Recipe of the Month – December 2017 – Groucho Marx’s Mushrooms Under Glass

The Museum of Soho radio show about THE MARX BROTHERS was postponed to December so the Groucho recipe is getting an extended slot as recipe of the month.  When I know the date of the show I’ll post it up.  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 dish 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 dish.  

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!

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