Recipe Reviews: Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless

Friday, November 17, 2006

Mushroom-Potato Crema with Roasted Poblanos Review


4.5 stars (on a 5 star scale) (might be five stars with better mushroom selections)
p. 132-133

Very good: tasty, creamy, interesting, healthy, and fairly easy to make.

Some notes on particular ingredients:

* I used a mixture of shiitake, oyster, and (white) button mushrooms. The shiitake were by far the most obvious. While they gave the soup some meatiness and substance, they were too big and too chewy and so too assertive. The oysters were almost airy and ephemeral. I happened to cut the buttons smaller than the others, so they practically disappeared into the soup. Next time I may want more oysters, larger chunks of buttons (or some other similarly innocuous and earthy mushroom like crimini), and fewer shiitakes, which I should cut into smaller chunks, not the long slices I used this time. I'd also wish the shiitakes were less chewy, but I don't know how to fix that.
* I used heavy whipping cream.
* The cilantro garnish adds a nice fragrance and taste.
* I only needed to add 1/2 teaspoon of salt, not the 1 1/2 the recipe suggested might be necessary.
* I didn't have any epazote so I skipped it to apparently no ill effect.
* I used my ordinary, standard sized blender, not an immersion blender. Everything that required blending fit in the jug, saving me from transferring and blending multiple times.

It may sound as if I want to make a lot of changes to this recipe. While that's true, the recipe as it stands was quite good. I was debating giving it five stars despite all the suggestions but decided on 4.5 given that some improvements could be made.

Additional keyword: shitake

2 Comments:

  • two years ago, i'd never had potato soup... and now i swear by two recipes... one is a potato leek soup and the second is this recipe...

    in one word, its excellent and a treat for the gustatory senses (thanks jo for that fantastic word)... its creamy, perfect balance of flavors... wonderful different textures of the various mushrooms... can you tell i really enjoyed this one!

    By Anonymous nishat, at 1:22 PM  

  • Update on January 12, 2015:

    This recipe involves many steps yet doesn't take long.

    I had trouble liking the soup this time--somehow it came out too spicy for me! I guess I got a spicy poblano somehow... Everyone else liked the soup. Maybe my taste buds were weird this day or maybe I burned my tongue during the final step of tasting the soup and adding salt to taste.

    This time I followed my advice about the mushrooms. I used 3 ounces shiitake that I diced, 3 ounces oyster mushrooms to which I remove their stems and sliced them thickly (1/2 inch), and 3 ounces of cremini/brown mushrooms, which I sliced to 1/4 inch. This worked out well, fixing my earlier complaints.

    I used yogurt this time, not heavy cream.

    And I still stand by my assertion that the cilantro "garnish" contributes nicely to the recipe.

    My SO said she liked the mushrooms.

    By Blogger mark, at 3:06 PM  

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