Wild and mixed mushroom sauté

By Caren McSherry
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I am a huge fan of mushrooms of all types, wild and cultivated. This dish can stand alone as a side, be used as a pasta sauce, or be turned into a quiche. You might wonder why I use maple syrup with mushrooms; it’s an odd combination, but a brilliant one. The maple syrup together with the mushrooms produces an almost mysterious sweetness that is hard to pinpoint. Go ahead, give this a go; you will love it.

SERVES
6
TOTAL TIME

Ingredients

  • 1 cup mixed dried wild mushrooms (cèpes, porcini, boletos, or morels)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 large shallots, finely minced
  • 1 leek, white part only, finely sliced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 heaping teaspoon chili paste (see page 4)
  • 1 teaspoon undiluted chicken stock paste
  • 5 cups sliced mixed fresh mushrooms (shiitake, chanterelle, portobello, shimeji, or your favourites)
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream (33%)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley, plus extra for garnish
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon or 2 teaspoons dried
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons pure Canadian maple syrup

Directions

  1. Place the dried mushrooms in a bowl and pour two cups of hot water over top. Let them soak as long as possible; this can be done at least two hours before you proceed with the recipe. The soaking reconstitutes the mushrooms; the longer they sit, the bigger they become.
  2. Place the butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the shallots and leek, and sauté until soft, but not brown, about five to seven minutes. Add the garlic, chili paste, and stock paste; stir to dissolve and warm through.
  3. Add the fresh mushrooms to the pan and turn the heat to medium-high. Toss the mushrooms in the pan, add the wine, and continue to cook until all of the moisture released from the mushrooms has evaporated, about ten minutes. While the mushrooms are cooking, drain the soaking mushrooms and squeeze them hard to rid them of any excess water. Chop and add to the pan.
  4. Once all the moisture is cooked away, add the cream, parsley, and tarragon, and cook until the sauce has thickened, about five to seven minutes. Stir and season with salt and pepper to taste. You can prepare the dish to this point and set aside until serving.
  5. Just before you are ready to serve, heat through and drizzle the maple syrup over top. Stir and transfer to your serving bowl. Garnish with more parsley and serve hot.

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