Cooking inspiration and ideas can come from all around– travels, cooking shows, cook books, and the like. My recent inspiration comes from an old staple I tried years ago while on a long traveling stint in Tampa, Fl for work. Mitchell’s Fish Market once had this amazing Portabella Mushroom Bruschetta on their menu that was incredibly delicious. It is no longer on the menu, but last week I was able to order it as “off menu item” and it was just as good as I remembered it.
Ingredients: Mushrooms (I used regular old white mushrooms, but any array of mushrooms would work great), sun dried tomatoes, shallot, garlic, goat cheese, crusty bread, balsamic vinegar, white wine (not pictured), olive oil, red pepper flake, salt, and pepper.
Preparation: Prepare all dry ingredients by slicing mushrooms and sun dried tomatoes and dicing finely the shallot and 1-2 garlic cloves. In a large dutch oven or heavy bottomed pan, heat enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan over medium heat. Add shallot and garlic and gently cook for 2-3 minutes. Add in mushrooms and be sure to coat all mushrooms in the olive oil/shallot/garlic mixture. Cook down for 15-20 minutes over medium heat, stirring regularly.
Once mushrooms have released the majority of their liquid and are the desired browned color, add salt, pepper, and red pepper flake to taste and the sun dried tomatoes. Cook 1 to 2 minutes more. Deglaze pot with 1/4 cup white wine and bring to slight boil, then reduce. Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan reduce 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar over medium-low heat until reduction coats the back of a spoon. Keep reduction over low heat until ready to serve.
Slice crusty bread in half to create two flat surfaces. Begin to brown bread in a 350 degree oven with a slight drizzle of olive oil and some salt and pepper. Once gently toasted, take out of the oven and assemble bruschetta: a light spread of the goat cheese, mushroom mixture, and additional goat cheese crumbled on top. Pop back in the oven for 5 minutes to melt cheese. Serve with the balsamic reduction drizzled on top.