For many years (40? 50?) no holiday celebration in our family has been complete without the family favorite: Polish Baked Mushrooms. (see below) Not only is it rich with eggs and heavy cream and butter (and everything’s good with butter and cream), but filled with protein and fat. You’d think that fat is bad for you. Goodness, haven’t we been told this for ages? Eat grains and fruit, we’re told, but never fat! Well, it turns out that our brains and bodies need fat. They function on fat. Fat is what gives the brain clarity, memory, cognition, energy, and latest research shows you cannot have too much of the right kind of fat, since the excess runs right out through your kidneys. The only thing to know is WHAT KIND OF FAT?
You must look for Saturated Fats — found in coconut oil, avocado oil and olive oil (extra virgin, cold pressed, without added fats; read the label!)
You must never, never, under any circumstances eat poly-unsaturated fats or mono-unsaturated fats, which stay in your body and, together with sugar, clog your system and make you fat. (Alas, most processed foods use polyunsaturated fats: read the label, and beware.)
Put cream or a pat of butter in your coffee. Eat fried eggs and bacon. Saute´ your broccoli. It’s all ok. The important thing is to avoid sugars, (and this includes the fake ones too). Give up or reduce all wheat and carbohydrates, because carbs convert immediately into sugar and offer a false energy that leaves your body starved and your brain whining for more, for energy — not sugar but, counterintuitively, FAT! Give up sugar for 3 days and you won’t miss it. You won’t want it. After a while, when you taste it, you will find it unpleasant. Isn’t that remarkable? Moreover, you will have loads of energy and find your body getting thin as it throws off extra weight by eating fat. (My source is a series of 11 podcast films, TRS of 2020, Jeff Hayes Films produced by Brookwell McNamara Entertainments, entitled “Skinny on Fat,” filled scientific facts about inflammation and healing obesity, MS, cancer, Alzheimer’s, eczema, fasting and feasting on fat.)
Perhaps it’s like “snake oil” (the cure-all of the past). Nonetheless, I used to have to take a nap in the afternoon. Now I charge around for 17 or 18 hours like a young colt, and sleep like the dead 8 hours at night.
So much for my little lecture on fat. Try it. But remember, use only SATURATED FAT! (Olive oil is saturated, but cook instead with coconut or avocado oil or with real butter, because a chemical change occurs in olive oil when heated. And don’t use margarine or Crisco – polyunsaturated fats.)
Here is a delicious holiday recipe. Double or triple it because you’ll want some extra for next day.
POLISH BAKED MUSHROOMS (for four: double up to for 12)
1/2 lb fresh mushrooms
2 tsp lemon juice (to keep their color)
1 T finely chopped onion (I use the whole onion)
3 T butter
1/3 tsp salt
11/8 tsp pepper
3 T flour
2 T grated parmesan cheese
1 c heavy cream
2 yolks, slightly beaten
Preheat oven to 425○ F.
Grease 1 to 1 1/2 qt baking dish. (If shallow cook less time!)
Wash mushrooms, sprinkle with lemon juice
Simmer mushrooms, onion, and 2 T butter
Season w/salt & pepper
Stir in four and grated cheese
Cook 3 minutes
Place mixture in baking dish.
Mix heavy cream and egg yolks and pour over mushrooms
Sprinkle with more parmesan cheese
Dot with Butter!
Cook until a knife comes out clean. (10 minutes in a shallow dish; 30 in a deep casserole)
© Sophy Burnham, 2020.