Last night my friend Saayeh and I wanted to get together for happy hour and catch up. We decided that instead of wasting tons of money at the one (expensive) place in Waco that serves passable old fashioneds, she would just bring over her bottle of Bulleit rye and I’d make some snacks. As someone who prefers the drinks that aren’t usually on happy hours lists (ie: manhattans over something from a slushy machine) this is a very smart, very I-want-to-travel-this-summer-and-need-to-save-money-so-I-can kind of thing to do. Also, I bet sushi is the only thing that most people are not better at making than typical happy hour fare. If we’re just eating chips and salsa or appetizers or whatever, why not know what we’re actually consuming and pay way less for better stuff all around?
I had a good sharp cheddar, leftover gouda, pretzel crackers, and blackberries hanging around, but I wanted to make something fun and warm as well. So I decided to create an appetizer thing with the (probably opened too long to drink) red wine and crimini mushrooms I also had hanging around. I sauté mushrooms with red wine a lot—letting the wine reduce into a sauce and serving over salad or rice or whatever. This is a little more fun, though, so I thought I’d share the recipe (below).
It was a beautiful winter Texas evening, so Saayeh, my roommate Jenny, and I sat outside and chatted about big life events and various less important things. We ate good snacks, drank good rye neat, and then I created a sage and honey rye smash, which was also good. One of my favorite things about happy hour is that it can sometimes accidentally last all night if you’re enjoying yourself enough; and this one did.
I think Saayeh and Jenny are my only two friends that have lived in Waco as long as I have and as our conversation turned to purging belongings and both of their probable summer moves to different parts of the country, I realized how much I’ve subconsciously counted on their presence. I think I’ve avoided recognizing how little time I have left with both of these good friends. So, we better have home happy hours a little more often. While we can. Not to get melodramatic. But maybe to get a little melodramatic. (Don’t go?)
Anyway, here’s the recipe for you. I still need to tell you about my friend Liz’s birthday visit (don’t think I’ve forgotten) but that is taking me awhile, so I thought I’d post this short Friday recipe for now.
Sage Crimini Mushrooms Stewed in Red Wine
- 1-2 dozen crimini mushrooms
- 1 C red wine (I used Becker Cabernet Sauvignon)
- 3-4 Tbs butter
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 15 fresh sage leaves
- salt and pepper
- Preheat your oven to 375.
- Clean and quarter the mushrooms, peel and squish the garlic with the flat of a knife, and wash your sage leaves.
- Throw everything into a baking dish, topping with slices of the butter, a couple generous pinches of salt, and many grinds of black pepper.
- Pour the wine over everything and stew in the oven for about half an hour, stirring occasionally.
- Serve with warm bread to dip in the sauce and spoon mushrooms on.
I can attest that these mushrooms make for a very happy hour, but I think they also probably belong at your next party. It’s nice to have a hearty vegetable dish when you’re snacking on finger foods all night; these mushrooms could be a great healthier alternative to something like meatballs.