Posts Tagged ‘In Erika’s Kitchen’

Oyster Mushroom Fricasee from In Erika's Kitchen

Erika Kerekes is a dot-com product manager by day and a relentless home  cook and food blogger by night. She started writing In Erika’s Kitchen in 2008 because she was tired of hearing her mother ask “When are you going to write a cookbook already?”  A native New Yorker, she now lives in southern California and marvels every day about the fact that food grows on trees in her backyard.

French food is surprisingly easy to find in southern California. Authentic French food, on the other hand, is less common. Which is why my Francophile husband and I were so glad when Saint Amour opened in Culver City last year. It’s one of those French restaurants where you walk in and wonder if someone changed the official language of Los Angeles to French without alerting the public.

Chef Bruno Herve-Commereuc is rightly famous for his charcuterie (house-cured meats) and pillowy quenelles de brochet (fish dumplings), but it’s the simple oyster mushroom fricassee I crave when I walk in the front door. It couldn’t be simpler: a pile of oyster mushrooms sweated with garlic and shallots, doused with butter. And it couldn’t be more French. It’s exactly the sort of thing that appears magically with your main dish in any French brasserie, neither requested nor specified, just the vegetable the chef found at the market and happened to feel like cooking that day.

Chef Bruno’s wife Florence, who handles the front of the house, graciously shared the recipe. The key is a big, hot pan, and not overcrowding the mushrooms. You want them to sauté, not steam in their own liquid.

Oyster mushroom fricassee from Saint Amour

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 lb oyster mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Heat the olive oil and butter in a large skillet over a high flame. Add the oyster mushrooms and cook about 5 minutes, shaking the pan every so often. You want the mushrooms to give off their liquid and dry out.

When the mushrooms are dry, add the shallots, garlic, a good pinch of salt, and a few grinds of black pepper, and cook another 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle over the parsley and serve immediately.

Featured Contributor: Mushroom Beef Gravy Recipe from In Erika's Kitchen

Erika Kerekes is a dot-com product manager by day and a relentless home  cook and food blogger by night. She started writing In Erika’s Kitchen in 2008 because she was tired of hearing her mother ask “When are you going to write a cookbook already?”  A native New Yorker, she now lives in southern California and marvels every day about the fact that food grows on trees in her backyard.

There are nights when only comfort food will do. In my house, these nights typically follow days like this:

  • Wake up before dawn.
  • Get two boys fed and into the carpool with their lunches, backpacks, completed homework, assorted permission slips, musical instruments and the like.
  • Get to the office to find that more than 100 emails have accumulated while you were sleeping.
  • Go from meeting to meeting, inhaling lunch (maybe) while dealing with the additional emails that have piled up during said meetings.
  • Arrive home and realize that if dinner is not on the table in half an hour, there will be major meltdowns – and they won’t all be coming from the kids.

Comfort food means different things to different people, but for me it’s got to be hot, creamy, salty, and on the table fast. That’s why mushrooms often figure into my comfort dishes – they’re hearty, satisfying, and quick to prepare. We buy two-pound containers of Baby Bellas at our local Costco, and on a comfort food night, they’re the first ingredient I reach for.

This mushroom beef gravy is a cross between a stroganoff and creamed chipped beef, which, inexplicably, is what I was craving that night. It took just a few minutes to prepare; I served it over biscuits, but it would be equally good served over thick slices of toasted country bread if time is really tight.

Mushroom beef gravy

  • 2 lbs Baby  Bella mushrooms, cleaned
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup beef broth (or water plus 1 packet  Savory Choice liquid beef broth concentrate)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Separate the stems from the caps of the Baby Bella mushrooms. Slice the caps. Put the stems into a food processor and chop finely.

In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Add the onion and the chopped mushroom stems and cook about 5 minutes, until the onions are soft. Pour in the sherry and stir until most of the liquid has boiled off.

Sprinkle the flour over the mushroom mixture and stir for a minute or two until it is well incorporated. Add the milk and broth, bring the mixture back to a boil, and turn the heat down. Simmer the mushroom gravy about 5 minutes more, or until the gravy has thickened and is creamy. If it’s too dry, add a little more broth or milk.

Season with salt and pepper to taste – if the broth was salty, you’ll probably want very little additional salt, and in any case you’ll want a good dose of pepper. Serve over warm biscuits or thick slices of toasted country bread.

2010 Mushroom Channel Contributors

Featured Contributor

The wait is over.  After considering every awesome entry until the last possible minute, your Mushroom Channel team is thrilled to announce the ten official contributors for 2010.  Sincere gratitude is in order for everyone who took the time to write us an email, expressing love for mushrooms. The process of going through the submissions warmed our fungi-friendly hearts.

Without further ado, the 2010 Mushroom Channel Contributors are…

Colleen from Foodie Tots

Erika from In Erika’s Kitchen

Kate from Savour Fare

Lauren from Healthy Delicious

Mardi from Eat Live Travel Write

Patti from Worth the Whisk

Paula from Bell’Alimento

Rachael from Fuji Mama

Sabrina from Rhodey Girl Tests

Susie and Chelsee from We Are Not Martha

To our contributors, be on the lookout for an email from the Mushroom Channel editorial staff to talk through details.  To our readers, be on the lookout for a new post from one of these contributors every week starting April 26.