Well it's been awhile since I've posted anything new; with the heat and health issues, cooking sometimes takes a back seat. But I'm back, and I've got a few new goodies to share.
This is a great appetizer for summer get-togethers. It is made 24 hours (or more) in advance, and only uses a minimal amount of cooking time.
8 ounces regular white mushrooms, cut in 1/2 if small, 1/3 or 1/4 if larger
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup white distilled vinegar
1 Tbs. sugar
2 Tbs. fine sea salt
Pickling spice: a handful of mixed peppercorns, 4 torn up bay leaves, 1 star anise pod, 1 Tbs garlic powder or 2-3 crushed cloves of garlic, dash of cayenne pepper, 1 Tbs dried dill or 4 Tbs fresh dill, 1 tsp. citric acid or 3 Tbs fresh lemon juice
*From your local gourmet deli case, buy 8-10 oz of mixed pitted olives [green, kalamata, black]
*8-12 oz crumbled feta cheese
Bring the water, vinegar, salt, sugar and pickling spice to a boil in a stainless steel or other non-reactive pan (my non-stick cookware worked just fine). Add the mushrooms and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Allow to cool, then store in the liquid in a covered bowl in the fridge for 8-12 hours before serving. You can double the recipe by removing the first batch of mushrooms with a slotted spoon, then boiling another 8 oz. in the liquid for another 5-10 minutes.
Serve chilled with an olive mix and feta cheese cubes or crumbles for a yummy Mediterranean style anti-pasto.