There’s no real recipe to offer up for this. It’s mostly a reminder that not everything past its prime need go in the bin. That even not-so-fresh mushrooms edging toward a spongy Nerf ball consistency can be salvaged into something edible. It does of course … ahem … help greatly if you’re starving to death and you’ve just caught yourself greedily eyeing your grandfather’s stuffed and mounted grey squirrel that’s perched on three legs atop a rosewood pedestal. Why is it that we’re not permitted to toss heirlooms into the bin when they’re hopelessly hideous?
The trick to making spongy mushrooms edible is a tablespoon of crème fraîche thinned with several tablespoons of chicken stock, and chopped fresh tarragon and dried thyme. A scattering of fried bacon is a bonus, if you have it. And not to forget a generous amount of white pepper, plus a bit of course ground black pepper for colour contrast, which adds excitement to an otherwise bland and colourless plate of white in white on white.
Trust me. This really is delicious. Made a nice lunch that kept me moving well into the late afternoon.
Creamed Mushrooms on Toast
A handful of sliced mushrooms
1 tablespoon diced shallots or onion
2 slices of bread, toasted and buttered
150ml hot chicken stock
1 tablespoon fresh chopped tarragon
1/2 tablespoon thyme
1 tablespoon crème fraîche
Fry the sliced mushrooms in hot olive oil until tinged golden. Add a tablespoon of diced shallots (or onion) and fry quickly but not allowing them to burn. Add approximately 150ml chicken stock to deglaze the pan, swirl around to pick up and release the bits on the pan, and then stir in the herbs and white pepper followed by the crème fraîche. Stir well, and allow the liquid to reduce slightly if it’s too fluid. Taste and add salt if needed. Pour over toasted sourdough bread, or any bread that you might have in the house.