Tag Archives: mushroom

Chicken with Mushrooms and Sherry Sauce

I saw Raymond Blanc do this on the telly and thought it looked absolutely yummy – it is, despite the fact that I didn’t use the specified ‘Morel’ mushrooms (which are hideously expensive). So I suspect that the flavours would have been even more fabulous than they were in my version. Really, really gorgeous and so simple to do – give it a go whether it’s a simple family meal or supper with friends – you won’t be disappointed. Oh, and the leeks: what Monsieur Blanc did with them is simply one of the best ways to serve them!

Serves 4

What you need…

1 teaspoon stock from a chicken stockpot (I use Knorr)

50 ml hot water from the kettle

4 plump chicken breasts

Sea salt and black pepper

1 tablespoon butter

200g wild or interesting mushrooms, washed and roughly torn

120g button mushrooms, washed and quartered

100ml dry sherry, boiled for 30 seconds to cook off the alcohol

200ml double cream

for the leeks

200ml water

Pinch sea salt

1 tablespoon butter

4 leeks, outer leaves removed, washed and sliced

What to do…

First, make a little chicken stock by using a balloon whisk to dissolve the stock from the stockpot into the hot water. Set aside.

Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. In a saucepan, melt the butter over a medium heat until it is foaming. Add the chicken breasts and colour lightly for 3 minutes on each side. Use a slotted spoon to remove the chicken from a pan and set aside.

In the butter remaining in the pan, chuck in the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt and add the boiled sherry, chicken stock and double cream. Bring to the boil and slip in the chicken breasts – which should be covered by the sauce. Lower the heat to a very gentle simmer and cook for 7 – 10 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken breasts.

Again using your slotted spoon, remove the chicken from the sauce and set aside. Turn the heat up to boil the sauce and cook until reduced by half (15 – 20 minutes on my hob) and thickened. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Actually, keep tasting because it’s bloody lovely!

Whilst the chicken breasts are cooking, turn your attention to the leeks. Into a saucepan, tip the water, salt and butter and bring to the boil. Tip in the leeks, pop on the lid and boil like mad for 3 minutes. That’s it!

To serve, place the chicken breasts back into the sauce to warm up for 2 minutes and then divide the chicken breasts and sauce between 4 plates, drain the leeks and serve them as well. We also had chunked up red potatoes that had been roasted in the oven with olive oil, salt, dried rosemary and chopped garlic. The whole supper is absolutely delicious – gotta love food blogging!

Inspired by…

Raymond Blanc

How easy…

Easy, relaxed and really quite joyful! Glass of wine in hand, obviously!

 

 

 

 

Monkfish Fillets with Mushroom and Bacon Sauce

I tried this one simply because I couldn’t imagine how the sauce would go with the fish but it goes REALLY well. A rich and tasty sauce that doesn’t detract from the subtleties of the monkfish – quite delightful, really quick and easy, ideal as a special supper.

Serves 6

What you need…

1 x baking tray, liberally buttered

6 x 150g monkfish fillets, skinned and trimmed

Sea salt and black pepper

3 tablespoons plain flour

2 tablespoons rapeseed oil

A knob of butter

6 rashers of smoked streaky bacon, chopped

1 onion, finely chopped

200g button mushrooms, cleaned and halved

200ml full fat crème fraiche

Juice of ½ a lemon

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

What to do…

Preheat your oven to 200°c / 400°f / gas 6.

Tip the flour into a plastic carrier bag, season liberally and then toss in the monkfish fillets, ensuring that they are covered in the seasoned flour. Shake of the excess.

In a large saucepan over a high heat, add the oil and butter and once the butter is foaming, add in the fillets and fry for 3 minutes, turning once and ensuring that the fish is sealed and lightly golden. Transfer them onto your baking tray, pouring over any buttery juices from the pan. Roast in the oven for 8-10 minutes and until the fish has turned white and is cooked through.

Meanwhile, wipe out your saucepan with kitchen paper and then add the bacon, dry-frying over a high heat until crispy. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon to a plate. Tip the onion into the pan and fry for 3 minutes. Then pop the lid on, reduce the heat to moderate and cook for 5 minutes until soft. Remove the lid, whack up the heat to high and add the mushrooms, frying for a few minutes until golden.

