By Danielle French

Mushrooms Woodsy and Wild

January is a time that I enjoy changing things up a bit with food. Yes, I love stews and soups and all things comfort. I like to have dinner by the fire, maybe set up a table in a different place or even serve out of bowls rather than plates. Romantic dinners for my girls and Shawn. A candle, a warm bowl of something delicious and a glass of wine is a perfect way to end the day. In my family, everyone is doing something that involves exercise (I’m not sure that I would put myself in this category). Olivia is training for Rugby every day and has decided to abandon red meat. I realize how much I do cook with meat so this month has been a bit of a challenge. Poor Shawn has been subject to a variety of meatless dinners or fish. What? Lentils and brown rice again? Even the other girls have put their foot down.

In one recent conversation with my mother, she was describing a dish she prepared for her French book group based on mushrooms. Why don’t I cook with more mushrooms and more often? Somehow I feel that it is not a “local” food but why wouldn’t it be? There are mushroom growers even in this area like Waymac – Farms . I love any kind of mushrooms and this recipe is such a great way to enjoy them. It can be converted into soup, served over pasta or a chicken breast, virtually anything. It is delicious and easy.


Woodsy and wild mushrooms

Recipe prep

Mushroom Sauce
Ingredients (enough sauce for 4-5)

  • 3 – 4 cups or 250 grams of various mushrooms – shiitake or cremini or whatever looks good at the grocer or market.
  • 1/2 leek washed throughly and dried or 1 small onion finely sliced
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 1/2 glass white wine or shot of sherry
  • 1/2 cup 18% cream or chicken or vegetable broth
  • grated zest of 1 lemon

Organize your ingredients. Begin with an assortment or just one kind of mushrooms. Depending on the number you are cooking for but this recipe is for five of us so I used 4 cups or about 250 grams. Slice the mushrooms, slice the leek or onions finely, mince the garlic, chop parsley coarsely, have wine or sherry ready. Salt and pepper. Grated zest of 1 lemon. 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter.


Mushroom sauce cultivation

Heat a large sauce pan add the butter and oil and on medium to low heat, sauté the leeks or onions until they are soft, about 5 minutes. Do not let them brown. Turn the heat to medium and add the garlic, the mushrooms and sauté until they are browned and tender, a deep golden brown colour. Add the wine or sherry and let this reduce slightly about 5 minutes. Add chopped parsley and 1/2 cup of cream or broth. Let this mixture simmer a few minutes until the mushrooms and liquid have mingled together and become thickened. Add in grated lemon zest, salt and pepper to taste and combine. At this point – your choice: serve over chicken, rice or pasta or just plain on toast. yum.

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