We moved to our second dish from Conscious Cook this time. We decided to try one of the sandwiches. Tami and I are both known for our love of the sandwich and the chapter in Conscious Cook is full of enticing suggestions. This sandwich is fairly straightforward – marinated mushrooms with crisp lettuce, creamy remoulade and luscious avocado.
The portabello mushrooms we can get here usually come a lot smaller than the ones I’ve seen in America so I generally pretty much double the amount any recipe calls for unless it handily specifies a weight too. This one doesn’t, so although I was halving the rest of the recipe I kept the full amount of mushrooms. This turned out to be a good decision as it meant the buns were crammed full of tasty mushrooms. I bought a different brand of Cajun seasoning (Julian Graves) this time and didn’t like it so much; although oregano is way down on the ingredients list it seemed to dominate and made the dish taste too herby and Italian rather than Cajun and spicy. (Full disclosure, I have no idea what Cajun food is supposed to taste like but I guess not like pizza sauce).
We loved this sandwich despite the oregano issue – marinating the mushrooms gave them a great flavour which worked really well with the remoulade and avocado.
I’ve enjoyed using Conscious Cook for this challenge. It’s a lovely book with nice inspiring pictures and the recipes have some unusual flavour combinations. I could do without the interviews, personally, and as many others have said, would prefer a bit less gardein, but that’s easily substituted. I’ll be making more recipes from this book for sure.
Matthew’s words on the wine:
When we read the words cajun spice on a menu, default wine region
selection is New World not old, and probably Chile or California, and we
are looking for something robust to stand up to the chilli, paprika, cumin
and pepper, as well as refreshing to provide a contrast to that spiciness.
Because this was a rustic dish, with white bread, portobello mushroom, and
(the slightly less rustic) avocado, we went with a simple wine, Vintage
Roots Barra Estate Mendocino Zinfandel, 2004, yours for a measly
£10.99 s a monumental 14.5% ABV and the high alcohol content,
coming from those baking California summer days, was definitely
appropriate with the strong simple flavours. It’s by no means a
complex wine; quite one dimensional really, not much finish,
although a good dimension with the sort of sweet plum jam and soft tannins
that gave the contrast we were looking for. This combination worked fine,
but an inexpensive Argentine Malbec or a Chilean Cabernet would be just as
good and a bit cheaper.