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A quick and simple vegetarian lunch: Creamed Mushrooms on Toast
Mushrooms - the alternative to meat.
Don’t know what to have for lunch? Bored of sandwiches and the usual quick snacks? Why not try this quick and easy recipe for a wholesome and nutritious lunch?
This recipe takes so little time and has the intense flavours associated with French cuisine at its very best. No-one really has to know just how simple it really is; I won’t tell if you won’t.
- Mushrooms, mini portobello or any good flavoured mushrooms
- Double cream
- Wholegrain Dijon mustard
- Truffle oil for dressing, this is only olive oil flavoured with white truffle
- Sea salt, full of minerals and trace elements
- Wholemeal toast, hot and just buttered
Mushrooms - healthy, fast food.
- Assemble all the ingredients. You will notice I do not give any hard and fast quantities but as mushrooms tend to shrink as they cook allow a good heap for each person once they have been sliced.
- Sweat the mushrooms in a little olive oil until lightly browned. Do not worry if they seem to have soaked up all your olive oil just keep frying them gently until they have reduced in size. This means the water will have evaporated from them and their flavour will be intensified.
- Once the mushrooms have cooked make the coating sauce by taking the pan off the heat and stirring in enough double cream to coat them all liberally. Again, no quantities, just go by how it looks. You will notice the mushrooms darken the sauce. Do not allow the sauce to boil as this may cause the cream to separate (curdle).
- Add a heaped teaspoonful (ish) of wholegrain mustard. This is to flavour the cream sauce rather than to give it any heat.
- Add a generous pinch of good quality sea salt. Check seasoning by tasting, as all good cooks do.
- Assemble your lunch. Whilst keeping the mushrooms warm, toast two slices of wholemeal bread and butter lavishly. Heap the mushrooms in their sauce on top of the toast and add a tiny drizzle of truffle oil over them. Garnish with parsley.
A few extra hints ...
Always buy the best ingredients you can afford and/or find. Portobello mushrooms are wonderful with a delicious robust flavour but you could use open field mushrooms just as well. They may make the sauce a darker colour but they do have much more flavour than the usual white button mushrooms.
Or, if you are really sure of your fungi identification skills, maybe you would like to forage for your own.
Wholegrain mustard is truly delicious. The best comes from Dijon in France and is usually readily available in most supermarkets. It not ‘hot' like English mustard but has a much more subtle flavour. And when those little grains ‘pop’ on your tongue it adds a whole new dimension to lunch!
Truffle oil. Now that sounds as if it should be expensive but it is actually only olive oil flavoured with white truffle. I was quite nervous of trying this but I found it in a local supermarket for around £3.50 (between $5-6) and as you use such a small amount at a time it will last ages.
Truffle oil is an absolute necessity to make this dish extra special as it adds depth and a certain mysterious flavour you cannot quite identify when it becomes part of the sauce.
For me any recipe should only ever be a starting point for your own experimentation. It is up to you to improve upon it or at least tailor it to your own specific tastes.
A healthier version of creamed mushrooms on toast.
It didn’t take people long to realise that this recipe was luxurious rather than healthy with the double cream and salt in it but help is at hand.
I have just made this recipe using large and flavourful field mushrooms with a reduced fat cream alternative (a mix of buttermilk and vegetable oils - Elmlea Double (Light) for UK cooks). This sounds as if it would be unpleasant but in actual fact it was just as nice. I also omitted the salt and added freshly ground black pepper instead. Instead of using butter on the toast I used a cholesterol-lowering spread (Flora Pro-active Buttery which has a wonderful buttery flavour for UK cooks).
So it looks as though healthy substitute ingredients make little difference to the taste of this dish which means it is not just quick, easy and simple ... but healthy as well.