What I had for dinner:

An intense 'shroom experience

[ Previous ] 22 Feb 1996 23:32:43 -0500 [   Next   ]

This is an idea that I've been toying with for several weeks now. Rather than make a mushroom soup, what if I made the mixture so thick that it could be used to fill a puff pastry shell? A movable soup ...

I started with a 10 oz package of mushrooms, well scrubbed in a plastic bag and puréed to a smooth creamy paste in a food processor. This paste was then cooked in a lightly oiled wok with frequent stirring, until most of the moisture had evaporated. At the same time, a roux was prepared from 2 tbsp of butter and 2 tbsp of flour with a dash of nutmeg and of cayenne, in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan.

The stiff mushroom paste was suspended in a cup of strong Belgian ale (I used Chimay Red), added to the roux all at once, and simmered for a few minutes. (For a high-protein treat, use milk instead of the beer; or use apple juice for a lighter, fruitier aroma.)

Four ounces of shiitake caps were diced, sautéed in a tsp of butter, then added to the mushroom mixture. Finally, 1/4 cup of grated cheese was stirred in.

Meanwhile, puff pastry shells (Mrs Pepperidge's own recipe, of course; only a fool would risk making puff pastry from scratch for dinner) baked in the oven according to instructions (25 min at 400F). The shells were filled with the warm mushroom mixture, recapped, and served immediately.

This amount makes enough for 5 well-risen shells, so there's an orphan left over.

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