Nosh: Goat Cheese and Mushroom Tortas (sort of)

There I was, with a barrel full of homemade goat cheese, a hungry vegetarian and a need for dinner.  What to do, what to do?  And then I saw it, in Food & Wine magazine: Rick Bayless’s mushroom and goat cheese tortas.

For those of you who don’t know, Rick Bayless is the gringo king of Mexican cuisine.  He was born into a family of Oklahoma barbecue restaurateurs, but thanks to love and college made a multi-year trek through Mexico which resulted in a cookbook that revolutionized the North American concept of Mexican cooking.  So who am I to quibble with a recipe of his?  This is the man who, according to the people who reviewed his book, single-handedly changed a national perspective on an ethnic cuisine, and this is no small feat.  Just make the recipe the way that God and Rick Bayless intended, and go on with my dinner, right?  Right!

Only…

You see, I get that Mexican tortas are traditionally supposed to be sandwiches, on beautiful, crusty bolillo rolls, but I didn’t want a sandwich.  I didn’t want all that bread for dinner; I eat enough carbs in the pasta I will never give up, and I can guarantee you I had some sort of sandwichey thing at some point in the day.  Blah blah blah whatever, it all comes down to this: I didn’t want to prepare it on a sandwich roll and (we’ve heard this from me before, haven’t we?) I have no respect for the integrity of a recipe.  And I had a red bell pepper and a poblano that I had to put to good use before they went off, and can you cook peppers without onions, in any cuisine?  No, friends.  I think not.

Delicious interlopers!

I did make the mushrooms almost entirely as directed, and thanks to Rick Bayless’s genius, they were amazing.  Take a ton of ‘shrooms which should ideally all be fresh, but this is central PA and my access to things like oyster mushrooms are limited.  I rehydrated a bunch of dried oyster mushrooms I had in my pantry and will use the now-frozen mushroom broth in a vegetarian onion soup, but I digress…

Mushrooms!

And cut them in thin slices.  They go into a baking dish with the garlic-lime confit you’ve already roasted (two heads of peeled garlic, a half-cup of oil, one quarter cup of lime juice and some salt, 325°, one hour, and hallelujah) though in the spirit of full disclosure, I tell you now I didn’t put all the oil from the confit into the mushrooms; it just seemed like a little too much.  I reserved about half of it and turned it into a lovely roasted garlic citrus vinaigrette with the simple addition of a little mustard and the juice from a clementine.  Score!

Anyway, mushrooms and confit go into a 400° oven for ten minutes covered and 35 minutes not, and when they’re done mix in the cilantro at the end.  You’ll get something that looks a little like this…or hopefully, a lot like this…

This is an example of what Rick Bayless can teach you.

And then put it all together.  A little goat cheese, a little salsa, some baby arugula, my errant peppers and onions and these glorious, glorious mushrooms.

Feast.

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6 responses to Nosh: Goat Cheese and Mushroom Tortas (sort of)

  1. jp

    Blessed are the cheesemakers! ;0)

    (Right here if you need to see it again)

    But, seriously, that is one incredible nosh!

    Like

    • beyondpaisley – Author

      LOL! Awesome, thanks. For the record–since I know you’re not the biggest fan of goat cheese–these mushrooms are also delicious on top of hummus. 🙂 Just sayin’.

      Like

  2. Megan Lewis

    I need to quit reading your food posts at work because they make me so darn hungry. I have become seriously tempted to break into your kitchen and raid your fridge the next time I visit my mom in Ikeler Park. Just a heads-up.

    Like

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