She opened the window and carefully placed the pan on the ladder outside, before weaving out after it. She figured maybe if she ate out on the fire escape where she could see other people doing things, she might not feel like she was alone on a Friday night eating a stuffed mushroom straight from the pan. She watched couples walking dogs, two Spanish kids with matching bowl cuts playing in a leaky fire hydrant, and a group of three pretty girls all laughing in unison at something. And the more she watched the street scene unravel, the more she felt like she was alone on a Friday night eating a stuffed mushroom straight from the pan.
It’s not that she didn’t have friends, or couldn't be doing things if she wanted. She knew that. But she was tired. So tired it felt good to wallow in her own temporary misery. So tired she cried at work. Tired of feeling lost. Tired of not having any money. She could barely afford the fancy smoked cheese in the mushroom. She used to have money - and a whole variety of nice cheeses. But New York took it when it took her breath away. She worried that if she was already this tired in her new city, she might never achieve anything.
She looked out at the flashing lights of the corner store. She’d been living in that same apartment in Brooklyn for five months. She’d probably sat on the fire escape looking at the same scene at least 20 times, and never once did she notice that it was open 24 hours a day. She text her roommate to ask him if it had always been like that. Either way, she figured the shopkeeper was probably pretty tired too. She took a bite of mushroom. It was a good bite - full of cheese and tuna and thyme. The breadcrumbs were a bit stale and old, but the other bits made up for it.
- 2 large portobello mushrooms (stems removed)
- 1/2 cup fresh panko bredcrumbs
- 1/2 cup smoked provolone cheese (grated)
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1/2 small red onion (finely diced)
- 1/4 cup walnuts
- 1 green apple (grated)
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme (chopped)
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon himalayan pink salt
- 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
- Olive Oil
- Green salad (to serve)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.
- Sprinkle the mushrooms in oil and bake upside down for about 20 minutes or until tender looking.
- Meanwhile, place garlic, walnuts and thyme in a blender and pulse until it forms a crumb-like texture.
- In a large bowl, combine with remaining ingredients.
- Bring the mushrooms out of the oven and pack with stuffing. Pile it on high!
- Put them back in the oven and bake for another 15 - 20 minutes, or until crisp and golden.
- Serve with a green salad.