Okay, this story has nothing to do with sauteed mushrooms or marsala wine, but it’s a Valentine’s story that must be told. The other day I told you a Valentine’s tale about my husband and me, but this one is about my eldest son (I’m calling him M). He’s 10 years old. He’s cute, he’s kind (I’m his mum – I get to say stuff like that) and, up until now, he has been pretty tight-lipped about girls. In fact, the mere mention of the subject usually earns me an eye roll and an exasperated “Muu-uum…” But before I tell you what happened yesterday, let me give you a little history.
A little over two years ago, we were planning M’s eighth birthday party. When he showed me the list of the kids he wanted to invite, I noticed two things. First, there were a heck of a lot of kids on the list (cue the Advil). Second, there was one girl on the list amidst 15 boys. The cutest girl in the class…smart and sweet. Let’s just call her Emily. But really?! The girl thing was starting already? I suggested we invite a couple of other girls so Emily didn’t feel completely awkward. All went well. Emily had fun and M got to show off his bounce house prowess to his crush.
Fast-forward to yesterday. M came home from school and told me that two of his buddies wrote Valentine’s notes to two girls in their class…as a joke (uh-huh). With my stomach doing little flip-slops, I casually asked M if he had written a note to anyone. Yes, to Emily. He sheepishly dug into his pocket and pulled out a folded, slightly crumpled note and handed it to me. I carefully unfolded it. In his careful cursive, M had written, “Dear Emily, will you be my Valentine? M.” Below that, in capital letters that took up half the page, was Emily’s response. “YES!!!!”
M’s buddy told him that he needs to buy Emily a king-sized chocolate bar (random!) I suggested that we head to the store and buy her a chocolate heart. He’s excited and I’m filled with mixed emotions. I love watching this thoughtful and vulnerable side of M come to the surface, but oh…it breaks my heart a little to know that I am not the only girl in his life anymore. My little boy is growing up.
Let’s move on to the recipe. I have professed my love for mushrooms before and, let me tell you, the simplicity of the flavors of this dish highlight the earthiness of the mushrooms perfectly. These would be divine served on top of a steak or alongside grilled chicken. Or pile them on top of some garlic-rubbed crostini. Since I made these at lunchtime and I had a pot of quinoa simmering on the stovetop, I piled them in a bowl and then savored every bite.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until just starting to turn brown, about 1 minute.
Add crimini and shiitake mushrooms and cooking, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are starting to soften, about 3 minutes.
Add marsala wine and cook until all of the liquid is absorbed and the mushrooms are tender.
Add thyme and cook for 1 minute to let the flavors meld. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Serve the mushrooms as a side dish to meat or chicken, or over quinoa or rice.
Other mushroom side dishes:
Cookin’ Canuck’s Bacon Polenta with Sauteed Crimini Mushrooms
Cookin’ Canuck’s Quinoa with Caramelized Crimini Mushrooms, Soy Sauce & Ginger
Sauteed Mushrooms with Marsala Wine & Thyme
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 shallot minced
- 12 ounces crimini mushrooms thinly sliced
- 6 ounces shiitake mushrooms stems removed, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup Marsala wine
- 1 tablespoons minced fresh thyme leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until just starting to turn brown, about 1 minute.
- Add crimini and shiitake mushrooms and cooking, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are starting to soften, about 3 minutes.
- Add marsala wine and cook until all of the liquid is absorbed and the mushrooms are tender.
- Add thyme and cook for 1 minute to let the flavors meld. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Serve the mushrooms as a side dish to meat or chicken, or over quinoa or rice.
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