Triple Mushroom, Brie and Thyme Melts

Triple Mushroom and Brie Melts 2

If I had to pick three sandwiches to live on for the rest of my life, they’d include my Mom’s chicken salad sandwich, a philly from here and these triple mushroom, brie and thyme melts.

Of course, I’m sure not everyone shares my sentiments, including my husband who not only refuses to eat sandwiches for dinner, but isn’t exactly keen on me serving him heaps of mushrooms on said sandwiches. He, like so many others out there, isn’t what you’d call a mushroom aficionado.

Triple Mushroom and Brie Melts 4

What is it about mushrooms that get everyone all hot and bothered? Have you noticed this? People are either very passionately in love or fervently loathe them. I happen to be on the camp that is madly in love with them, but it wasn’t always that way. As a child, I loathed mushrooms, in fact, you couldn’t pay me to eat them – quite the statement for kid that would do anything to get her hands on some extra cash for the newest trending piece of clothing (HELLO Abercrombie torn jeans.)

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Luckily, I managed to salvage enough to make two whole sandwiches, much to Kevin’s dismay. (I said he didn’t love mushrooms, I didn’t say I couldn’t make him eat them anyways….) The mushrooms of choice were solely based on what was available at the market that day, in this case, crimini (baby portabellas), shitake and buttons, although any variety will do the job.

Triple Mushroom and Brie Melts

The ‘shrooms are tossed in a little bit of olive oil, then sprinkled with thyme sprigs and popped into a screaming hot oven until they’re deep brown, and perfectly roasted. I learned from Rachel Ray many moons ago, that salting your mushrooms prior to roasting or sautéing will not allow the mushrooms to brown, so seasoning is prolonged until after the mushrooms are cooked when they’re hit with a generous dousing of salt and pepper.

Sandwich assembly is simple, thick slices of brie are layered onto a piece of good-quality nine-grain bread (for all you KC people out there, I use this brand) and then piled high with as many mushrooms as possible. I sprinkle a little bit of extra thyme over the top and then pop them back in the oven until the cheese is melted. I ate mine open-faced, but if you want it to be an actual sandwich you can top the mushrooms with just a touch more brie and secure another piece of bread over the top.

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Crispy Gnocchi with Brown Butter, Thyme and Toasted Hazelnuts

Crispy Gnocchi with Brown Butter, Thyme and Toasted Hazlenuts 6

On Wednesday we talked about how to make homemade gnocchi, but today we’re going to talk about what to do with it when you’re done and have approximately 1,112 freshly made gnocchi staring at you, just begging to be cooked off.

Crispy Gnocchi with Brown Butter, Thyme and Toasted Hazlenuts 5

There are a million and one ways for you to dress your pillow-y pockets of dough, but for me, when it comes to homemade gnocchi, masking the pasta with a super thick sauce isn’t the route I typically like to steer towards. After all, all of that hard work you put into creating something from-scratch should be celebrated not smothered. Althoughhh, I might have to eat my words, because at this very moment, a picture of the gnocchi gently simmered in a slow-cooked pork ragu sounds pretty amazing….

But for now, we’ll keep things simple. My brown butter love knows no bounds so I have no shame in bringing it to the table yet again. It’s one of my all-time favorite – albeit excessively used –flavor weapons when it comes to pastas (and desserts and pretty much anything under the sun). It’s also something unequivocally fall to me, which in turn, musters up feelings of comfort and nostalgia, a great feeling to have when the weather is quickly turning from seriously hot to a blistery cold.

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Once the butter is browned, I keep the temperature at a fairly high heat and (gently) throw the cooked gnocchi into the pan. The pan is tossed a few times until the gnocchi is completely covered in the butter, and then I let the little guys settle into the pan until they crisp up and become a golden brown.

At the last minute, a small handful of thyme leaves are tossed in, the pan is given another good shake and the gnocchi are ready to be served.

A final touch is a sprinkling of toasted hazelnuts for texture and a dusting of grated parmesan cheese for another added element of nuttiness…and because of course, no pasta dish is complete without a little (or a lot!) sprinkling of parmesan cheese.

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If you’ve made your gnocchi ahead of time, and stored them in the freezer, this is a meal that comes together in under 20 minutes. It’s simple enough for a quick weeknight dinner, but is upscale enough to serve at your finest dinner party on a Saturday night. Wherever, or whenever you serve it, you’re bound to finish your meal with a full, satisfied appetite.

Crispy Gnocchi with Brown Butter, Thyme and Toasted Hazlenuts

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How to: Make light as air homemade gnocchi

How to- Make light as air homemade gnocchi 7

If making homemade pasta is the equivalent of a 90-minute session of stress-relieving yoga, then making homemade gnocchi is the equivalent of a 60-minute session of stress-relieving yoga – it’s quicker, but the end result is still a prolonged state of pure and utter bliss. It may sound a little … Read more»

Crispy Baked Potato Chips with Garlic, Thyme and Parmesan

Crispy Baked Potato Chips with Garlic, Thyme and Parmesan PS1

I’ll do anything to elongate a fancy dinner experience. Peruse the menu for 20 minutes. Methodically wait to order my entrée until every last morsel of an appetizer has disappeared. Linger at the table with an after-dinner drink. I’m sure all of my waiters loathe me. But perhaps my favorite … Read more»

Honey Sesame Salmon with Corn and Hatch Pepper Sauté

Spicy Honey Sesame Salmon with Corn and Hatch Pepper Saute PS1

Guys. It’s cold outside. Like legitimately cold. The heat is on in my office. (The heat is not on at my house, thanks to a budget-minded husband.) The windows in our house are fogging up. (Which, according to Kevin is a sign of fall??)I wore a coat to work today. I seriously contemplated picking up … Read more»

Individual Caramel Apple Galettes with Brown Butter

Individual Caramel Apple Galettes PS3

While I’m still trying to evade the constant reminders that summer is long gone, shield my eyes from the giant PSL signs at Starbucks and do my best to keep myself from drooling over the pumpkin pastries at our local bagel shop, the past few days have left my will a little bruised. I’m starting to … Read more»

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