i adore the idea of found food. something free provided by nature on a walk in the woods. there's just nothing more appealing than that, is there? but i am a cautious mushroomer. i grew up hunting morels and i know them well, but they are a spring mushroom and i don't really know my autumn mushrooms. therefore, i always go hunting with a knowledgeable friend. i've also invested in a good mushroom book and always compare carefully to it before frying up anything i bring home.
|rabarbar parasolhat (macrolepiota rachodes - or the shaggy parasol)|
|krystal-støvbold (lycoperdon perlatum - or the common puffball)|
the puffballs are very small, so we prepared them very simply. they were carefully cleaned and halved or quartered, depending on their size. then they were gently fried in butter with just a titch of garlic, salt and pepper. they have a gorgeous, earthy, mushroomy flavor and too much garlic quickly overpowers it. they should be fried 'til they have a crispy, golden crust but are still soft and gorgeous on the inside.
the shaggy parasols were cleaned and sliced and gently fried up in equal parts butter and olive oil. they can tolerate more garlic, so we used two good, fat cloves. once they were softened, we added a bit of cream. you could add some herbs - thyme would be nice - if you had them on hand, but the creamy, garlicky goodness is perfect on its own on a slice of ordinary toast with a glass of white wine.
mushroom tart ala sinna
crust - you can make your favorite piecrust, or, like me, buy some frozen puff pastry (butterdej) and line a tart pan, then prebake it for 15-20 minutes.
1 leek, sliced and rinsed well
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
500 grams of mushrooms (i mixed portabellos and ordinary brown champignon)
250 grams organic creme fraiche (or sour cream)
chopped fresh herbs of your choice (thyme, parsley, sage)
soften the leek and garlic together in a pan with a big lump of butter and a glug of olive oil
in the meantime, grate two large packages of mushrooms - i used one package ordinary brown mushrooms (champignon) and one package of portabellos i suppose it's about 500 grams of mushrooms. grating the mushrooms is absolutely key.
sauté the mushrooms together with the leeks - adding more butter/olive oil if necessary. add a glug of white wine, simmer until the liquid cooks away and the mixture is quite dry again.
throw in some chopped fresh herbs along the way if you have some (thyme, parsley, sage come to mind).
once the liquid has cooked off the mushroom mixture, stir in a cup of organic creme fraiche (or sour cream). then pour the mixture into the pre-baked crust and bake it another 20+ minutes in a 180°C (375°F) oven - until golden brown on top.
serve with a simple green salad and a crisp, cold south african chenin blanc.
and don't worry about leftovers, there won't be any.
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i wasn't going to mention my long absence from this blog, but am feeling i must. since our move in may, i've been so depressed by my awful, old (pink!) kitchen, that i haven't felt inspired by cooking. that's not to say that i haven't been cooking, i have, i just haven't felt inspired. i'll write a separate post, sharing the horror of my kitchen with you very soon. i think it's been mildly depressing to move from my beautiful kitchen at the old house to this old, ugly and uninspiring space here at the new house. of course, i know it's temporary, but building projects take time, so i have to live with it for awhile now. but anyway, that's why i haven't been here much. i'll try to remedy that.