In my family, no ingredient is more polarizing than the mushroom. I am the lone lover in a house full of haters. That said disguised with a top that is at once sweet, sour, bright, creamy, and enrobed in rich, salty pancetta, my husband declared, “Were it not for the mushroom, this tastes amazing.” And that was enough for me. —gingerroot
For the quick marinated mushrooms
cremini mushrooms, wiped clean with a damp paper towel, stemmed
extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons
fresh squeezed lemon juice (Meyer if you have it)
garlic cloves, minced
For Blue Cheese and Honey filling
2 1/2 ounces
mild, firm blue cheese, crumbled
Zest of 1 lemon (Meyer preferred)
pancetta, depending on the size of the mushrooms (you may need more if your mushrooms are on the larger side)
Zest your lemon into a small bowl and set aside. You'll use this later.
Combing marinade ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Taste for acid and salt and add more if needed. Add clean, de-stemmed mushrooms and gently toss to coat. Set aside and allow mixture to marinate for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Preheat oven to 400° F.
Meanwhile, make filling by adding blue cheese, crème fraiche and honey to bowl with zest. Thoroughly combine to break up any large chunks of cheese.
Place marinated mushrooms, cap side down, on a broiler pan. Fill each cap with about a teaspoon of filling. Carefully separate each piece of pancetta and cut each in half with kitchen shears. With one end of the pancetta slightly overlapping one edge of the filled cap, wrap the pancetta around the mushroom, completely covering the filled top at least once if not twice, depending on the size of the mushroom. For a larger mushroom, use a whole piece of pancetta if necessary. Repeat until all of the mushrooms are wrapped.
Cook in batches (if necessary) until mushrooms are fragrant and pancetta is crisp, about 10 minutes. Start checking when you can smell them. Carefully remove from pan (chopsticks come in handy) blotting on a paper towel if necessary, and arrange on serving platter, with toothpicks if desired. Serve immediately these are best hot. Enjoy!
My most vivid childhood memories have to do with family and food. As a kid, I had the good fortune of having a mom who always encouraged trying new things, and two grandmothers who invited me into their kitchens at a young age. I enjoy cooking for the joy it brings me - sharing food with loved ones - and as a stress release. I turn to it equally during good times and bad. Now that I have two young children, I try to be conscientious about what we cook and eat. Right about the time I joined food52, I planted my first raised bed garden and joined a CSA; between the two I try to cook as sustainably and organically as I can. Although I'm usually cooking alone, my children are my favorite kitchen companions and I love cooking with them. I hope when they are grown they will look back fondly at our time spent in the kitchen, as they teach their loved ones about food-love.
Best of all, after years on the mainland for college and graduate school, I get to eat and cook and raise my children in my hometown of Honolulu, HI. When I'm not cooking, I am helping others grow their own organic food or teaching schoolchildren about art.