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Mushrooms and steak, mushrooms on toast, mushrooms with pasta – creamy shiitake mushrooms are usefully versatile.
Mushrooms are versatile animals and can happily take various treatments. I love them roasted with garlic, they are very tasty fried in a little butter or perhaps grilled in good company of peppers and aubergines; the large flat portobellos might be stuffed with cheese and baked and any amount thrown into a casserole will enhance it.
I’m a mushroom lover and welcome any variety cooked any all way but a lot of people don’t rate the bog-standard, cellar-dwelling cup ‘shrooms. Chestnut or Paris ones are slightly upmarket and admittedly more flavoursome, then so called ‘wild or exotic’ while in truth neither, oyster, enoki or shimeji.
The crème de la crème, genuinely wild mushrooms of continental Europe’s and North American forests, are ceps or porcini (boletus) and their poorer relations, pied de mouton, morels, chanterelles and girolles. I grew up in Poland in a family of fierce mushroom foraging fanatics so I know what I’m talking about. Sadly in the UK it is – if you excuse my lame pun – poor pickings.</>
The method below works fantastically well with ceps or pied de moutons if you can get hold of fresh ones. I normally have to contend with dried wild porcini that I rehydrate. I soak them for half an hour in hot water, drain and reserve the liquid, then I cook them in butter and gradually add the soaking liquor, letting them absorb it wholly. Once they've got all the moisture back, I season them, add the cream and finish off as in this recipe.
But since even dried porcini are usually quite prohibitively expensive, the closest to the genuine article are in my view fresh shiitake. That’s what’s recommended in my recipe but there is absolutely nothing wrong with using oysters, chestnuts, ordinary cup mushrooms or a mix .
creamy mushroomsServings: 4Time: 20 minutes
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 400g (about a pound) fresh shiitake mushrooms (or fresh wild mushrooms), brushed clean and sliced
- salt and black pepper
- 1 clove garlic, mashed
- ½ bunch parsley, finely chopped
- 120ml (½ cup) double cream
- 1 tbsp. grated Parmesan
1. Melt the butter in a pan, add the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper, garlic and half the parsley, cover and cook on medium heat for ten minutes.
2. Pour in the cream and turn up the heat a little so it starts bubbling energetically.
3. Cook for further five minutes, turn the heat down, check the seasoning and stir in almost all of the remaining parsley, saving a pinch for garnish.
4. Serve in individual ramekins sprinkled with more parsley and Parmesan.