Remember back in March when I said I was planning to try a new recipe each week and post it here? Well obviously, that didn’t happen, but better late than never.
I usually don’t follow recipes when I cook. I like to just make something with whatever I have on hand, and I think that’s generally a good way to go, but it also means I tend to stick to what I know. I thought it would be fun to start trying other people’s recipes in an attempt to pick up new flavour combinations and techniques that I might otherwise never consider. I do enjoy cooking, but I’ve never really challenged myself enough to get very good at it.
This is a simple one from Mark Bittman’s fantastic How to Cook Everything cookbook. This would definitely be my desert island cookbook, as it’s a giant tome with a lot of information in it. He also usually gives a base recipe for something and then lists out a number of ideas for building off of that, which is quite handy.
- 1 oz of dried porcini mushrooms (recipe called for 2 oz, but I wasn’t about to spend $20 on dried mushrooms)
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 lbs fresh mushrooms
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp minced shallots
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1 tbsp dry sherry (one you’d drink, not salty cooking sherry)
- 1 cup half-and-half
- Red pepper flakes
Makes 4 servings.
- Soak dried mushrooms in hot water for 15 minutes.
- Place butter in large saucepan and turn heat to medium. Add mushrooms when the butter melts and turn heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes until mushrooms begin to brown. As they cook, drain dried mushrooms (reserve the soaking liquid) and stir them into the mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add shallots and garlic, and stir for 1 minute. Add stock, sherry, and reserved mushroom-soaking liquid and bring the mixture to almost a boil (or accidentally boil briefly if you fail like me).
- Add the half-and-half and some red pepper flakes and serve.
- Garnish with chives.
— Mark Bittman, How to Cook Everything: Simple Recipes for Great Food, p. 56
I enjoyed this, and it’s dead simple to make. I had a sudden bout of guilt when I was shopping and decided to go for the half-and-half instead of the heavy cream, which might have been a mistake. I’ll try it with the proper cream next time.