Tapas-Style Mushrooms in a Garlic and Wine Sauce
I regret every mushroom I stubbornly refused to eat as a child. Now I try to make up for lost time indulging in mushroom madness every chance I get, adding handfuls of raw, sliced button mushrooms to salads, quickly sautéing mushrooms for scrambled eggs or quiche, and adding a blend of reconstituted dried wild mushrooms to stews and soups. Give me marinated fresh mushrooms, butter sautéed, wild picked Michigan morels simply seasoned with lots of fresh ground black pepper, fresh chanterelles in a light cream sauce with a splash of Madeira ,and I am content.
Mushrooms love wine. Depending on the variety of the mushroom and ingredients of the preparation, mushrooms invite a wide variety of paired wines, from Champagne or Chardonnay to Pinot Noir or an earthy Sangiovese. Mushrooms are well-endowed with the taste of umami, that elusive, intense and distinctive savory taste of meat, soy sauce and tomato paste identified in Japanese cuisine as elemental a component as salty, sweet, sour, and bitter. So they offer great opportunities for pairing with wine or beer.
Several kinds of fresh mushrooms are readily available in your Forest Hills produce department--portobellos, shitake, cremini, oyster, even morels in season. And in most grocery stores you will also find a great blend of dried wild mushrooms. For many vegetarians, mushrooms take the place of meat. There is nothing quite as delicious as a whole large portobello mushroom, grilled over charcoal with a melty slice of cheddar or Swiss cheese, and served in a bun with a dollop of garlic aioli, slices of onion and tomato, and a handful of fresh spinach leaves. This easy supper pairs with a Sangiovese from Italy or a Tempranillo from Spain.
Mushrooms really meet their match with a rich cream sauce. Wow your guests with this delicious appetizer. You can even make it the day before and heat it up slowly over medium low heat, stirring until heated through just before serving in a bowl next to a basket of toast rounds.
- 1 French Baguette cut on the diagonal into ½” ovals and grilled
- 2 Tbs unsalted butter
- 1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbs finely minced shallots
- 1 tsp finely minced garlic
- 2 tsp finely minced fresh thyme
- 1 lb mixed fresh wild mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced
- ½ Cup dry white wine
- 1 ½ Cup heavy cream or crème fraiche
- 2 Tbs Madeira
- 1 Tbs flour
- Freshly ground white pepper
- Heat a large skillet, preferably cast iron, until hot. Add oil, and when hot, add butter, and mushrooms. Sauté until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Using the same pan, sauté the shallots, garlic and thyme until translucent. Add a bit more oil and butter if needed.
- Add white wine and boil, stirring until the liquid is reduced by half.
- Add sautéed mushrooms with any juice back into skillet and stir in cream
- Whisk flour into Madeira in a bowl until free of any lumps, and then add some of hot cream sauce into bowl, whisking to avoid lumps.
- Pour flour/Madeira mixture into skillet with cream and mushrooms and to stir for about 3 minutes as the sauce thickens. Season to taste with white pepper.
- Serve in a bowl. Spoon onto toast rounds.
This rich and creamy dish pairs well with a classic French Champagne chilled just for a special occasion. Or you could serve it with a chilled, slightly oaky California Chardonnay. Or a silky, smooth, and slightly earthy Pinot Noir. In both cases, the wine picks up and complements flavors in the ragout.
- To keep mushrooms from getting waterlogged, do not rinse, but clean by wiping with a damp paper towel. Exception: fresh morels!
- Sauté mushrooms quickly in a hot skillet. Heat the first, with a wooden spoon then add the oil and butter and when its starts to sizzle, throw in the cleaned mushrooms and stir them gently. When the released moisture has evaporated and the mushrooms are golden brown, they are done. Do not overcook.
Tip: Make your own Crème Fraiche
Crème Fraiche [crehm-fresh] is an amazing transformed heavy cream, thickened and slightly soured. It is expensive, but you can make your own by adding 2 TBS of active buttermilk to a small 1 C carton of heavy whipping cream, closing it back up, shaking for 1 minute, and leaving out on the counter overnight. Refrigerate once it is thick. It lasts a long time! You can use it in any recipe that calls for heavy cream.
About Roz: During her distinguished career, Roz has served a term as the Retail Representative on the MDA's Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council and Continues to serve on their Promotion & Education and Competition Committees. In addition, she has served as a judge in various national and international wine competitions.
Working with D&W's wine stewards and SpartanNash's vendor partners, Roz tirelessly explores the vast world of wine, discovering the finest wines for every budget and every taste. And she loves to discuss food and wine with customers and colleagues. As a lifelong foodie, there is nothing else she'd rather be doing.