Friday, March 22, 2013

Mushroom Paste

This is a fascinating recipe that I made a little while back after being given a few boxes of mushrooms.  It was the perfect way to use up a heap before they went slimy.  This preserve really highlights the mushrooms' natural flavour and can be used mixed through pasta, on a pizza, as part of a savoury snack (like on dry biscuits with cheese) or anything else you can think of!  It's a really unique flavour, but it totally works!  I made a few changes to the recipe (taken from Simon Bryant's website), but I've given you the original here.  Let me know how you go!

1 cup dried porcini
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 shallots, diced
3 sprigs fresh oregano and fresh thyme
4 Portobello mushrooms, 2mm diced
6 fresh shiitake mushrooms, 2mm diced
6 button mushrooms, 2mm diced
4 Swiss brown mushrooms, 2mm diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon salt
½ cup dry white wine
50ml red wine vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil for covering top of jar at the end

Soak the dried porcinis in a bowl of warm water. Let sit for 20 minutes or until they are soft. Strain through a fine sieve reserving the liquid, squeezing out the juice. Chop finely.

In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil until warmed. Fry the shallots and stir until fragrant, add the porcini, stir then add the fresh herbs and garlic. Continue to stir then add all the mushrooms and sauté until cooked adding “a bucket load of salt”. It takes quite a lot of time to really cook out. Deglaze pan by adding white wine then red wine vinegar and continue to cook until evaporated. Add the reserved porcini liquid and reduce until liquid has evaporated.

Remove from heat and pour into sterilized jars, (these can be sterilized in the oven) let settle to get the air pockets out (knock the jar on the bench to help it along). Top with the extra oil and seal while hot making sure that the jar is full to the top. This should keep about 3 months in the fridge.

Perfect to use on bruschetta, in pasta sauces topped with a little grated parmesan and basil, or tossed through warm potatoes, in risotto, or as a base for pizza.

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