Add in the crème fraiche, lemon juice and mustard together with half of the bacon and parsley. Bring to the boil and cook for a few minutes until the sauce has reduced and thickened slightly. Season to taste.

Slice each of the fillets into three and arrange on a plate. Spoon over the yummy sauce and garnish with the reserved bacon and parsley. Super supper!

Inspired by…

Mary Berry

How easy…

Really easy, really quick and then really lovely on the eye and the palate.

 

 

 

 

Venison and Mushroom Suet Pudding

Serves 6 – 8

An alternative to our traditional Sunday Roast, we haven’t had a suet pudding for years and I have to wonder why. The pastry is light but absorbs the flavours of the filling, which in this case was a wonderfully rich mix of venison, mushrooms and port. I loved the theatrical presentation associated with turning it out of its cooking bowl as well – will it, won’t it, will it, won’t it and then almost a sigh as the pudding parted ways with the bowl and plopped onto the plate, to be quickly followed by a rush of wonderful, rich gravy. A proper winter dish this – who cares if it’s cold and windy outside?!

What you need…

1 x 1.5 litre pudding basin, lightly buttered

1 x steamer, saucepan and lid

for the filling

1 beef stock pot (I use Knorr)

300ml boiling water (from the kettle)

300ml port

2 tablespoons well-seasoned self-raising flour

750g venison, diced

2 shallots, chopped

1 leek, trimmed, cut lengthways and then sliced

250g chestnut mushrooms, cleaned and chunkily sliced

Handful thyme sprigs, leaves picked

Sea salt and black pepper

for the pastry

350g self-raising flour

175g shredded beef suet

Sea salt and black pepper

Cold water to mix

What to do…

In a jug dissolve the stock pot into the boiling water. Top up with the port. Set aside.

In a roomy bowl, tip in the seasoned flour. Add the venison and toss around in the flour so that the meat is thoroughly covered. Chuck in the shallots, leek, mushrooms, thyme, salt and pepper. Set aside.

To make the suet pastry, sift the flour into another large mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add the suet and mix the ingredients together using a spatula. When blended, add a few drops of cold water and mix in using the spatula. Keep adding the water a few drops at a time, mixing all the while, until the pastry is claggy and sticky. Either carry on with the spatula or go in with your hands, working the mix together until it is a smooth, elastic dough that leaves the sides of the bowl clean.

Separate ¼ of the dough from the rest and set aside for the lid of your pudding. On a lightly floured work surface, give the remaining dough a quick knead to create a ball and then roll it out to create a circle of about 32cm diameter. Line the bowl with the pastry, gently pressing it into place and leaving some pastry hanging over the lip of the bowl.

Go back to your filling and with your hands, mix everything together so that all the ingredients are evenly distributed. Tip the whole lot into the pastry-lined bowl.

Pour in the stock and port and add more seasoning.

Roll out the pastry lid. Wet the top edges of pudding pastry and pop the lid on, pressing down all around the edges to seal. Trim off the excess pastry.

Cover with a double sheet of foil, pleated in the centre to allow room for expansion while cooking. Secure it with string and then place in a steamer over a saucepan of boiling water. Pop a lid on and then turn the heat down so that the water is simmering. Steam for 5 hours, checking the water level every now and then (I have ruined many a pan steaming Christmas puddings and letting the water run dry – it doesn’t go down well with the husband!)

Now to serve it! You could play safe and serve it straight from the bowl but where’s the fun in that?! Instead, slide a palette knife around the edge and then put your serving plate over the top of the pudding bowl. Tip the whole lot upside down (or in my case, ask John to) so that the plate is now on your work top and the pudding bowl is inverted. Wait, holding your breath, until the pudding gives a sigh and plops onto the plate. Breathe. Rush excitedly to the table with a large serving spoon and dig in. Thoroughly enjoy your Venison and Mushroom Suet Pudding!

Tip…

Instead of peeling and cutting up shallots, try Waitrose Cooks’ Ingredients, frozen, chopped shallots – a quick shake and the job’s done!

