Cookbook Profile

Mushrooms a la Galera

Champiñones a la Galera

Makes 4 servings


Spanish manchego cheese turns up a lot in Veracruzan cooking, especially for melted toppings. (Some of it is actually a manchego-style cheese made in Mexico.) Manchego is now increasingly available in the United States; you even find it in some supermarkets. I wouldn't try to substitute anything else in this simple, spirited dish from the Restoràn Galera in Xico.

This dish could also be turned into an appetizer—a quesadillalike filling for folded tortillas (freshly made, if possible). The flavor of epazote is preferable, but you can substitute 10 cilantro sprigs, if you have to.

1 pound cultivated white mushrooms
3 thick slices bacon, diced
1 medium-sized white onion, finely chopped
2-4 jalapeño chiles, stemmed, seeded,
     and finely chopped
4 large epazote sprigs, leaves only, finely
     chopped, or 2 teaspoons crumbled
     dried epazote (see page 41 of the book)
4 ounces manchego cheese, shredded
     (about 1 cup)

Wipe the mushrooms clean with a slightly damp cloth or paper towels; trim the bottoms of the stems and cut the mushrooms lengthwise into slices. Set aside.

In a medium heavy skillet, fry the bacon over medium-high heat until crisp but not overbrowned. Lift out the bacon onto paper towels, letting as much fat as possible drain back into the pan. Pour the bacon fat into a large wide skillet and heat over medium-high heat until rippling. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms, chiles, and epazote and cook, stirring, for 10 minutes, or until the juices released by the mushrooms have nearly evaporated. Remove from the heat.

Preheat the broiler. Transfer the mushrooms to a wide broilerproof baking dish and scatter the bacon and the shredded cheese over the top. Run under the broiler for a few minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbling. Serve at once.


Buy the Book!


Zarela's Veracruz
Cooking and Culture in Mexico's Tropical Melting Pot
by Zarela Martinez and Anne Mendelson
ISBN: 061800713X; $35.00
Houghton Mifflin Co.
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publication Date: 2001
Illustrations: some colored photos
Recipe reprinted by permission.


Zarela's Veracruz



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This page created May 2002