Friday, June 13, 2008

Parmesan Crusted Portobello Mushrooms, The Present, and Me

(There’s a longtime meme floating around the blogosphere that entails writing a letter to your junior high self. I thought I’d try it.)

Dear Me in 1989,

Wow. Hey. What’s up? Long time, no see. Nice Bon Jovi poster.

So, you’re probably wondering A) who I am, B) why I’m writing this, and C) whether I still have your Thundercats folder. Here are my answers:

A) I’m you! At 30. Stop crying.
B) To tell you about THE FUTURE! It’s a wonderful place, filled with spaghetti and water park rides.
C) I do. Thundercats, ho!

So, seriously, here we go. Some of this might be upsetting, but most of it is actually pretty neat. Especially the part about Hanson.

1) I know you believe you’re the most awkward human being in existence, but you’re not. You actually won’t become that person for another year, when you closely resemble an adolescent girl Woody Allen.

2) You will have your first grey hair at 17, find stretch marks during freshman year in college, and suffer at least two minor gastrointestinal operations by your mid-20s. As a result, you will suddenly understand Grandma.

3) You know your pink leggings? The ones you pair with the oversized t-shirt with COOL splashed across the front? Save ‘em. They’re the height of fashion in 2008, thanks to a woman named Lindsay Lohan. You don’t know who that is yet, but her lady parts will be big news.

4) Speaking of lady parts, congratulations on that whole hitting puberty thing! Enjoy your bosoms now, because in the future, they’ll be chiefly known as The Things That Hurt When You Run.

5) The Mets … never mind. You don’t want to know.

6) The Red Sox … never mind. It’s a surprise.

7) You will be continually abused by the great state of New Jersey. Do not trust its men. They mean no good.

8) There will be more Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Superman movies. Most will suck, and you’ll develop an all-consuming hatred for something called Jar-Jar Binks, along with an inappropriate crush on Obi Wan Kenobi. He’s played by a different guy now, so it’s okay.

9) U2 is still your favorite band! They’ll release a classic album called Achtung Baby, followed by a pretty good L.P. named Zooropa, and then a piece of crap called Pop, which will cause the Edge to regularly step out of a giant lemon mid-concert. But it gets better after that, because then they have two great records and Bono almost wins the Nobel Peace Prize. Oh, and Larry Mullen Jr. will not age a single day. It will be uncanny.

9) You wrote in your diary that you Guns N’ Roses “Patience” holds all the keys to life. I have no response to that, but it’s noted.

10) No one says “mint” anymore in 2008. And “sick” means “good” now. It’s very confusing.

11) Your parents and siblings turn out pretty cool. Your dad quits smoking, your mom gets like 27 Masters degrees, and your siblings stop sucker-punching you in the kidney. Aces.

12) Hanson on 21 Jump Street? Still a babe.

13) A woman will have a god’s-honest shot for a Presidential nomination. Her opponent will be a black guy. Despite this, racism still abounds and lady magazines will keep offering headlines like, “Anorexia Rules!” and “25 Reasons to Please Your Man Instead of Going to Math Class.”

14) You’ll grow up, go to school, get a job, pay taxes, move to Brooklyn, meet a man with a glorious beard, and finally settle down with a blog, a pint of blueberries, and a library card. Time and death will rob you of and bless you with friends and family. You will always hate mayonnaise. But.

15) You’ll gain a great appreciation for the finer things, like: eggs, blue cheese, peppers, onions, olives, salmon, tuna, cottage cheese, eggplant, broccoli, curry, chickpeas (and all that is made with them), and mushrooms.

16) Speaking of mushrooms, you will make Parmesan Crusted Portobello Mushrooms at least once a week for the rest of your life. It’s a simple, wholesome Bobby Flay dish, slightly altered for economic reasons. This is confusing you, I bet.

17) You’ll always be pretty happy.

18) Except about #5. Seriously, it’d be nice if they got it together for like, five seconds.


Parmesan Crusted Portobello Mushrooms
4 servings
Adapted from Bobby Flay.

1/3 cup grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
Salt and coarsely ground black pepper
4 portobello mushrooms, cleaned and stems removed
Olive oil, for brushing

1) Preheat grill. It should hover around medium-low.

2) In a small bowl, mix parmesan, thyme, salt, and pepper. Stir. Set aside.

3) Brush mushrooms all over with a little bit of olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Grill cap side down for about 4 or 5 minutes, until lightly browned. Flip. Grill another 5 or 6 minutes, until tender.

4) Flip mushrooms back over and sprinkle parmesan mixture over gills. Close grill. Grill until parm has melted. If you have truffle oil lying around, remove mushrooms from grill and drizzle oil on them. If you don't have truffle oil, just remove mushrooms from grill. (Do not try to eat mushrooms while still on grill. You will meet a horrible end.) Serve.

Approximate Calories, Fat, and Price Per Serving
89 calories, 6 g fat, $1.18

1/3 cup grated Parmesan: 144 calories, 9.5 g fat, $0.75
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme: 5 calories, 0.1 g fat, $0.45
Salt and coarsely ground black pepper: negligible calories and fat, $0.03
4 portobello mushrooms: 87 calories, 0.7 g fat, $3.40
Olive oil, for brushing: 119 calories, 13.5 g fat, $0.10
TOTAL: 355 calories, 23.8 g fat, $4.73
PER SERVING (TOTAL/4): 89 calories, 6 g fat, $1.18


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