I stopped into the see the Spiceman the other day to pick up a dime bag. No, not that kind -- I assure you Mr. Spicer is a law-abiding, upstanding citizen. He just packages mushrooms meant for recreational consumption in a vaguely illicit manner. If you're new to the Spiceman's wares the dime bag is great way to get to know some of his product. You better act quickly though, I hear those chefs at Lark in the Park drop in and buy up his entire stock some days. See Also: - Chad Houser Whips Up A Bangin' "Panzanella" For Farmers Market Demonstration - Farmers Market Season Is Here
For 10 dollars I took home a paper bag filled with black trumpet mushrooms, fruity chanterelles and oyster mushrooms that reminded me of the ears on some woodland creature. I took home a bag of tender baby greens for another three bucks. It was all on the up-and-up I promise.
Back in my kitchen I could think of only one thing to do with my bounty. First I sautéed the mushrooms in olive oil with salt and pepper until they browned up a touch. They filled the room with a subtle but earthy aroma. From there I could have stirred them into risotto or even eaten them alone (I'll admit to pilfering one or two from the simmering pan) but instead I decided to follow Chad Houser's lead.
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Two weeks ago the chef responsible for Café Momentum toasted hand-torn pieces of baguette in the earthy oil before tossing everything into a fresh salad dressed only in a simple vinaigrette. The result is a toothy salad that eats like a meal without any meat. The technique will likely remain in my repertoire well into spring.