March 30, 2017 – From my earliest memory, I had three heroes. My dad (Gordon, Sr.), my grandfather, who we called Papaw Rube, and Uncle Gene, Dad’s younger brother. It was always fun when Uncle Gene came home on leave. Years later when he had retired and I was the one coming home from time to time, I was fortunate to spend a lot of time with him. He was still fun.
Uncle Gene was a career Navy man. Seabees. The famed construction unit known to build runways while under enemy fire. He was stationed at various bases in the Pacific, all of them tropical. That explains why my cousins grew up on the beaches of Hawaii while I was shoveling the snow from our driveway in Anchorage. But that’s a story for another time.
Recently my cousin Genelle asked me if I ever had Uncle Gene’s mushrooms. I had not. They were wonderful, she told me. So rich and creamy. His mushrooms, she said, raised a steak to a whole new level. And sometimes he made them for breakfast. Eggs with Uncle Gene’s mushrooms on the side. Uncle Gene’s mushrooms on most anything. Dad would have said, “Those would be good on ice cream.”
Genelle told me his secrets. First, saute’ the mushrooms in butter. Second swirl in a little cream cheese. That’s all. Simple.
My wife loves mushrooms. Mushrooms sautéed with green onions are one of our favorite accompaniments to a steak. Until I served her steak with Uncle Gene’s mushrooms.
“This is my new favorite way to eat mushrooms,” she said.
And you just can’t get higher praise than that.
Uncle Gene’s Mushrooms
3 tablespoons butter
1 pound mushrooms, sliced (I used baby portobello)
6 green onions, sliced
2 tablespoons cream cheese
Melt the butter in a skillet over moderate heat.
Add the mushrooms and green onions. Saute’ the vegetables (or as my dad would say, “Cook’em down.”) until they are beginning to soften. The mushrooms should still be slightly firm.
Swirl in the cream cheese, stirring gently until it has melted and emulsified with the butter and the juices released by the mushrooms.
Serve with a steak or, as my cousin tells me, with your eggs for breakfast.