putting the bacon wrapped mushrooms into a roasting pan I came across some king trumpet mushrooms. I added them to the pan along with garlic cloves. The trumpets seemed blank. Looking at the combinations in the pan I reached for oil packed anchovies. I topped the trumpets with the anchovies and drizzled olive oil over them and the garlic.
I roasted the mushrooms for 45 minutes in a 350°F oven. The fat rendered and basted the mushrooms. The anchovies broke down and coated the mushrooms. The garlic cloves caramelized and softened. The bacon cooked but did not brown. Strangely bacon with this texture is really addictive. The meat and fat blend together. The meat itself is not overly salty. It has a rich tenderness, reminiscent of pork belly. Of course it is pork belly.
When the mushrooms were cooked I removed them from the pan and added Minus 8 vinegar to the fat and fond. I smashed the remaining and anchovies into the oil and vinegar. I spooned the warm vinaigrette over the mushrooms. It was delicious.
May 25, 2005