Recipe of the Month: Groucho Marx’s Mushrooms Under Glass

I got a tip-off that the Museum of Soho radio show this month will be all about THE MARX BROTHERS so I thought I would share a Groucho recipe in tribute.  This is a bit of a mad recipe, but what more would you expect?

Groucho is very specific about the vessel in which this dish is cooked, so I had to scour eBay for a suitable singleton’s casserole with a glass lid. When my purchase turned up, it was much smaller than I expected but I was THRILLED that in the end, it was exactly the right size for this bonkers recipe.

Without further ado, I bring you Groucho’s recipe, featured in Stars In Your Kitchen published in 1953.

Groucho Marx – Mushrooms Under Glass

I want to caution you all in regards to following a recipe.  It’s not as simple as it might seem.  For instance, I once used a recipe book to make beef stew.  I boiled it for four hours, and believe it or not, it still tasted like a recipe book.

So follow these instructions carefully.  Here they are: Take 2 tablespoons of butter which has been creamed.  Add one-half tablespoon lemon, drop by drop.  Salt and pepper to taste, and then add one-half teaspoon parsley.  Now you have the sauce.  Next, cover the bottom of an individual baking dish with a circular piece of toast three-eighths of an inch thick, wetting the underside with half the sauce already made.  Pile mushroom caps, cleaned and peeled, on the toast and pour over them the remainder of the sauce and one-quarter cup heavy cream.  Cover with glass and bake in a quick oven (400 to 450 degrees F / 200 to 230 degrees C / gas mark 6 t0 8) about 25 minutes.  The mushrooms must be served hot and with the glass cover on.   

“Mushrooms Under Glass” has always been a family favorite, and Uncle Julius invariably prepares this delicacy when he is expecting guests for dinner. By a simple twist of the recipe, Uncle Julius has solved the “how-to-get-rid-of-guests” problem. He grinds up the glass and sprinkles it in the mushrooms. This is known as “Glass Under Mushrooms.” One serving will discourage the most fastidious gourmet.

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Note: I wouldn’t call the mixture of butter, lemon juice and parsley a “sauce” exactly, I just spread half of it on the bottom of the toast before popping it into the pot. I then mixed the other half with the cream.

If you are making this, I would highly recommend getting a really nice loaf of bread from a proper baker if you don’t make your own bread. My slice of supermarket “sesame bloomer” just turned to unappetizing sludge after baking with the sauce, I think you need good old-fashioned sturdy bread for Groucho’s recipe!

Don’t you just love the illustration of Groucho that appeared with this recipe?

Here’s a link to the Museum of Soho Radio Show – you can listen-in wherever you might be in the world – and I think the Marx Brothers show will be going out at 10am on Sunday 26th November but I’ll check with Mark.  I’m really hoping that my lovely friend Matthew Coniam will be on the show.  He wrote this ace book…

If you missed my fun chit chat about Vincent Price on the Museum of Soho radio show a couple of Sundays ago – here’s a link where you can listen to it any time…  It was SO – MUCH – FUN!

4 Responses to Recipe of the Month: Groucho Marx’s Mushrooms Under Glass

  1. Mark Brisenden 13 Nov, 2017 at 5:23 pm #

    Great . It is indeed on the 26th and Matthew will be involved whether in person or down the line has yet to be decided . Not sure about this, think I’ll stick with the herring, but yes that illustration is wonderful .

  2. Jenny 14 Nov, 2017 at 7:00 am #

    Ha ha – yes! The herring much more to my taste! There’s a great Harpo illustration too – I’ll tweet it on the day if I remember!! JX

  3. Mark Brisenden 16 Nov, 2017 at 5:54 pm #

    Yikes . Sadly after all that I’m going to have to postpone this show now as I will be out of town ! Circumstances beyond, etc … But never fear, I am going to try and put it all together for a pre-recorded show for the December show on Christmas Eve, which hopefully will be even more fun as I’ve always wanted to do a Christmas Show !!

  4. Jenny 17 Nov, 2017 at 8:07 am #

    OH WOWZER – a Christmas show will be great fun! Keep us posted. Wish I had a Christmassy recipe by one the Marx Brothers – actually, you know what, I might have something… Let me check the spreadsheet!

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