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Adventures in the Kitchen and on the Road

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Mushroom Rice (and Boston's Haymarket - like a Farmers' Market Outlet)

Bostonians, if you don't mind being elbow-jostled, shouted at, and possibly grossed out by paring away the rotten parts of your fruits and vegetables, all in exchange for buying your produce at rock-bottom prices, go check out Haymarket! I sometimes hear it referred to as a farmers market but it's not. The vendors get the leftovers from wholesalers on Thursday evening and try to sell it Friday and Saturday. So do a bit of a walk-through first so you can eyeball prices and quality. Some vendors will yell at you if you handle the produce while others let you pick what you want. Fruit tends to be very ripe so buy only what you think you'll consume in a day or two. For example, despite being 10 for $1, I declined to buy plums because they were too soft for my tastes. And I looked carefully for mold in the strawberries before I picked 2 containers to buy. Still, if you're willing to put up with the hassle, you can get some amazing bargains. Here's my last haul when we stopped by at the end of the day:
- 10 bananas for $1
- 2 giant bunches of fresh basil for $2
- 2 pounds of strawberries for $1
- 3 pounds of mushrooms for $2
- 2 blocks of Wisconsin sharp cheddar cheese for $4 (about 6-8oz each)
- 3 more blocks of cheese from inside the cheese guy's store ($4, $4, and $3.50)

The cheese guy has the best prices we've found on good-quality cheeses. Not the rock bottom prices of the stands, but beats the regular prices of places like Formaggio and Whole Foods. And he offers a nice selection of different cheeses. Really nice English Stilton, some aged goudas, Prima Donna, goat cheese (even a goat blue cheese)... And the shop owner (inside) is really nice and knowledgeable too. There's a small table set up outside with various blocks of cheese. At the beginning of the day, those prices are $2.50 each, 3 for $5, 5 for $10. If you come at the end of the day, some of the cheeses will be sold out but you can buy for $2 each.

If you want to read more:
- http://www.boston-discovery-guide.com/haymarket-boston.html
- http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/442512
- http://www.yelp.com/biz/haymarket-boston

So grab a fistful of $1 bills and go check it out!


So that explains how I came up with this dish. I was trying to think of what to do with 2 pounds of those white button mushrooms and came up with this (although searching the web for 'mushroom rice' I see that I'm far from the first person to come up with the idea). Still, it's really tasty. Tasty enough that we've had it 3 times this week already. Oh and the cheese thrown in the end is optional. I just added it because I wanted something to make it hold its shape when I formed the little rice cylinder. Scroll to the bottom of this post if you want to see more recipes for mushrooms.

gorkabear, I think this is gluten-free too if you use a broth that's gluten-free. Correct me if I'm wrong.

small photo of mushroom rice

Mushroom Rice

2 cups cooked rice (so I started with 1 cup uncooked rice)
1 cup broth (vegetable broth if vegan/vegetarian, chicken broth if not, and gluten-free if needed)
8-10 button mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 small onion, minced
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup shredded cheese (I used a sharp cheddar) (optional, omit if vegan)

  1. Prepare the rice. I used a rice cooker so I just used 1 cup uncooked rice with 2 cups water.

  2. While rice cooks, mince the onion and garlic, and roughly chop up the mushrooms.

  3. Pour a little vegetable oil into a pan over medium high heat. Saute the minced onion until it starts to change color to a light brown. Add the minced garlic and continue stirring it until it smells good, about another 1-2 minutes. Add in all of the mushrooms and stir. Cook another 1-3 minutes until the mushrooms shrink a bit. Now set that whole mixture aside in a bowl.

  4. In the now empty pan, over medium heat, add all of the cooked rice. Add the cup of broth and mix it around until the rice is evenly distributed in the liquid. Now add in the mushroom mixture and keep mixing it up until the mixture is evenly distributed. Keep simmering over low heat.

  5. (optional step) When most of the liquid is gone, add in about 1/4 cup of shredded cheese and stir so that the cheese melts.

  6. Add salt and pepper to taste and mix it all up.

To serve, I packed the rice into ramekins and then turned those out onto plates so that they would form little cylinders. (if you're not playing with your food, then you can skip the cheese.)

bigger photo of Mushroom Rice

Other Mushroom Recipes:
- Mushroom-Onion Tartlets
- Hungarian Mushroom Soup
- Chicken Marsala a la Michael
- Mushroom Risotto and Baked Arancini

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those little cylinders look cool.

I have been to haymarket, it's very nice if you need things that will be used up within 48 hours. Have you noticed the bronze/brass art on the ground there?

yeah...I think it's a neat touch :)

Wow. I wish we had a place like that here. And really, everything you bought can really be frozen and saved for later with a little prep. Are you planning on making some pesto with the basil, by chance?

I did indeed buy the basil to make pesto. How do I freeze mushrooms?

I abhor mushrooms, so I wouldn't freeze them. But, my parents do!

When I lived in boston I used to go to Haymarket all the time! It's great! The recipe sounds really yum

I'm a little bummed that I didn't go to Haymarket more often when I lived in Boston.

I think I'll be trying this recipe pretty soon. Reading it reminded me I bought mushrooms the other day without a clear picture of what I was going to do with them. Now they're hiding in the bottom drawer of the fridge and I forgot they were there.

Also, although I don't anticipate buying a bunch of produce while I'm there, I'm wicked excited to visit Boston in October!

Yay for Boston in October! Good time of year too.

Ah, the Haymarket! *feels nostalgic*

And the vendors seem not to yell at me anymore for prodding at the produce on display.

Haymarket sounds like a wonderful place. My kind of place.

That Mushroom Rice sounds delish, especially with the cheese. Yummm! I've tried a similar recipe but using couscous. I liked it.

I had resisted adding the cheese but my boyfriend loves cheese so I included it.

Thanks for thinking about me!
We actually make a version of this risotto using frozen mushrooms (they're quite unexpensive and come in different types) and it turns out more or less like this! We have to cook soon one!

Yes, it very much reminds me of risotto but it seems a lot easier to prepare.

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