Wild mushrooms are sometimes reserved ‘for best’ in the sense that they are cooked (usually very lightly) and then served either on their own or as part of a very simple dish. Purists assert that this brings out the full flavour of the wild mushroom and doesn’t spoil it, with a whole host of other flavours and textures.
Whilst it is certainly true that wild mushrooms do often deserve to be eaten this way, but they can also be eaten as part of standard dishes and they bring a richness and strength of flavour to these recipes, which is simply lacking when you use many other types of commercially cultivated mushrooms.
So for a really rich and very tasty version of Mushroom Stroganoff, use the freshest and most succulent of your wild mushrooms and then simply enjoy! This dish is suitable for vegetarians, but not vegans.
This recipe will serve up to 6, but since it is so delicious, realistically you will only get around 4 servings out of it. You will need:
2 onions, finely chopped
5 sticks of celery, very finely chopped
2oz of butter or margarine (butter if possible)
1lb of wild mushrooms (if possible try to have different types, such as morel, chanterelle etc). Chop mushrooms according to taste
½ tsp of dried mixed herbs or 1 tablespoon fresh chopped herbs
½ tsp dried basil or a few leaves of fresh, torn, not chopped
1 tbsp flour
½ pint vegetable stock
3 fl ozs of soured cream or yoghurt
Salt and Pepper to taste
Fresh chopped parsley
Fry the onions and celery in a heavy based pan, using the butter. Keep the heat low and fry for about 5 minutes in total. The onions should then be transparent and very soft. Add the mushrooms and fry for about 3-4 minutes, or until the juice runs out of the mushrooms. Do not adjust the heat, keeping it low will seal in the flavour of the mushrooms. Add in the herbs and basil. Next stir in the flour, making sure that you get rid of any lumps. If it is lumpy then beat vigorously. Cook for one minute, then add the stock and seasoning. Simmer for about 8-10 minutes. Then remove the pan from the heat and stir in the soured cream or yoghurt. Taste and adjust the seasoning as required. Return to the hob and heat up to serving temperature, but be careful not to let it boil or this will spoil the flavour.
Serve immediately (t is best served from the pan onto warmed plates, as opposed to transferring it into a serving dish). Sometimes it is a nice touch just to swirl a little cream onto each plate after the stroganoff has been served, then finish off with the freshly chopped parsley. Delicious!
Traditionally, stroganoff is served with rice, but for a different type of stroganoff, try serving this with a very thick wholemeal bread and some lightly salted butter.
A nice crisp Chardonnay or Chablis will complement this dish.