A few weeks ago my legal team and I met at one of the team members homes. Surrounded by vineyards and rolling hills it was an idyllic place for a Sunday meeting. We had now been in trial for almost 2 months. Anything other than a sterile office and fluorescent lighting.
Our host was quite gracious, he prepared a roasted chicken, vegetables and a wonderful salad. Of course there was wine from his vineyard. Trial has finally come to an end for me. And I can once again cook and give my family the attention they deserve. What better to cook than a roasted chicken. Roasted chicken for me is a comfort food. Hot it warms my insides. Cold it reminds me of a day at the beach in the South of France. Years ago when I was twenty something and backpacking around Europe I met these two Aussie girls. We traveled from Provence to the South of France. One day we grabbed a roasted chicken, tomatoes, baguette and cheese and headed off to the beach. Three gals in the 20's, sitting by the Mediterranean enjoying a simple lunch. With memories like these I could eat roasted chicken every day.
With time on my hand for the first time in many weeks I roasted my chicken. I relished that I had the time to pull out roasting rack, and properly season the chicken. Now that the chicken was roasting what was I going to do for sides. Roasted asparagus of course. And mushrooms.
Wanting to do something special, I pulled out my Friday Night Dinners, by Bonnie Stern, a Canadian cook. Bonnie feels that Friday night dinners are all about enjoying a good meal with family and friends in a relaxing and comfortable atmosphere. When I saw her recipe for cremini mushroom gravy, I knew it was just what I was looking for. What I did not realize is what a kaleidoscope of flavors this recipe would have.
Soy sauce, hot sauce lemon juice and Port all together in one dish. I had never encountered such a recipe before. My tastebuds were bursting with happiness as I was testing this out on the stove top. Hot sauce is one of the condiments I can add to almost anything. For me I chose to accent the hot sauce and throw in a few extra splashes. What can I say, I donned the proper suit for weeks on end. Trial is over. It was time to let my energy explode and enjoy a meal. My husband said we were having Thanksgiving in March.
Oyster Mushroom Gravy (adapted from Bonnie Stern's Friday Night Dinners)
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pound oyster mushrooms
1/4 cup flour-I only put in a few tablespoons and played with the consistency
3 cups chicken stock from the pan
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sherry (her recipe called for Port or brandy)
2 tbsp lemon juice (fresh of course)
4 tbsp hot red pepper sauce (she only used 1/2 tsp)
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook gently for 5-10 minutes, or until the liquid has evaporated. Sprinkle with flour and cook for three minutes
Add stock and whisking bring to a boil. Add soy sauce, sherry, lemon juice and hot pepper sauce.
Reduce heat and cook gently for 10 minutes. You do not want this to be to thick.