Thursday, October 8, 2015

Creamed Shiitake Mushrooms


Beautiful Shiitake Mushrooms from Clarion River Organics

     As I was saying, I normally do not crave mushrooms.  However, for the past two weeks, I have been dreaming about mushrooms.  I really thought that this was mushroom season but every time I went to look for fresh, local mushrooms, I could not find a single one.  That made the craving even worse.  Last Saturday, I ventured into the Pittsburgh Public Market for the first time and went over to my CSA, Clarion River Organics,  who has a farm stand there.  There they were!  Mushrooms!  Hurrah!!!  Unfortunately, I have a very limited knowledge of mushrooms and could not really tell which varieties were there.  The young man attending the farm stand confessed that he, too, was not very knowledgeable when it came to mushrooms but he was able to identify portobellos, oysters and finally, these shiitakes, which came home with me.

     This is the mushroom dish that changed my mind about mushrooms.  Before making it over the weekend, I had only made it once before and it blew me away.  But strangely, over the years I had forgotten all about this dish. It originally appeared in a 2008 edition of Saveur magazine as Whole Wheat Crostini with Creamed Chanterelles.  The notes on my torn out and worn magazine page indicated ideas such as adding crab, or using it as a sauce for schnitzel or pasta or even as a topping for pizza.  Like so many dishes, this is quite simple, uses minimal ingredients and can be adapted in so many ways.

     I changed this original version a bit, serving it over slices of leftover baguette as that is what I had and the results were still wonderful.  I definitely will not forget it this time!

Creamed Shiitake Mushrooms

Creamed Shiitake Mushrooms
(adapted from a recipe called Whole Wheat Crostini with Creamed Chanterelles, Saveur, Jan. 2008)

3 T butter
1 leek, white and light green parts only
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 pound chopped shiitake mushrooms
1 cup heavy cream
Sage (the original recipe called from sage leaves, I didn't have any so I substituted just a pinch of dried sage - worked very well)

Heat the butter in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the leeks, garlic and salt and cook, stirring, until leeks are translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add mushrooms and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring until they have softened and released their  liquid, about 5 additional minutes.  Add the sage, cream, a bit more salt and pepper to taste.  Cook, stirring often, until cream has really thickened.

From there, you can put it over toasts, or anything else your heart desires!

Creamed Shiitake Mushrooms over Toasted Baguette Slices


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