3 days ago
Monday, January 4, 2010
A shortcut through mushrooms
You are officially a geek if you get the title reference.
Credit for this one to Julia Child, from whom I learned about using lemon juice to get flavor out of mushrooms.
Cream of mushroom soup
2 pints of mushrooms (just mushrooms. Don't get fancy on me)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
salt to taste
1 T flour
1 1/2 cups milk, scalded
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup white wine
Melt the butter in a sauce pan (i.e. a soup pot). Keep it at a low simmer (don't let it brown) until the center clarifies; all the foam should be at the edges. While you are doing this, heat the milk to just boiling (about 4 minutes in the microwave). Throw all the mushrooms into the clarified butter at once and toss them until they've absorbed all the butter. This will take seconds.
Pour in the lemon juice and simmer until the mushrooms have released a lot of liquid (picture). This is a cooking miracle, and it's how you get your mushroom soup to taste like mushrooms, and not like cream with mushrooms in it. Add tarragon, salt, pepper; toss. Dredge with the flour (use more flour if you like thicker soup) and toss until the mixture has no flour lumps in it.
Now the next cooking miracle: Pour the scalded milk, still hot, onto the mushrooms. For some reason it will not curdle. Please talk to Julia about this, I have no idea why this works. Stir until liquid is smooth. Add the cream and the white wine. Serve with a slice of home made bread and the rest of the wine in a glass. (Never use wine for cooking that you wouldn't drink.)
I buy the sliced mushrooms which cost the same as the whole ones and will save you a lot of work