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Mar 11, 2013 12:59 PM

i know you're not supposed to ________, but i do it any way.

wash mushrooms. i cannot be bothered to brush each one with a damp cloth. and i really don't feel like they absorb THAT much water, plus they're grown in poop. also i cook them at high heat and all the water cooks out and evaporates. at least i think it does..... and no one has every called my mushrooms tough. but maybe they're being polite. lots of rationalizing for running some fungus under the faucet.....

i feel like cook's illustrated or alton brown did an experiment with soaking/washing shrooms. i don't remember the upshot, but it didn't change my bad-ass rebel washing.

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    1. re: foodieX2

      Me too! Why the taboo? I've never found that cheese overwhelms any flavors, from seafood alfredo to tuna casserole.
      I love when Scott Wazhisname drops a deuce every time a Chopped contestant does this.

      1. re: monavano

        ok, that made me snort out loud! i still don't mix fish and cheese, but thanks for the laugh! he get's apoplectic.

        1. re: monavano

          LOL! It's Conant :)

          I adore lobster mac, tuna melts, feta with shrimp, and cream cheese or goat cheese with smoked salmon, but beyond those I could do without the cheese + seafood combo.

        2. re: foodieX2

          Parmesan and Swiss both go well with seafood. Following such a silly rule blindly shows a lack of imagination and independent thought.

          EDIT: Oh! And cream cheese with crabmeat.

          1. re: sandylc

            Not sure about cream cheese and crab meat but I like cheese and pickled herring, so who am I to talk.

            1. re: Paprikaboy

              There is the classic cream cheese, cocktail sauce, shrimp and crabmeat layered spread for crackers (from the.....80s?)

              Or crab and cream cheese wontons.

              Not adventurous gourmet food, but both are still tasty!

              1. re: sandylc

                I first saw the cream cheese/cocktail sauce/crabmeat spread in 1984 when a new friend served it with crackers. She called it "Crab Pizza." I think of it as the cold equivalent of meatballs in a crockpot with that grape jelly/chili sauce thing. Sounds low-rent but typically gone in a flash. If I had a crockpot I'd probably serve the meatball thing for a very (repeat, very) casual gathering. I think I served the crab pizza thing once, around 25 years ago.

            2. re: sandylc

              couldn't live without my crab dip or crab pretzels!

              1. re: Vidute

                OK, I'll bite: what are crab pretzels?

                1. re: sandylc

                  i'm certain you'd bite repeatedly until it's all gone!! a crab pretzel is a large soft pretzel smothered with crab dip then draped in shredded cheese (usually cheddar) then run under the broiler until the cheese is brown and bubbly.

                  1. re: Vidute

                    I'm afraid I still have to ask what crab dip consists of.....?

                    1. re: sandylc

                      Be glad you dont know what it is Sandy, or there might be less for me! There are soooo many variations, but here is an excellent example that could have many add ins, such as scallions, bacon, other cheeses and on and on... http://allrecipes.com/recipe/warm-cra...

                      1. re: TXMandy

                        Aha! Similar to artichoke dip. Looks yummy!

                      2. re: sandylc

                        Here's my recipe.

                        Crab Dip

                        1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
                        1/2 cup mayonnaise
                        1/2 cup sour cream
                        2 teaspoons OLD BAY Seasoning
                        1/2 teaspoon dry, ground mustard
                        1 pound blue crab meat (lump or backfin; fresh, frozen or pasteurized), picked over for shells
                        1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, separated

                        Preheat oven to 350° F. Mix cream cheese, half of the cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, OLD BAY, Worcestershire sauce and ground mustard until well blended. Gently stir in crabmeat.

                        Spoon mixture into 1 1/2 quart casserole. Top with remaining cheese. You can sprinkle with some more Old Bay, if you like.

                        Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until dip begins to bubble around the edges. Serve hot with assorted crackers, carrots, celery, french bread rounds.

                        I'll sometimes add some minced celery and finely chopped spring onions to the dip.

                        Crab Pretzel

                        1 large baked soft pretzel, room temperature
                        Crab Dip
                        Cheddar Cheese, shredded

                        Spread pretzel with a thick layer of crab dip. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Place under broiler until brown and bubbly.

                        1. re: Vidute

                          I make a hot clam dip with cream cheese. It gets raves at every party and always disappears.

                  1. re: foodieX2

                    you know what i love at the Chinese joint around the corner from me? Scallops baked in their shell covered in cheese. Not even sorry.

                    1. re: Samuelinthekitchen

                      I still dream about quite possibly the best dish I've ever had in Venice of baked scallops baked in a tomato sauce and covered in gobs of Parmesan.

                    2. re: foodieX2

                      Ditto! I LOVE freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino-Romano on pasta dishes containing shrimp or calamari. Also sprinkle it over my Spagetti with White Clam Sauce over Spinach Pasta. Delicious! Don't give a whit if it's "not proper". Geesh.

