Summer Mushroom Loaf
Chef Seth Jumps    ~     Bogey’s at Stone Creek
Makanda, Illinois                                    (618) 351-4653
TIP: Black Trumpets (Craterellus cornucopiodes) are impossible to spot in the summer forests of Illinois.  They’re not exactly rare, but they appear to be invisible. Their resemblance to dead leaves on the forest floor is their camouflage secret. But educated wild foragers recognize the dark secret of the Black Trumpet and sometimes load up on this exceptionally delicious wild mushroom.  
On the fork, there’s really no difference between the taste of gourmet food and the taste of really good home cooking done right. Gourmets roll their eyes at a basic meat loaf. But those eye rollers are missing the point of their exercise. When we take a bite, all that really matters is great taste, even if it’s not refined. Great taste is what makes that staple of down-home cooking--the humble meat loaf--a springboard of culinary potential for creative chefs everywhere. For lucky wild foragers who’ve hit a jackpot of summer mushrooms, this blend of beef and wild mushrooms (Black Trumpets are our favorite) baked together with a few buttery garden vegetables and soft bread crumbs will make everybody roll their eyes.
Here’s a bone for all of you offended food experts: For serious diners who eat meals only where good wine is appropriate, know that a bold Malbec matches quite nicely with this dish. Now off you go.
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