So I've got these huge, gorgeous white mushrooms..
- Meg Dec 11, 2008 06:46 AM
and don't know what to do with them. They'd be perfect for stuffing, but don't need an app. Want to showcase them in a meal for two. Suggestions? (other than steak with shroom sauce, just had steak out last night). TIA
Why not stuff them and serve them as a side, perhaps with roasted chicken or something else fairly simple.
I made a complete meal last night of huge, gorgeous portabellos. I stuffed them with some baby spinach lightly sauteed in garlic, S&P, and sherry vinegar, topped them with grated parmesan, and baked them for about 25 minutes (they were really, really big). Wonderful, and an entirely satisfying meal.
I would think that a pound of mushrooms would be enough for 3 to 4 servings, yeah. As for a recipe? Nope - I'd just make something via Google. :-)
I don't like following one particular recipe anyway, there are too many one-sided minds that make up a recipe and decide that it's their way and nothing else. By looking at a few different recipes for the same dish you can see the overall structure of how the soup works and what the common elements are.
From their you can start to put your own spin on things depending on what you have on hand, what is in season and what you like. For instance, the recipe calls for rosemary and leeks but you only have thyme and onions at home... don't go all the way to the store for those extra ingredients, just use onions and thyme instead.
Mushroom soup is basically a somwhat thin white sauce flavored with the mushrooms, herbs and spices. Making a simple mushroom soup can be a real culinary adventure.
Start by slicing and sauteeing the mushrooms a little in some butter. Then add more butter and flour to make a white roux. Cook the roux and mushrooms just a minute or two longer, then start to thin it out.
Here's where the adventure begins. Thin the roux with what? Cream, or half&half or whole milk. And/or vegetable or chicken broth. For a cream soup choose a milk product. For a clearer soup choose stock or broth with or without white wine.
Now consider herbs and spices. European? Asian? Mex-American? Any will do. Traditional mushrooms soups are European with thyme, basil, rosemary, oregano etc. But you might consider a curried mushroom soup. Or a mushroom-tortilla soup. Or a Chinese Egg Drop or Hot & Sour Mushroom soup.
Those considerations aside, now its time to think of "fillers" if any - dice onions, cubed potatoes, daikon, leeks, chives, fennel, bok choy, corn, tortillas. How about smoked salmon. Or finely diced and sauteed beef cubes. Some shreds of ham?
As you can see, this Personal Chef takes soup making as a process, not a hard and fast recipe. Enjoy.
Wow, I wish I was as confident in the kitchen. Thank you for the direction KiltedCook. However just before reading your post I started making the Cooks Illustrated test kitchen version of Mushroom Soup. It sounded like a perfect almagamation (sp?) of several other recipes I dug up online. It calls for fresh shallots and fresh nutmeg, which sounded yummy to me. I'll be sure and post it if it turns out well.
I'm just happy to have found a way to showcase what were really beautiful shrooms, and to make my SO very happy. We've never had homemade mush. soup outside of a restaurant.
I don't know about stretching the m'rooms into 3-4 soup servings -- not unless you don't mind if your soup isn't chock full of m'rooms. I know they're huge, but m'rooms are composed of so much water that by the time they're cooked into a soup they'll shrink down considerably. And the thing about using those m'rooms in a soup is that you'll probably quarter them, or slice them, and the "wow" factor will be lost. When I have m'rooms that large, I try to prepare a dish that will take advantage of and highlight their size. If they were my m'rooms, I'd probably stuff them, maybe with crabmeat, or with a bechemel/spinach/nutmeg mixture with a grated cheese topping.
Here are a bunch of recipes that were suggested to me when I asked for the best creamy mushroom soup. Enjoy!
For the future, one of my favorite mushroom showstoppers -- I also really love mushroom strudel in phyllo dough... sautee the mushrooms with onions, herbs, add some cheeses, and fill phyllo dough. Makes a lovely vegetarian entree. Phyllo is tricky but really exhilarating once you pull it off! Everyone will ooh and ahh. Get a helper when you tackle the phyllo dough, and cover the sheets with a damp dish towel as they dry out quickly.
Here are the soup ideas:
Mushroom and cheese in puff pastry would work for me
Or grilled mushrooms with herb butter
Or sauted in sherry
or mushroom risotto
or ... love sh'rooms!