When I’m home alone and making dinner for myself, my standards change dramatically. If Craig’s there (and he usually is), I know he has certain expectations about what constitutes a dinner. That’s fair, because most people do. But alone? My standards go out the window and I just improvise a meal with whatever I have on hand. And the other night, while Craig was in London showing his movie at the Raindance Film Festival, I happened to have the following on hand: mushrooms, thyme, cream and bread. That’s why I decided to make something I’d never made before, something I wasn’t even sure constituted a proper dinner. That something was creamed mushrooms on toast.
I vaguely recalled reading something about it on Molly’s blog. The idea seemed simple enough: you sauté mushrooms in butter, add cream and serve them on toast. And I loved the idea of not leaving my apartment or spending any money to make dinner. So I got to work…
First I sliced up a big handful of cremini mushrooms and finely chopped a Tablespoon of thyme:
In a non-stick skillet, I heated 2 Tbs of butter until it was foamy and hot, then I added the mushrooms. I sprinkled them with salt and pepper, tossed them all around, and let them cook on medium heat until they were a deep, dark brown–about 8 minutes.
At this point, I also realized I had an open bottle of white wine in my fridge. So I added a splash to the mushrooms, which let off a terrific smell. If you don’t have wine, though, you can probably skip it.
Once the wine evaporated, I added the thyme and then a big glug of cream: maybe about 1/2 a cup?
I added some more salt and pepper and let the cream bubble gently as I toasted two pieces of bread.
A minute or two later, the cream was mostly gone and the mushrooms were floating in a bath of a beautiful, light brown cream sauce:
How’s that for an easy dinner? I put the toast on a plate and spooned the creamed mushrooms on top.
It was strangely satisfying and comforting–like an elegant French dinner served on toasted white bread. And when it was gone, I was genuinely full. It’s the perfect thing to make when you’re cooking for just you.