Tag Archives: Mushrooms
Today’s post continues the series of dishes from my restaurant Cafe du Soleil photographed by Philippe Touitou.
He does an excellent job of making my food look even better than in real life!
The wild mushroom ragout doesn’t have much of a recipe to follow - since it’s really just sauteed mushrooms with chopped garlic, shallots, and herbs. But I’ll give you some guidelines to follow to create a successful dish, or “un plat bien reussi” as the French say.
To begin with, let’s start at the highest level. Call your local mycologist and see if they will take you foraging with them.
Here are a couple links:
There really is nothing to compare with cooking mushrooms that you have picked yourself. I highly recommmend it but let me say this first: Unless you consider yourself to be an expert, or are with an expert, or just have a death wish, DO NOT TRY THIS ON YOUR OWN!!
Imagine coming home with a nice harvest of your own……..
Okay so thats probably not gonna happen too often, right?
So next best would be to buy some wild mushrooms at your local gourmet market. Two problems with this: they are usually VERY expensive and they usually arent all that fresh, and (okay that’s three problems) it’s hard to tell cultivated “wild”mushrooms from real ones. So, what to do? Well, buy a few of the wild mushrooms and mix them with less expensive cultivated mushrooms such as Portobellos, Oyster mushrooms, and Shiitakes.
Actually, your local Farmer’s Market might have some wild mushrooms so try checking there too. And I have seen some high-end cultivated mushrooms there.
Once you have your mushrooms, you must confront the eternal mushroom question.
Wash or don’t wash?
I’m not going to add fuel to that debate - I usually dont wash mushrooms. Here’s a blog post about washing mushrooms if you want more info:
Most important when cooking your mushrooms is to get your pan really hot! That way the water in the mushrooms basically evaporates as it comes out of the mushrooms. Some mushrooms have more water than others though, so some experimenting will be needed. So once your pan is super hot, add your oil.
I usually saute mushrooms in vegetable oil. And you usually need more oil than you think.
Toss the mushrooms in the pan occasionally, allow them to brown nicely. When they are almost done, add some chopped garlic and shallots, then season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Just before serving add a splash of white wine and a knob of butter, then a little choppped parsley and you’re ready to go.