Cèpes à la Crème

Cèpes Cooked with Cream

Cèpes, field mushrooms or larger cultivated mushrooms are all really delicious cooked this way. Serve as a separate course or with chicken or veal.

Ingredients

  • 225 g(8 oz) freshly picked cèpes or mushrooms
  • 55 g(2 oz) butter
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 150 ml(¼ pt) crème fraîche, or double cream and a squeeze of lemon juice
  • salt, milled pepper
  • a little finely chopped parsley

Method

Wipe the cèpes or mushrooms with a damp cloth to remove specks and cut the stalks level with the caps. Leave whole or slice if huge.

Melt the butter, stir in the cèpes and shallot and cook, over moderate heat, shaking or stirring from time to time for 3–4 minutes.

Set 3 tablespoons of the cream aside and stir the remainder into the mushrooms. Cook gently for 10–15 minutes until the liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms are coated in a shiny sauce.

Add the reserved cream and season lightly with salt and pepper. Serve with a very light dusting of chopped parsley.

Should your cultivated mushrooms lack flavour, a dash of madeira can’t do any harm to the dish. I also recommend serving Cèpes à la crème in hot bread croustades or very thin pastry cases.

There are two ways of making a croustade. Either use a round cookie cutter to cut a circle from a slice of bread and gently press the circle into a well-buttered tart or patty tin; or cut a 5 cm(2 in) thick slice from a loaf of bread, and cut away the crusts to leave a 7.5 cm(3 in) square of bread. Use a small serrated knife to remove the centre of each square, leaving a 1 cm(½ in) wall and base in the shape of a box.

Brush each croustade with melted butter and bake in a moderately hot oven (Mark 6, 200°C, 400°F) for 15–20 minutes until golden brown.

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