                      1. re: Bacardi1

                        My go to dish is shrimp stuffed with smoke gouda and wrapped in bacon...seafood & cheese does go together in my book!

                        1. re: Cherylptw

                          Delicious! I should try that sometime. I've never had gouda but I love smoked cheeses and bacon and shrimp. I always pair cheese with seafood, makes sense to me and my belly.

                    3. i suppose the alternative title could be:

                      I know you're supposed to ________, but i never do it.

                      1. Pair red wines with everything, including "light" seafoods, but I do!

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: pinehurst

                          forgot about this....i'm a bigger badass than i thought.

                          years ago i saw the cajun chef, justin wilson, cooking something or other and he was talking about the kind of wine you are supposed to drink with certain things. the lesson was: "the kind of wine you like is the kind of wine you're supposed to drink."

                          1. re: eLizard

                            Amen, I took some sommelier classes and their recommendation was to just drink what you like. You're the one eating the food. Of course some wines generally go better with certain foods, but if you hate pinot grigio, then there's no point in pairing it with a white fish.

                        2. I saw Jacques Pepin wash mushrooms.

                          Good enough for me.

                          I add lemon or lime juice to sauces with dairy but they don't curdle the way people warned me they would.

                          2 Replies
                            1. re: lsmutko

                              My world was rocked when I encountered lemon yogurt. No curdling there. I love the stuff.

                            2. I was going to say 'wash mushrooms', too. I don't soak the heck out of them, but I do give them a pretty thorough rinsing. (have you ever LOOKED inside a morel? They can get really, really buggy). I also wash my cast iron...after it has cooled, with a non-abrasive sponge and cool water. The idea of NEVER washing it skeeves me out. I just dry it on the burner and use it often and so far, so good.

                              17 Replies
                              1. re: tonifi

                                i'm the same with cast iron. sometimes i even use soap.

                                  1. re: jbsiegel

                                    Scrub and rinse with hot water to remove soluble stuff, dry on burner and lightly coat with oil if needed...I only use a teeny, tiny amount of soap if there is alot of oil there that won't wash away.

                                    1. re: jbsiegel

                                      I have never needed soap with cast iron. Not because of a rule, just unnecessary/

                                      1. re: magiesmom

                                        well, after I make latkes there is SO MUCH oil in the pan that even after multiple hot water/scrub/rinse rounds there is still alot there....so I use a scrubby sponge with a *little* soap in it to get off the excess. Doesn't affect the seasoning. Also, if alot has gotten on the outside of the pan, I definitely would use a little soap to get that off, otherwise it smokes on future uses!

                                        1. re: Science Chick

                                          I made latkes just yesterday, and I needed to use a little soap on my CI pan too. I have only found this necessary when using larger anounts of oil--like for latkes or fried chicken.

                                          1. re: iluvcookies

                                            Yesterday Mr. Pine asked if I could make oiless latkes. I said no. (Tried baked latkes just once, and that was quite enough.)

                                              1. re: iluvcookies

                                                Agree completely, iluvcookies. What's the point of oilless latkes?

                                            1. re: iluvcookies

                                              Yeah, that is exactly my experience. Hot water just doesn't seem to be capable of recovering from a swimming pool of oil, not matter how many scrub/rinse rounds I do!

                                      2. re: eLizard

                                        Gasp. Me too. I wash my CI with soap, and I wash my mushrooms really well.

                                      3. re: tonifi

                                        Same here w/ cast iron. If it's really greasy I will use a bit of soap, but most of the time I use salt and a sponge w/ a scrubber side on it. The only time I've ever lost seasoning by washing it was when my stepdad gave it a thorough scrubbing (he didn't know he wasn't supposed to).

                                        1. re: tonifi

                                          Alton Brown did a test where he weighted the mushrooms before and after washing - there was no or very little diference.

                                          Wild Mushrooms like Moreals etc are another story - I think those do absorb water. But regular buttons do not (there like 90 percent water in the first place).

                                          1. re: tonifi

                                            Interesting update on the mushroom washing.....I just saw a Jacques Pepin last night where he used mushrooms and discussed this. He said many people confuse "not washing" with the timing of washing. He said never wash ahead of time, because it does mess up the mushroom's texture by absorbing the water. But he *ALWAYS* washes them off right before he chops/uses them!

                                            1. re: Science Chick

                                              I don't know about that.

                                              Alton Brown SOAKED mushrooms in a bowl of water for quite a long time, & even they didn't absorb much water. And this was scientifically done by weight.

                                              Think dear Jacques is just doing it the way he's always done it - not because of any real verification.

                                              1. re: Bacardi1

                                                Jacques said something about discoloration as well

                                              2. re: Science Chick

                                                And I made the Leek & mushroom soup for lunch yesterday....it was yummy!