Mushrooms are my favourite food. There aren't many meals that I cook that don't have mushrooms in them somewhere, whether it's a soup, pilaf, pasta, curry or stir fry. When there's nothing much in the larder bar mushrooms for lunch, I make these sandwiches, with or without cheese depending on what is lurking at the back of the fridge.
So, take a large flat mushroom (one for each sandwich), and pour over a tablespoon of olive oil per mushroom plus crunchy sea salt & black pepper.
Then remember that you have forgotten the thyme, and head outside to the snow ravaged herb garden to locate the last straggly leaves. Battle the whippet for access to said thyme.
Strip off leaves from stalks and strew (very Elizabethan, that word) leaves over mushrooms, squishing some into the oil.
Leave for ten minutes or so, then heat up a non-stick pan and slide in the mushrooms. Don't get the pan too hot as the mushrooms will scorch and stick, rather than gradually cook. After a couple of minutes, flip 'em over. At this point, I pop a lid over the pan to hasten the cooking process.
Keep an eye on them, turning them occasionally to ensure each side is cooked through. After about ten minutes they should be black and soft all the way through.
If you want cheese in your sandwich, now is the time to slice it up whilst the mushrooms are cooking. We had a big box of dinner party cheese so I randomly grabbed a hacked about piece of Tomme de Chevre and some Vignotte.
Avert eyes from this label:
Slice up your cheese.
Then add the slices of cheese to the mushroom caps in the pan, and place the lid over for a few minutes until the cheese softens. (I forgot to photograph this bit. Too distracted by feeding cheese rinds to the dogs).
(This is also the bit where you discover that Vignotte is no good for softening for sandwiches, but does taste lovely when eaten molten & scraped from the bottom of the pan with a teaspoon.)
I've made these sandwiches with Mother's Pride white sliced bread before. I'm really not fussy. However I am lucky enough to be exploiting my mother's hospitality and she has these delicious sunflower seed rolls from the local Co-op.
Spread mayonnaise on each side. (This will stop the mushroom juices making the bread go too soggy). Hellmans is good.
But Delouis mayonnaise will make your tastebuds sing.
Remove mushrooms & cheese from pan, and plonk on bottom half of roll.
I zapped some spinach in the microwave, squeezed out the water, and added that & sliced cherry tomatoes to the mushrooms.
Then I ceremoniously topped it off with the other half of the roll.
And ate it very quickly.
(Whilst food like this exists, I will never be a skinny fashion editor type.)