Inspired by…

I used Delia Smith’s recipe for the suet pastry and then threw caution to the wind and put in the pudding whatever I fancied – it worked though!

How easy…

It takes minutes to assemble, there’s no pastry-resting business going on and then you just leave it to cook itself so it’s really very easy. It’s not a last minute option though – 5 hours cooking time does require a bit of organisation.

Partridge with Wild Mushroom Ravioli

This is a proper winter indulgence: the rich sauce and delicious partridge perfectly contrasted by the lightness of the ravioli, packed with intense flavour. The first time I made this, I used a pasta machine to make my own pasta and whilst it wasn’t hard, it was messy, time-consuming and quite tricky to deal with the ever-lengthening pasta strips and to get them to the necessary thinness (thick pasta is not great). So, on the basis that life’s too short, I’ve replaced that process with the use of ready-made pasta – it’s a lot easier unless you are a perfectionist with either a lot of time on your hands and a love of clearing up or an absolute whizz with the pasta machine! Given that change, this dish is lovely, indulgent and really quite quick to knock up!

Serves 4

What you need…

2 partridges (ask your butcher to separate and de-bone the breasts from the rest of the birds)

2 small carrots, peeled, topped and tailed

1 onion, peeled and quartered

1 bay leaf

for the ravioli

1 x cookie cutter, 7-8cms wide

12 fresh lasagne sheets

Knob of butter

100g wild/mixed mushrooms

3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked

150ml double cream

Sea salt and black pepper for seasoning

for the sauce

1 beef stock pot (I use Knorr)

Splash olive oil

Knob of butter

250g wild/mixed mushrooms

100ml double cream

A few sprigs thyme, to garnish

What to do…

Remove your lasagne sheets from the fridge to come to room temperature.

Separate the partridge breasts from the rest of the birds, leaving the breasts in the fridge for now. Cut from the remaining partridge carcass whatever meat you can get and pop it into your food processor – we’ll get back to that later.

To enhance your sauce, make a quick stock: take a medium saucepan and chuck in the remaining partridge carcass, carrots, onion and bay leaf, season and cover with water. Bring to the boil, cover and then simmer for 20 minutes. Sieve the ‘stock’ into a jug, retaining just 200ml (chuck the rest) and then, using a small balloon whisk, mix in the stock pot. Your stock is now ready. Set aside.

Using a medium-sized frying pan, melt a knob of butter over a moderate heat and then add the mushrooms and thyme, cooking them whilst stirring, for 2 minutes. Throw the cooked mushrooms and thyme together with the cream into the food processor with the partridge. Season and then blend until smooth. If you are preparing in advance you can stick this in the fridge now until you are ready to finish off.

Layout your pasta sheets and using your cookie cutter, cut two circles from each sheet, producing 24 pasta circles. In the centre of 12 of them, place 1 heaped teaspoon of the mushroom/partridge mixture. Brush around the edges with water and then place another pasta circle on top of each and seal, producing 12 ravioli.

Pop a large pan of salted water on a high heat and bring to the boil.

Preheat your oven to 200c / 400f / gas 6.

In your frying pan, add to any left over juices, your splash of olive oil and half the knob of butter. Once hot, add the partridge breasts and cook skin-side down for 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a baking tray and pop in the oven for 5 minutes, skin-side up.

Returning to your frying pan, add a tiny bit more butter and once hot, chuck in the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes. Add the stock and cook for a further 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, add the ravioli to the boiling water and cook for 4-5 minutes or until they have floated to the top. Remove with your slotted spoon and put three on each plate.

Gradually stir the cream into the mushrooms and stock to create the delicious rich sauce. Transfer to a jug.

Retrieve the partridge breasts from the oven and add to the plates and then pour over the sauce. Garnish with thyme sprigs. Delicious! Serve either just as it is or maybe with some greenery, wilted spinach perhaps. Either way, your partridge with wild mushroom ravioli will be relished: rich, indulgent and absolutely lovely – enjoy!

Inspired by…

James Martin, Saturday Kitchen (I have reduced the amount of butter he is renowned for using!)

How easy…

Really easy if you don’t go down the route of making your own pasta!