Gourmet Veggie Mama

Tag Archives: Mushrooms

Mushroom ragout

After venturing into the crawl space under our house (which serves as an additional wine cellar for us*) to pull out the wines to be drunk in 2012, the hubby was all excited to crack open a bottle of Ridge 2003 Santa Cruz Mountains Estate Cabernet Sauvignon.

*I realize that this is totally ghetto, but we have a wine buying habit with which our storage space just can’t keep up. We tested the temperature during the hottest part of the summer, and it stays cool down there, so why not?

In honor of the occasion, I set off on a search to come up with a vegetarian dish that would pair well with the wine. I found it in a recipe for wild mushroom ragout (which I was easily able to vegetarian-ize) that I served over slices of fried quinoa polenta with a salad. It was excellent, and the pairing was amazing.

Good stuff.

The hubby pronounced it “grand,” so I know it was a hit. The original recipe says it freezes well for later use, so this is something I will definitely make again in a bigger batch.

Wild Mushroom Ragout
Based on this recipe

1 lb mixed fresh wild mushrooms**
1 Tbs unsalted butter
2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
3/4 cup vegetable stock
1 tsp Better Than Boullion mushroom base (optional)
1/3 cup cream
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 Tbsp chopped chives

Trim the mushrooms, reserving the stems for another use.*** Slice the larger caps and leave smaller caps intact.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook until tender, stirring occasionally. Add the mushrooms and cook until they release their liquid. Add the stock and cook for about 5 more minutes. Stir in the mushroom base, if using, and cream, and cook until it starts to thicken, about 5-7 minutes. Add thyme and chives, then season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve over polenta or pasta, finishing off with a light dusting of grated parmesan or gruyère.

** I used an 8-oz “Chef’s Sampler” pack of gourmet mushrooms, supplemented with sliced cremini mushrooms.

*** I’m saving mine for either a small batch of mushroom stock, or to throw into vegetable stock (where it adds a nice depth of flavor).

Wild Mushroom Risotto

The better half used to hate mushrooms. Hate them. For years, he disdainfully referred to them as “fungi” (which, yes, they are) and turned up his nose at any dish that had even the faintest trace of mushroom in it.

Then, suddenly and unexpectedly, he decided that he was going to try mushrooms again. And guess what — he liked them! I think it took a while for him to really get a taste for them, but as long as they weren’t the gross, slimy canned kind,* he was good.

* Which are pretty gross even if you do like mushrooms.

This opened up a whole new culinary world for me. I’m a big mushroom fan. I like them on pizzas, I like them sautéed, on the grill, in pasta, you name it. But, I hadn’t cooked with them in ages, since I usually cook for the two of us, and mushrooms were off-limits. So I started experimenting, adding mushrooms here and there.

Until now, though, I have approached any mushroom-based dish with some trepidation. Given his 180-degree reversal on this subject, I worried that the hubby’s mushroom aversion would be re-triggered by a mushroom overload, and we’d be right back where we started. When I saw Savory Simple‘s delicious wild mushroom risotto recipe, though, I knew I’d have to try it, even if it was described as “extreme” mushroom risotto.

With the hubby’s blessing (really, I asked him like five times to be sure), I forged ahead, toning down the mushroom craziness to some extent, and I am happy to report that, although plenty mushroom-y, it was a hit with both of us!

Mushroom-y goodness.

Nora tried some leftovers, too, and she loved it (especially in croquette form**).

** As I mentioned in my last risotto post, you can make croquettes with leftover risotto for a second meal. Delicious!

So, I think this mushroom thing is here to stay. Hurrah!

Wild Mushroom Risotto
Based on this recipe

3/4 cup dried gourmet mushrooms
6 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups cremini mushrooms, roughly chopped
2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup red wine
3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus additional for serving
dash of truffle oil
cream, if desired

Soak the dried mushrooms in hot water until tender. Reserve about a cup of the liquid. Bring broth to boil in large saucepan. Cover and reduce heat to low.

Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the cremini mushrooms, stirring to coat with butter. Sauté a few minutes more. Add rice and stir for a couple of minutes to toast. Add wine and deglaze pan. One the wine has been absorbed, add the reserved mushroom liquid (I eyeballed it, but probably used about 2/3 cup) and simmer again until absorbed. Add the reconstituted mushrooms.

Add about a cup of hot broth and simmer until absorbed. Add warm broth cup by cup, allowing to simmer until absorbed each time, until rice is just tender and risotto is creamy and slightly soupy, stirring occasionally. This should take 20-25 minutes, and you may not use all the broth.

Stir in parmesan cheese, a dash of truffle oil, and a touch of cream, if you like. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer risotto to serving bowls. Sprinkle with a bit more parmesan and serve.

Mushroom pot pies

Around here, Saturday nights (when we stay in*) are for more ambitious cooking. This weekend, that meant homemade mushroom pot pies. Stay with me here — it may not sound too adventurous, but they were amazing.

* Which is usually, because, c’mon, we have a kid. We do once-a-month date nights, and we do occasionally get out for dinner with the wee one, but she goes to bed early, and the grown-ups in this family like to eat after the early-bird special has ended.

It starts, of course, with the mushrooms. I used a combination of oyster and brown mushrooms.


Picture those sautéed with leeks, enveloped in a rich cream sauce, and topped with buttery, perfectly golden brown puff pastry. The best.


I served them with sautéed delicata squash and a salad with herbs and vinaigrette on the side, plus a nice, earthy La Crema pinot noir that we picked up on our recent trip to Healdsburg. Add a nice roaring fire(log) in the fireplace, and you’ve got the perfect cold, rainy evening in.

Wild Mushroom Pot Pies
Based on this recipe

2 Tbsp olive oil
1-2 leeks (depending on size), sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lb (approximately) assorted wild mushrooms, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 heaping tsp cornstarch
1 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp heavy cream
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 350°. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and sauté the leek and garlic until the leek begins to turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, stirring to combine, and sauté for a further 5-7 minutes, or until the mushrooms soften and release their juices. Add the thyme.

Meanwhile, mix 2 Tbsp cream and the cornstarch in a small bowl and set aside. Increase the heat to medium high and add 1 1/4 cup cream and the Dijon mustard and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until it begins to thicken. Add the cornstarch mixture and cook for 1 minute more. Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Divide the filling between four 1 1/4-cup oven-safe ramekins. Cut the puff pastry into four rounds slightly larger than the ramekins. Brush the rim of each ramekin with egg, place one of the puff pastry rounds on top and press the edges to seal. Brush the tops with egg.

Place the prepared ramekins on a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the pastry is puffed and the tops are golden brown. Remove from oven and cool slightly before serving.

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