I was taking pictures at Fish & Game on Sunday, and they had a giant puffball in the kitchen that they were running as a bar snack: brushed with olive oil, grilled, and served with lamb sausage and a scallion-chili salad. Zak gave me a couple of slices to take home, because as I ate one of the soft, slick slices it occurred to me that the mushroom could out-wonder Wonder bread as a grilled cheese substrate.
And it did. Buttered, salted, and pressed down in the iron skillet for a few minutes on each side, with some good cheddar and a scrape of mustard within, the sandwich browned up superbly. With a dusting of last summer’s smoked paprika/Espelette combination on top, it attained greatness, a perfect afternoon snack: texturally kid’s food, flavor-wise adult and sophisticated.
Sadly, the mushroom foraging hike I also led that afternoon did not turn up more than one tiny puffball, but I’m going to see if I can’t get some more. This is a winning idea, and could go a million different ways. Dark chocolate and pumpkin seed oil would be incredible, especially with a little cinnamon and coffee thrown in. Every possible variation on the croque theme would kill, as would pretty much any panino combination.
If anyone in the area finds one of these, hit me up.