Where is Heisenburg??

Breaking Bad. So Sad. 

I know the hoopla surrounding the last episode of Breaking Bad is so a couple of weeks ago. But I still continue my search for ‘my’ Mr. Heisenburg. The man with a pickup truck full of chanterelles. Where is he? Who is he? I never got a name. And it was dark out when we had our clandestine mushroom exchange. So I really couldn’t pick him out of a crowd. All I remember is some flannel and a watch cap. That essentially describes the entire male population of Portland. So I fear I will never again encounter the aforementioned Mr. Heisenburg or partake in his freshly foraged chanterelles. I suppose I should be glad I had at least that one chance. But of course I’m greedy and want more.

Granted chanterelles aren’t totally cost prohibitive (at $7.99 per pound) like say the truffle which I’ve seen under lock and key at a grocery store selling for $199 per pound. I really need to train the dogs to hunt truffles. It wouldn’t be a bad way to earn a living. I wouldn’t have to fill out job apps or write cover letters again if I were an Oregon truffle mogul. I digress.

The New York Times to the Rescue

Fortunately a recipe in  The New York Times was able to satisfy my addiction. The lofty chanterelle is included in the recipe. But in a rather small amount. The majority of the recipe includes just your plain old pedestrian mushrooms which are totally affordable in large quantities.

My main point in sharing this recipe is that it is so crazy good that everyone who enjoys mushrooms should make it. The fact that I was able to get some additional leverage from my Breaking Bad PDX Style and Mr. Heisenburg posts was bonus.

While not a veg or vegan myself, I know those who are and this is one of those dishes that works for essentially anyone. Unless you have a severe mushroom allergy. I’m absolutely sure there are those out there who suffer from mushroom allergies. I just ‘googled’ mushroom allergies and they do indeed exist. This is also gluten, egg and dairy free. Best recipe EVER for some of my friends.

Fresh & Wild Mushroom Stew

  • 1 1/2 pounds cultivated brown mushrooms, like shiitake, cremini or portobello
  • 1/2 pound pale wild mushrooms, like chanterelle (or use King trumpet or oyster) (Oh no you don’t. Use only the elusive chanterelle.)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
  • 1 teaspoon chopped sage or rosemary
  • Pinch red pepper flakes or cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3 small ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour (For those of you who are gluten free…use corn starch as a thickening agent)
  • Porcini broth, heated, or use chicken broth (see recipe) (I really, really wanted to make my own porcini broth. If only I weren’t so damn lazy!! I’ll never be a contestant on a cooking show if I don’t kick it up a notch. I suppose no one would know any different if I kept some things to myself.)
  • 1 tablespoon butter (for my vegan friends, omit the butter and use extra olive oil)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley (Can someone please explain parsley to me? It seems like such an unnecessary herb. Just like celery is an unnecessary veg.)


    Clean mushrooms, keeping colors separate, and trim tough stems. (I’m not quite sure why the colors had to be separate? I made it easy and just got one kind of pedestrian mushroom.) (Save stems for stock.) (I’m actually considered doing this thinking it would make me feel all extra culinary and stuff. But didn’t)
    Slice mushrooms about 1/8-inch thick.
    In a wide skillet, warm 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until onion has softened and browned, about 10 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
    Add 1 more tablespoon oil and turn heat to high. Add brown mushrooms, season lightly and stir-fry until nicely colored, about 3 minutes. Lower heat to medium. Add thyme, sage, red pepper and tomato paste. Add tomatoes, stir well, and cook for 1 minute. Season again with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon flour, stir to incorporate and cook for 1 minute more. Stir in reserved onions.
    Add 1 cup mushroom broth and stir until thickened, about 1 minute. Gradually add 1 more cup broth and cook for 2 minutes. (I didn’t add the second cup. I liked the consistency. Can we talk about the low sodium chicken stock I bought on accident? Never make that mistake again.) Sauce should have gravy-like consistency; thin with more broth if necessary. Adjust seasoning. (May be prepared to this point several hours ahead and reheated.)
    Just before serving, put butter and 1 tablespoon olive in wide skillet over medium high heat. When butter begins to brown, add chanterelles, season with salt and pepper, and sauté for about 2 minutes, until cooked through and beginning to brown. Add garlic and parsley, stir to coat and cook 1 minute more. Add chanterelles to brown mushroom mixture and transfer to a warm serving bowl. Accompany with polenta or pasta if you wish.
This dish makes your house smell like Thanksgiving. If you like that kind of thing. I for one love it since Thanksgiving is my most favorite holiday. 
One more thing…should you have leftover stew it can be turned into an amazing soup. Thin out the stew with a couple of cups of broth (veg or otherwise), add some cooked barley, some random cooked veg you have in the fridge and you have delicious soup for lunch for the week. 
Until next time…Moose out
Recipe and beautimous stew image courtesy of The New York Times

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